Words by Delicious // Photos by Tom Hoppa courtesy of Latitude 38 Entertainment
What’s it going to be like on the final day at Bottle Rock? Are there are going to be more people? Less people? Will I want to lay low in the back and act like this weird three-day music immersion experiment is just the usual for a guy like me or will I go full college freshman and do all the party, burying all the real-life greys and browns for Bottle Rock neons.
By the third day at any dirty, dusty, inebriated circus, instincts should take over. If your feet and liver ache, listen to your body. If you need to be as close to Gwen Stefani as possible, listen to your heart. If you have to spend the next six hours screaming at the top of your lungs; don’t listen to anyone at all.
All you have to do is get there and get in.
Ok, so by Sunday at Bottle Rock, I think I finally have this figured out. Forget the parking lot, I took advantage of the friendly Napa street parking and found a spot in a neighborhood about a mile away from the venue, knowing I had brought a couple beers for the inescapable “you’re not quite there yet” walk that every festival seems to have. Not my first rodeo. But once I got in. I let instincts take over.
Trampled by Turtles
Ok, it’s hot. So what do you do to keep fans at the stages engaged? Big yellow beach balls!
Trampled by Turtles was a strong band. However, when a band just kind of sounds like their album, nothing more, nothing less; I find myself never evolving out of being a casual fan.
As people begin to drift toward the main stage in various levels of urgency, I couldn’t help noticing that the crowd at Bottle Rock seems far less tribal with less importance on staying with the pack at all costs. Festivals need more of this.
Snoop was loud, and I was on one at this point, but I noticed two things: even if his song selection gets a little lazy at times, Snoop still has miraculous flow, and second, there was far less weed smoke for Snoop than there was for Portugal. The Man. Perhaps the fanbase is a little more into artisanal edibles these days.
Holy shit, Gwen Stefani is a thousand times more famous than Snoop. That’s not a fact, it’s just something you could feel when No Doubt took the stage.
I’m not a huge No Doubt fan or anything, but I was a little 7th grader at one point, discovering punk rock and ska music alone in my bedroom thinking to myself that I sometimes felt like I was “just a girl in the world.” Seeing No Doubt still have the energy I imagined them having 20 years ago was about the best headlining sets I’ve seen at one of these festivals, and I get why the die-hards travel to see No Doubt whenever they play.