Review: 1065 Festival 2016
Text, Photo, & Video by Tim Borland
1065, the free downtown festival which emerged like a musical phoenix from the ashes of Bayfest in 2015, returned to Mobile for a second incarnation from Sept. 30 – Oct 2. Mobilians showed up in droves to wander the streets of the Azalea City, with plenty of music to be discovered not only on main stages, but also in various bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
One of the biggest turnouts on Friday night was Blind Melon. Die hard fans clumped near the middle of the stage adorned with glowsticks, body paint, and bubble wands. The band reformed back in 2006 with Travis Warren of Rain Fur Rent attempting to fill the large shoes of deceased vocalist Shannon Hoon. The current lineup released the album “For My Friends” in 2008, even having their CD release party after one of their performances at the Soul Kitchen in Mobile, Ala.
Since that original reunion tour, the band has performed sporadically over the years. No plans for a new album or full scale tour have been announced, but music lovers of all ages still pack their performances. Mobile was no exception, with the band drawing a sizable audience to the Jake Peavy Foundation Stage.
“Thank you [Mobile] – this is one of the best crowds we have had in awhile,” lead singer Travis Warren said to the crowd.
The band plowed through a number of fan favorites such as “Soup,” “Sleepyhouse,” “Change,” “Vernie,” “Mouthful of Cavities,” and “Galaxie.” The band performed the title track from their most recent album, and surprised many in the audience with the ‘ripped away’ version of “No Rain” before transitioning into the hit version of the song.
Christopher Thorn balancing on top of speakers
Original members Christopher Thorn, Brad Smith, Glen Graham, and Rogers Stevens appeared to be having a great time performing their band’s catalog. Thorn even balanced precariously on top of the speaker stack in front of the stage while performing a guitar solo, smiling at the crowd. Smith was celebrating a birthday the same evening, and Mystic Marge of 92.1 Zew surprised the band by bringing out a cake complete with candles as the crowd sang happy birthday to the bassist.
Soon after Blind Melon concluded their set, Trombone Shorty took the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel stage like a force of nature. The band had drawn a massive crowd extending all the way from the stage to OK Bicycle Shop. The mix of guitars, percussion, brass, and woodwinds worked the Mobilians into a frenzy, with everyone dancing, cheering, and of course drinking from the many alcohol vendors placed conveniently nearby.
During the performance, 1065’s own Party Animal mascot rocked down the street, posing for selfies with fans. Outdoor platforms adjacent to Moe’s Bar B Que served as VIP viewing areas, providing a slight height advantage which improved sightlines from further back in the crowd. Merchandise tents nearby sold t-shirts for the weekend event, so that fans can proudly show off evidence of their attendance.
New Orleans phenom Trombone Shorty surprised the audience with an instrumental cover of Green Day’s track “Brain Stew,” with trombone mimicking the vocals. The band teased the song with the guitar riff, before causing yells to erupt from the crowd once the melody emerged via muted brass, resembling a drunk New Orleans version of the song. The Mod Crew captured the final moments of the Trombone Shorty as they performed their original song “Do To Me.”
“We love you Mobile!” Trombone Shorty shouted to the masses.
Meanwhile, Moon Taxi performed an overlapping set on the Jake Peavy Foundation Stage. The band was working overtime, as they also performed the People of the Sun set of Rage Against the Machine songs at Soul Kitchen’s official after party and then Pensacola the following day. However, for those that could not afford the additional ticket, there were plenty of other great musical experiences to be enjoyed. OK Bicycle Shop was packed with the overflow from 1065, and in their courtyard Matt and Sherry Neese played an acoustic set for those dining under the pergola. On Saturday, OK featured an exclusive 1 a.m. showing of the new locally produced movie Limo Ride, which readers can find more about here:
Matt and Sherry Neese at OK Bicycle Shop
Other after parties included Alchemy Tavern, which was filled with people for Karaoke on Friday night, and then packed with more fans for Mob Town Revival on Saturday night. There was an abundance of activities available for patrons willing to explore, and support local business. Of course, Dauphin Street mainstay Hayley’s Bar was spilling over with late night revelers, eager to keep the party going until dawn.
Fans at Alchemy Tavern
More fans flocked downtown on Saturday and Sunday for acts like locals Infant Richard and the Delta Stones, up and coming band The Struts, as well as more established groups like Seether and Counting Crows. With a solid attendance, great support for independent business, and great bands, 1065 appears to be well on its way to becoming an eagerly anticipated yearly tradition.
Fans at Hayley’s Bar