Rock the Garden 2011: Live blogging from the Walker Art Center
Welcome to Rock the Garden 2011! There's a steady rain here right now, and all along the hillside in front of the stage there are brightly colored rain jackets and ponchos as far as the eye can see.
Gimme Noise is set up in back of stage at the press tent where we'll be bringing you live blog updates of all the proceedings after each set, starting with Tapes 'n Tapes at 4:15. The Current also has a live feed of the show for those who can't be here in person today.
Jill Riley and Steve Seel from the Current's Morning Show just finished doing their introduction and Tapes 'n Tapes are walking on stage. Hang on tight, here we go!
4:25 The band just went straight into playing once they came out, but now Josh finally greets the audience. "Thanks for coming out early and in the rain," he says.
4:28 To the most part, the set is relying on songs from The Loon and Outside. The last time any of us at Gimme Noise saw these guys play was when they played our SXSW showcase at Skinny's; since then they've been touring and sound pretty tight today.
4:30 Mini-drum solo!
4:35 Walk It Off got slogged a lot harder than it ought to have, didn't it? At any rate, the songs from that album fit in pretty well live alongside the others.
4:38 The audience seems into things on and off. The doesn't help, but when something comes on from the first album it gets a reaction. How many of the people here do you think got their first real taste of Twin Cities music (particularly rock music) from The Loon? Probably a lot more than you might think.
4:45 Josh talks for the second time. The guy next to me isn't impressed though. "Disappointing banter," he sighs.
4:49 We have a horn section on stage now, courtesy of Chooglin'. They're going to sit on the next couple songs, starting with "One in the World."
4:54 Last song. It's "Insistor." The crowd is finally warming up, singing along to the chorus and pumping their fists.
4:58 TNT just wrapped up their set. Booker T. Jones goes on in about 20 minutes. We'll give you the lowdown on his set in about an hour and a half.
5:12 The rain has finally relented and everyone has a chance to dry out a little bit. David Campbell and Bill DeVille come out onto stage and introduce the next act, Booker T. Jones.
5:15 Jones and his band start things off with a couple songs off his newest album, which he recorded with the Roots. It's all about getting a groove going at this point, and the audience is more than happy to start dancing.
5:25 It's time for "Green Onions," undoubtedly the most famous of all Jones' songs and the best showcase for his organ playing. Where does the set go from here?
5:28 Guitar solo, and the crowd digs it. Something tells me we'll be hearing a lot more from this guy today.
5:30 Jones has worked with an absurd number of people over the years, so he's bound to play some of their songs, right? Right. He plays "Born Under a Bad Sign," which he wrote for Albert King. It's the first song with vocals.
5:40 It's starting to rain again. We might be in this for the long haul now.
The drummer gets a turn at the mike and he raps for a couple verses over "Hip Hugger." "We just playing for the hell of it!"
5:47 Now we have a little Al Green in the mix, "Take Me to the River." Jones steps away from his organ and plays a little rhythm guitar on this one.
The drummer does a little more rapping midway through this one, and asks the crowd to make a little noise. Seems like a strange choice for this song, doesn't it? Oh well, it works well enough.
5:56 The nice thing about all the instrumentals is that it gives Jones more time to smile at the audience. What a guy.
6:00 Time for another song from Jones' days with the MGs, "Time is Tight." After a slow, gospel intro, it's another one of those, "Jeez, he wrote this song too?" moments.
Halfway through Jones says this is last song, which seems a little sudden...
6:08 ...And then he realizes he still has more time, so the band keeps playing.
6:13 They play, among other things, "Hey Yeah," which he introduces as a song he recorded with Neil Young and the Drive By Truckers. The rest of us probably know it from elsewhere.
6:20 Jones wraps his set up with "I've Been Loving You For Too Long," stopping the song at one point to switch once more from organ to guitar for a little extra dramatic effect.
Now it's time to wait for Neko Case, who's set to play in about 25 minutes. Things have been pretty well on time so far, weather be damned!
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