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on 13/06/14 at 9:55 pm


Kind of an old skool rich hippy vibe to this Napa wine/music festival.

camper van van

[Camper Van camping for BottleRock near Napa’s Mental Health facility]

Last year’s inaugural is a bad ghost that the organizers are trying to put behind them. Many vendors and artists went unpaid, but the new crew (Latitude 38) came in and paid off all old debts. Four local Napa guys (David Graham, Justin Dragoo, Jason Scoggins and Joe Fischer) bought the festival on January 27 and made this thing happen. Ovations is running wine sales and they are pricey. You can get a whole tasting at most Napa rooms for what you are paying per glass. Even LA Clubs shy from charging $20 a glass, but that’s what the Andretti Merlot was going for. The Miner Family Winery sponsored one of the festival’s music stages, and they were selling per glass at $25. Dizzying array of food trucks and wineries, including Jason Segal’s fav (Clos du val). It’s on display in all of his movies, particular “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” where he and crew put down about 5 bottles in front of the tea-totality of Russell Brand.

forgetting Sarah Marshall

Delta Rae’s 4:00 set was the perfect mix of old & new, including covers of Fleetwood Mac (The Chain) and the Boss/Patti Smith (Because the Night). A lot of attention has been paid to Bottlerock’s heavy repping of ┬áthe 90s era bands, but Delta Rae is definitely on the radar of the young country fans with their soaring 4 part harmonies. Their huge hits “Bottom of the River” and “If I Loved You” (millions of youtube hits a piece for these videos) worked well with the classics they did. Hollje Siblings (Ian, Eric and Brittany) anchor the band.

delta rae


[Brittany Hollje belts it for Delta Rae — photo by Mitchell Glotzer for BottleRock]

TV on the radio preceded Robert Smith’s legendary Cure lineup with their familiar Wolf Like Me which ignited the crowd. The band has a nouveau feel to their early 80s NYC pop punk homage of bands like the Ramones, or Missing Persons out in LA.

The Cure

[The Cure’s Robert Smith — photo for BottleRock by Tom Hoppa]

The Cure were in fine form, musically all pros, but the special treat was an animated Robert Smith. Often known as a dreary band live, Smith can hustle through his songs if not sufficiently motivated. Maybe Napa’s wine country fueled him up (he makes no excuse for loving the drink), but he winked and emoted his way through a set that mixed the giant crowd sing-a-longs with the more adventurous ones in the catalog. They hit a run of the newer ones and I decided to go check out Sublime on the stage next door. Timed it perfectly to hit their sing-a-longs What I Got and Santeria. Original frontman Bradley Nowell is gone, but Rome Ramirez does a great job fronting the Long Beach crew. Many have joked about the festival’s shameless pandering to the folks who’s musical sweetspot is the 90s, but their was no denying the crowd was eating up the heroes of their youth.