The Lumineers Highlight Strong Lineup as The Big Ticket 2017 Adjusts to New Venue
For the first time in memory, The Big Ticket moved indoors, and despite the excellent lineup, the change produced mixed results. The one constant that remains is a festival highlighting some uber-talented alternative rockers, highlighted by The Lumineers, and a day with a happy, peaceful vibe.
As I approached the arena, there was a palpable buzz from the long line of concertgoers waiting for the doors to open – a few hundred early arriving folks anxious to snag a prime spot for the area’s annual celebration of all things Alt-rock. It was a nice, diverse cross-section of ages, with many fans traveling hours to attend the show. As I chatted with folks in line, the vast majority were there to catch The Lumineers, but nearly every band had their own cache of fans, as well.
Check out our photo gallery from The Big Ticket here.
Security opened early and quickly and efficiently moved all of the early-arriving fans to the Arena in time for the door opening at 3:00. And when that hour hit, the younger fans rushed in with sheer jubilation on their faces as they raced towards the front of the stage.
X106.5’s Tank got the show kicked off. The Jax fixture truly does a great job emceeing events like this, even if he couldn’t remember his radio station’s new name. The first band he introduced was Mondo Cozmo, the new brainchild of Joshua Ostrander. The quintet got the festival off to a great start, as the crowd filtered in. They were dynamic, energetic and fun, which generally became the theme for the entire day.
(We will have band recaps for each artist posted here tomorrow, so make sure you follow us to be alerted.)
New Politics kicked it up a notch, with an incendiary set. Front man David Boyd was a whirling dervish who flew around the stage and leaped into the crowd for a song, held aloft by the appreciative crowd. Saint Motel followed next and kept the energy at a fever pitch.
Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness, offered up a slightly calmer set, but McMahon himself was the consummate entertainer, flitting around the arena throughout his entire set, including a tour of the pit atop a huge rubber duck! Bleachers followed with yet another energetic set, and after 5 performers, the music was damn near perfect.
Walk The Moon played next and were actually a bit of a let down – the first band of the night that just didn’t seem passionate while they played, although they nailed a rollicking version of “Anna Sun.”
But, that disappointment abated quickly when The Lumineers took the stage. Their sound was pristine and the talented quintet provided a fitting end to a great day of music. Their set was a happy, free celebration that had the crowd dancing blissfully throughout the arena. The versatility of the band members is quite impressive and their distinctive Alt-folksy sound was a huge hit with the fans, who rolled into the beautiful Jacksonville night thoroughly sated and singing their way home…
“So keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love..”
Three Things I Disliked About the New Venue
The General Admission Process – I felt horrible for the long lines of people waiting to get onto the floor. Lines were 90 minutes long as they limited the number of folks on the floor. Understood; but the floor was never more than 25% full. Seems like someone hosed up the numbers, and many fans suffered because of it.
The Lost Festival Vibe – Much of the charm of attending a festival is the fun atmosphere as you tour the grounds. Moving indoors with a small vendor area outside just didn’t feel the same. One food truck, one merch vendor and a few other booths just didn’t excite anyone. There was an FYE tent inside on the concourse, but many fans never even realized.
The Temperature – It was freezing. Literally. That’s right, there was ice under the floor as the Jacksonville Ice Men had an upcoming home game. Definitely a different and unexpected experience, but I think my feet have finally thawed out.
Three Things I Liked About the New Venue
One stage – I wasn’t sure about this, but it worked out great. Everyone got to see every band and the waits between acts were brief, but afforded enough time to grab some grub, snag some merch or visit the ample, clean restrooms.
The Sound – The mix and sound quality on the stage were pristine. Maybe the best audio from any festival I have attended and it was consistent from start to finish.
The Security – the folks were great everywhere, even in front of the long line to access the floor, and the security process outside the stadium was as quick and efficient as I have ever seen.
Bonus: The seats. Awfully nice having a comfortable seat to relax in for a set or two, and something rarely experienced at a festival.
Thanks for reading. We will have a slew of photos posted here, on Facebook and Instagram so check us out there (@rarasfarm), and a recap on all of the bands in the next day or so.
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