Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday May 23rd 2018


DeLuna Fest Day 1: Good Music Friday

By Dan Fugate

The second installment of DeLuna Fest is in the history books. Whether you’re a fan of the lineup or not, there’s no denying the bands who were booked sounded good live. And that’s important. The main function of a music festival is to bring together a few big-name acts and as many less-mainstream bands as possible, hoping to sell tickets to people who want to hear live music. Every band I heard sounded good, even if I wasn’t familiar with their music.

One of the non-headliners I was most excited to see was Cold War Kids. The songs “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “Something is Not Right with Me” are playlist regulars, so I was hoping for at least one of them early in the set so I could leave and catch part of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s show. “Hang Me Up to Dry” was the fourth song in a powerful set. They sounded great. I moved on.

I headed over to see the Dirty Dozen. I’ve seen these guys dozens (no pun) of times. Their horns and sparse use of lyrics never disappoint. Sure, I missed “Something is Not Right with Me,” but how was I supposed to know they’d even play it. Besides, I can’t be at a festival where DDBB are playing and not go hear a few trumpet tunes.

The best act of the night, in my opinion, was Cake. Lead singer John McCrea’s voice was spot on and his occasional banter with the crowd was fun and added intimacy. Also, I got a kick out of the pastoral backdrop they used. The juxtaposition of that field and trees, the waves and white beach, and the metal and electricity were as ironic as the band’s lyrics and bass/trumpet driven sound.

I could have listened to these guys for two or three hours, but that wasn’t to be. In the hour they were on they belted out eleven body-wigglin’ songs covering their 20 year career, including: “Sheep Go to Heaven”, “Frank Sinatra,” “Never There,” “Wheels,” “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” their biggest hit “The Distance”, and a smoldering cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

Headlining Friday evening was Weezer. Scheduled to play until 11 p.m., I’m pretty sure I looked at my watch at the end of the show to see 10:36. That aside, they packed in 20 songs representing the blue, red, and green albums as well as Maladroit, Make Believe, Raditude, and Hurley.

The band played something to make every Weezer fan happy. Among this fans’ favorites were: “Surf Wax America,” “Undone (the Sweater Song),” “My Name is Jonas,” “Island in the Sun,” “Hash Pipe,” “(if You’re Wondering if I Want You to) I Want You to,” “Only in Dreams,” and “Buddy Holly.” They even threw in a couple of covers: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” which I’d never heard before but really dug, and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.”