The largest classic rock festival in Northern Minnesota located just south of Walker started on July 17 and organizers couldn’t be more pleased. Already record numbers for camping, pre-ticket sales and some beautiful weather too, Moondance Jam 23 had a perfect start.
First on the bill was a band that originates from Australia, well at least two of the members are, the other, the drummer, is from California. Getting their name “Sick Puppies” was a bit of an accident quite literally. Lead singer and guitarist, Shim Moore recalls that he and bassist Emma Anzai and drummer Mark Goodwin, were rehearsing in the garage, when the neighbor’s dog came and in there and puked on their equipment and the name stuck at that point.
Sick Puppies had a rather large crowd for a 3 PM show, and people got into it. The band had some amazing energy with Moore feeding off the crowd and Anzai with her wild red hair swaying in the wind, they put on an amazing presentation.
The guys from Sublime with Rome would take the stage next, who were quite entertaining as well. One thing that has changed over the years is that the festival has had to evolve, due to classic rock bands becoming a thing of the past. Even with these changes a lot of people really liked the lineup for this year as it had a little something for everyone.
One of the reasons for the departure from classic rock is that every year it becomes more difficult to find classic rock acts; because many have disbanded, or are no longer alive. Many of the acts that are still around are composed of very few original band members if any and most are completely revamped versions of the former.
The need to revamp Moondance was imminent and organizers were forced to start looking at the new classic rock of today. That is when Thursday became the night of the festival to bring out more of the groups targeted for the younger generation.
The day didn’t come without issues though like with any outdoor music event. Alter Bridge who followed Sublime with Rome had a few complications getting to the festival. The band showed up right at show time and organizers had to rush them along to keep with the schedule. Lead singer Myles Kennedy is no stranger to the Jam having appeared just last year with Slash, while the rest of his band mates would be making their debut at the Jam.
Collective Soul had similar troubles their tour bus broke down, and apparently their equipment was lost as well. Lead singer Ed Roland asked the crowd if they could hear him and remarked that this is what we have to use, all of our equipment hasn’t arrived. Collective Soul rocked the Moondance crowd which if you looked out on the fairgrounds you could immediately see that it was nearly full of music crazed fans.
The big question of the night was did Collective Soul have a larger crowd then headliner Seether? It would be safe to say that was probably true, as once Seether took the stage people got into them, but not like they did for Collective Soul. By the time they were into their fourth song it was noticeable that the crowd was dwindling down. Overall though people were having a great time dancing and celebrating deep into the night long after the music stopped.