This past Sunday the 18th, the 3rd annual Sunshine Music and Blues Festival made its way to the Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. With a nice steady breeze and the sunshine smiling on the crowd, it was destined to be an amazing day of music and good times.
Kicking off the show was a nice bluesy set by Sean Chambers and his band on the main stage, followed by British guitar virtuoso Matt Schofield on the 2nd stage, who you can catch playing at the Funky Biscuit in Boca from time to time. As the day progressed, the crowd became larger and soon there wasn’t an empty piece of real estate to lay your blanket down.
The crowd was an eclectic mix of families, hipsters, bohemians and music lovers of all colors, shapes and sizes. Musical legends Los Lobos played a roaring set that had the crowd out of their seats dancing and singing. The Both featuring former member of 80’s and 90’s band Til’ Tuesday, Aimee Mann with her musical partner Ted Leo took the 2nd stage and played an amazing set to a very grateful crowd. Capping of her set was a great rendition of Voices Carry which catapulted Til’ Tuesday to musical stardom. After Aimee and Ted finished their set, the lines formed and the food vendors were cranking out some amazing eats for the hungry crowd. The craft beer was flowing at a nice steady pace for the thirsty group, who definitely needed to keep the party going. The various merchandise vendors were showing off their goods, and the patrons were more than happy to hand over some cash.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood took the main stage around 3:45 to a packed house and started their set off with Shake, Rattle & Roll, followed by Tomorrow Blues, Shore Power, Reflections, The Music’s Hot, a Black Crowes classic Hard To Handle and capped off their set with Beggars Moon and Rosalee. The crowd gave a standing ovation and showed their appreciation for a great set. Rebirth Brass Band from NOLA then took over on the 2nd stage and ripped some New Orleans big band jazz to a very appreciative crowd. The dancing and smiles good be seen on everyone’s face. Grace Potter took the main stage sans her band, the Nocturnals. It was a stripped down set with Grace on guitar and keys and her husband and bandmate Matt on drums. Grace and Matt played their hearts out for the next hour, with Grace ripping on her signature Flying V guitar and Matt keeping the beat on drums. Grace is by far one of the most talented musicians in the industry now and she definitely lets the crowd feel the emotion in every song.
Robby Krieger and his band were a last-minute addition to the show with the cancellation of Dickie Betts a few days prior to the festival. This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Doors and Robby came out in legendary fashion with his band and gave the crowd a set they would never forget. If you closed your eyes, you could’ve sworn you were at a Doors show in the 60’s. All the hits, L.A. Woman, Light my Fire, Riders On The Storm were played to perfection. The enthusiastic crowd showed their love and heartfelt appreciation to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and his new bandmates with a 10-minute ovation. Definitely my personal highlight of the festival.
Closing out the day on the main stage, the founders of The Sunshine Music and Blues Festival, The Tedeschi Trucks Band. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks both had very successful careers as solo artists and have a massive following. It seemed only organic that the two would unite and form a band with some of the most talented musicians in music today. It doesn’t hurt that they are also husband and wife. Their music is a blend of Blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and some Florida swamp sound. This Jacksonville-based band has a huge fan base and the 4,000+ crowd was standing room only for the hour plus set of music and fun. The eleven-piece band filled the night with music definitely worthy of closing out an amazing day. If you love music and enjoy music festivals, then I recommend you don’t miss this one when it comes to South Florida for its 4th showing in 2016. Cheers!