Dowriver's largest festival, Uncle Sam Jam, was held this weekend in Woodhaven at Civic Center Park and featured a large carnival midway, national and local acts on the music stage, monster truck rides, camel rides, a petting zoo, a bungee and rock climbing wall and a number of local vendors.
The 5th annual festival is reported to have drawn in a record crowd over four days, which was highlighted by the number of people who crammed onto the grounds on Friday night for the city fireworks and to see Collective Soul on the national stage.
Those with claustrophobia would have had a hard time dealing with the massive crowd but those who were there were treated to a great show and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Chrome Mollie kicked the evening music off with a hard-hitting set of their Detroit-flavored rock that really got the crowd ready for more. The set featured tracks from their debut album All or Nuthin'.
Detroit's own Alice Cooper tribute band, The Nightmare, were up next and definitely impressed as they moved through a set filled with Cooper classics including "School's Out" and a fantastic version of "Ballad of Dwight Fry" with vocalist Johnny Rotton decked out in a straightjacket.
No Alice tribute would be complete without some theatrics and those were certainly on show here with plenty of horror props, blood and even a snake.
Critical Bill was the next to hit the stage and once again rocked everyone's faces off with some of their fan's favorite tracks and flavor from their upcoming September release, The New Eternal.
Collective Soul are in the middle of their twentieth anniversary tour and are getting ready to release their ninth studio album, See What You Started By Continuing.
Friday's set was filled with tracks from the upcoming release including openers "This" and "Are You The Answer".
The new tracks were received pretty well by the packed crowd but the set would have benefited from a few more older tracks thrown in but the big hits were there from "Heavy" and "Hollywood" to "December" and "The World I Know".
New lead guitarist, Jesse Triplett, seems to have slid into the group flawlessly and it is clear that twenty years in, the band still loves entertaining.