Moon River Festival Pt 3 All Good Things

Continuation of the 3 Pt series of posts about my experience at the Moon River Festival. For what happened prior to the events in this post, please see Parts 1 and 2.

So I have friends that are within driving distance in every direction from Chattanooga. I had originally wanted to finally meet my internet friend Larry Carter and go to church with him, but I wouldn’t have gotten to spend much time with him and I didn’t want to rush meeting him for the first time. I decided to save that for another trip that is intended to spend a fair amount of time with him. I decided to drive to Nashville instead and visit my friends Taylor and Kyla. They can’t stand me for very long anyway. (Of course that’s a joke.) I got to visit with them for a little bit before heading to church with them at Ethos church in Nashville. It was a great service and I was definitely glad that I made the 4 hour round trip drive to attend and obviously spend time with them. Because of the time difference I was able to stick around long after the service. So I said goodbye and headed back. Luke from the night before texted me and said that his buddy Dylan wanted to meet Judah and the Lion if I could still get him in. So I rushed back through some crazy weather to meet up with him.

There was a real air of uncertainty about the shows on Sunday since there were thunderstorms predicted. I drove through some heavy downpours on my way out of Nashville so I was a little concerned that it would be cancelled. Moon River Festival did an amazing job of keeping their posts going throughout to keep people updated on what to expect. You could tell that they were genuinely concerned about their attendees safety and also giving us the best experience possible.

I met Dylan at the front gate right as the meet and greet was starting. He is an awesome young man, and I’m glad that I was able to meet him and visit with him as we waited in the long line. I ended up spending the rest of the day hanging out with him and Luke and Natasha and a couple of their other friends. I brag about Judah l, Nate, and Brian a lot because those dudes are genuine and humble and they listen and encourage every time I get to visit with them. This one was very brief because of the long line but it was still full in the short amount of time. I delivered some promised The Church and the Farm shirts, and Nate wore his prior to going on stage for their set. I wish I had been ready to sneak a picture, but it made me feel good that he wore it.

In order to be able to spend a bit of extra time in Nashville, I sacrificed seeing a few bands. One of which was Colony House who had been added to the lineup late last week. I’ll see them in Oklahoma City in October so it made it less of a sacrifice. The first band up for me to see was The Ballroom Thieves. I started listening to them when I saw them on the lineup, and have been hooked ever since. I started with their new EP Paper Crown with highlights “Only Lonely,” “Fist Fight,” and “Almost Love;” and then worked my way back through their catalog. I’ll be doing what I can to see them again in the near future. Their stage presence and energy is incredible, and I love their music. Definitely a new fan for life and I recommend everyone check them out.

At this point it was after 5 and I hadn’t eaten anything all day.(being terrible at eating was a theme for this trip) I grabbed some vegetable lo mein at one of the food tents and scarfed it down. Then I met back up with Luke, Natasha, and Dylan. Always good to get adopted into a group when you’re traveling solo, and this was an amazing group to be adopted in to.

It was then time to go try to find a spot to rock out to Judah and the Lion. This was my 16th time experiencing them live, and it never gets old. They put everything into everyone of their shows and they invite the audience to do the same. There were many highlights during their set, but by far the best was Drew Holcomb coming out to sing a cover of The Killers “Mr. Brightside.” It was beyond amazing. Dylan and I were in the middle of about 10,000 people and the energy generated was incredible. Can’t wait for show 17 with the boys.

I had to drive back to Atlanta Sunday night after the festival, so I was going to enjoy The Avett Brothers set from the bridge. But before that, I hung out with Luke and Dylan one last time for the Dirty Guv’nahs set. I must say that they put on one heck of a show and I became an instant fan of theirs as well. All good things must come to an end so I said my goodbyes and started my walk up to the bridge.

Watching the show from the bridge was a unique experience. While it was far away from the stage you could see and hear everything perfectly. It was an amazing end to the most amazing of weekends. The thing I love about The Avett Brothers is that they have such an extensive catalog of music that every one of their shows has a different set list. They did a lot of my favorites including “Shame,” “The Fall,” and “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.”

Stopped for some ice cream on the way out because I was really hungry; and though I tripped and almost fell while eating it, it was amazing. Luckily the drive back to Atlanta was really easy and I got a heck of a hotel through Priceline. So that’s the end of the story. Monday’s journey home was a very interesting one, but that’s a story for another day.

Final thought is that this was the best festival I’ve been to by far. The lineup was tailor made for me, and the artists all put on incredible sets. I will definitely do everything I can to go back next year. Thanks to all the artists and especially Drew Holcomb, Moon River, Magnolia Record Club, Axis events, the vendors, and everyone else who worked hard to make it all possible.

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