Liquid Sol Music Festival - Sportsman's Park - 3/15/14

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Train headlined a festival that essentially was the musical equivalent of comfort food, but they weren't the only rock 'n' rollers in the lineup. The BoDeans, for instance, were also featured, taking to Liquid Sol's main stage midway through the afternoon. The recent departure of founding member Sam Llanas made the Wisconsin-based band's lead singer and guitarist Kurt Neumann nostalgic.

Before the BoDeans played songs such as "Fadeaway," "Good Things," and their signature hit "Closer to Free," he mentioned the year they were written before the band played. He stated they were written during a time when "the world seemed right." His sentiment seemed appropriate as the quintet jammed through their brand of Midwestern Americana rock.

Cracker, who performed earlier in the day, seemed just as proud of their past. Lead singer David Lowery declared "We play rock music. We know there isn't a lot of it these days. We think it's a good thing. We like guitar solos." They never shied away from their love of blues and it was apparent as they zipped through their hits "Euro-Trash Girl," "Get On This," and their biggest hit "Low."

Over on the Beer Pavilion stage, Tonic played an unusually loud set, while Blind Melon ventured in the opposite direction with new lead singer Travis Warren asking the crowd if anyone took Quaaludes, which is ironic considering former lead singer Shannon Hoon fatally overdosed on drugs in 1995. The band thanked Warren for helping to keep the project alive, and he more than succeeded in doing so by paying tribute to Hoon with a rendition of "Change" before playing the group's signature hit "No Rain."

Elsewhere, Mesa skate punk band Authority Zero actually departed from the nostalgia theme briefly to play the new song "Take It or Leave It," only to ask female members of the audience to show them their boobs afterwards.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil