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* 2007 Festival Review *
PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
The first day of Arts, Beats and Eats is crowded with thousands of people.
PONTIAC, Mich. -- Over 1.3 million people came to Arts, Beats and Eats this Labor Day weekend. The festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary in style. There was a new music stage, new restaurants and lots of new artists at the festival.
During Labor Day weekend, metro Detroiters and visitors had the option of going to three big events in our region. The first event was the return of The Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle. The second event was The Detroit Jazz Festival in downtown Detroit from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius Park. The third event was Chrysler's Arts, Beats and Eats in Pontiac.
I attended Arts, Beats and Eats on opening day which was Friday, Aug. 31st. Thousands of people filled Saginaw Street and all the other roads that were closed for the festival. I've never seen a bigger first day at Arts, Beats and Eats. The weather was amazing for the entire weekend with lots of sun and temps in the 80s each day.
As I walked through the food area, I could smell the ribs being cooked on the grill. The smoke went everywhere. This wasn't carnival food either. The food at Arts, Beats and Eats are real restaurants that offer taste or full-sized portions of their menu items.
The first musician that I saw was Sweet Claudette, who performed on the Diet Pepsi stage. She performed blues music at the festival. Next, I saw The Troubadours who performed on the Stoli International Stage. They are a latin and salsa band. The third musician that I saw was Robin Horlock. He performed inside the Dodge Americana stage.
Then, I met up with WDIV Local 4 personality Ama Daetz. She and Guy Gordon did a Arts, Beats and Eats special at 8 p.m. on Channel 4.
Later, I took a moment to listen to Mickey Thomas on the Michigan Lottery National stage. Then, I saw The Snakes perform on the Miller Lite Rock stage.
The art at Arts, Beats and Eats was superb. There was all different kinds of art -- photos, paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewelry and much more. Lots of great art pieces that I wish I could buy and take home. No such luck.
Monday was country day in Pontiac
The entire lineup for the Michigan Lottery National stage for Labor Day was country music. Lots of other local country acts performed on the other stages during the festival on Monday.
I had the opportunity to interview Monday's headliner, Blake Shelton, on the phone a few days before. He was very excited to perform at Arts, Beats and Eats. Click here to read my interview with Blake Shelton. I was not able to record the interview because it was done on the phone.
The first band I saw perform was Longneck Strangler. They were a great local band that was on the Dodge Americana stage.
Jake Owen was originally scheduled to perform on the national stage. However, he came down with laryngitis. TJ Kelly was called at 3 a.m. to fill-in for him. TJ was the first performer on the national stage on Monday. He did a great job while singing lots of country hits.
Next up was Sarah Buxton. She is a great new artist on the Lyric Street record label. She does not have an album in stores yet. However, you can purchase her five-song EP on iTunes for only $3.99. Her hits include "Innocence" and "That Kind of Day."
Third on the national stage was Lee Brice. He's also a new singer that is on the same label as Sarah Buxton. His biggest hit is a song called "She Ain't Right." Just recently, he wrote Garth Brooks' new song "More Than a Memory." It debuted at #1 on the country charts, a feat that has never been met by any other artist in history. Click here to listen to my interview with Lee Brice.
Kelley Shepard was the next country act on the Michigan Lottery stage. She is also a new artist that performed at the 25th Annual Downtown Hoedown in May. She does not have a record label as of yet. Her new song is called "Just Another Day." Click here to listen to my interview with Kelley Shepard.
Bomshel performed fourth on the national stage. The duo performs in our area so much that they've called metro Detroit their home away from home. Bomshel is known best for their hit single "Bomshel Stomp." Each time they perform it, the crowd goes wild. It's a very fun and energetic song.
Back down on the Dodge Americana Stage, Jill Jack performed with her band. She is a great local musician that has been hitting it big. She has been performing in Nashville recently. Jill has also sang the "Hot 'n Ready" song for Little Caesars in their new TV commercial. Her latest album is Moon and the Morning After. She is currently working on a new acoustic album. Jill will be making performances all over metro Detroit in the coming months. Click here to listen to my interview with Jill Jack.
Blake Shelton headlined country day at Arts, Beats and Eats on the national stage. He sang all his hits including his latest "The More I Drink." An interesting note about Blake -- he shares the same manager as Reba McEntire. He was one of the three judges on this year's season of Nashville Star. During his final song of the evening, his girlfriend, Miranda Lambert came on stage to sing. The crowd went wild. Everyone got up, clapped and started taking pictures.
Special Thanks to Arts, Beats & Eats for a media pass to cover the festival. I had a great time and I can't wait until next year. See you all in 2008 for the 11th Annual Chrysler Arts, Beats & Eats festival...
PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
Miranda Lambert joins Blake Shelton during his final song of the evening on Monday at Arts, Beats and Eats!
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