Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 XRIJF Recap

The XRIJF is over, and like the rest of Rochester, the PBBB is still trying to catch our breath (and nurse our hangover). The 2010 edition of one of the greatest music festivals in the country ended with a bang...the last night bringing in well over 160,000 people (over 30,000 more than last year). And the PBBB was once again in the middle of the thick of it, playing two blistering sets on the Jazz Street Stage on the last Friday night of the festival.

The Jazz Fest is a busy time for the guys in the band. In addition to all the work we do in preparation for our performance, the guys were all involved with several other projects that played at the festival: Dave Rivello Ensemble and Rick Holland Evan Dobbins Little Big Band to just name a few. And when there was a spare minute to breathe, just like the rest of the city, you found us out listening to Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, Trombone Shorty and the rest of them, jumping and screaming and hootin' and hollerin' like the rest of em'!

This was our second Jazz Fest in a row, and without a doubt I can say that the XRIJF crowd is hands-down the greatest crowd we play in front of all year. I don't know exactly what it is...hometown crowd? well-informed jazz-lovers? music appreciators of all kind? Whatever it is, from the first to the last note Rochester gives you an unbelievable amount of love and we hope we gave you a fraction of that love back on Friday night!

There were some personal highlights on stage. For me, the band really hit its stride in the 2nd set. From the very top, RAF Riff was on fire. Probably my favorite moment came out of Jimi's Bones. That song more than any other seemed to just have everything lock in place...Nick's FX really started working right, the sound and mix was great, and the band was feeling it...and boy YOU were feeling it too. We're going to look into releasing a few songs from our live recording of the show for you, our fans, for FREE. We'll keep you posted. I'm thinking Jimi's Bones might make the cut...

We had a great photographer come out, Gary Ventura. His work is what you see in this blog. There will be a full photo journal of our two sets available in the near-future for your viewing pleasure.

Without trying to get sappy, I just have to tell you how great it feels to get so much love from a home crowd. In the short 2 1/2 years we've been together, Rochester has really opened up its arms and claimed us as one of their own. I can't tell you how many people came up to me on the street just to thank me and tell me how much they loved the band. First, I was in shock that people recognized me (although as officially the biggest dude in the band, I guess I shouldn't be that shocked), then alone to know our band and music. THANK YOU ROCK-CHESTER!

I'll leave you with this thought that Rachel Barnhart from 13 Wham Tweeted: "Jazz Fest is the best thing to happen to Rochester in years."

I couldn't agree more. I hope we do it again. And again. And again...