Did this content meet your expectations?
Home>Concert Review>
Wildflower Festival in Full Bloom

Spring in Richardson meant the Wildflower Festival was in full bloom with arts and crafts, good food and drink and lots of great music that quenched the palette of every musical taste. This year brought out large crowds who went home spent and satisfied.

The jam-packed Saturday night crowd arrived early to get close to the stage. Bands played all afternoon and into the evening when Little River Band (click here for gallery), the penultimate act of the day, took the stage and shared a set covering their 48 years as a band. Wayne Nelsons voice was a soothing memory of the late 70s when lyrics and music ruled the day.

Sharing that "Happy Anniversary" was actually a mean-spirited divorce song and not a love song took everyone by surprise, but they danced anyway, especially when keyboardist Chris Marion grabbed his keytar and played it behind his head. Guitarist Colin Whinnery engaged the audience and provided beautiful vocals and harmony.

The crowd roared as they remembered the feelings they had when "Reminiscing" was released and sang along as if they were driving their hometown circuit while in high school. Ryan Ricks laid down a throbbing drum solo and then led a drum intro to "The Night Owls" with a three-guitar front line with ax man Bruce Wallace joining in.

Chris Marion, from Prosper, TX, and fans sang "Happy Birthday" to his sister in the audience before LRB played "Cool Change" as another singalong. The two shredders alternated strokes and played dueling riffs as the newer members showed their musical chops. Another Greatest Hit, "Lady," turned the love song into a jam as the artists added part of "Kashmir" to the appreciative music lovers. Their set had to end, and "Lonesome Loser" was the finale. Everyone knew the words and belted them out, and the ending jam even featured part of "Uptown Funk" for the dancers.

LRB not only looked and sounded tight, they also put together an excellent setlist with ebbs and flows that left the listener anxious for more, but satisfied when it was over.

Then came Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (click here for gallery). The Sexy Sexagenarian was still a bad ass rocker chick who blew away her fans, both longtime and brand new. Kids came with their parents and ate up the raucous atmosphere that permeated into the night. She looked great and sounded great as she came onto the stage during "Rebel Girl" and immediately launched into "Victim of Circumstance." Cheers then turned into roars for "Cherry Bomb" as the huge crowd sang the famous refrain from her days with The Runaways.

Jett engaged the audience consisting of many different backgrounds for "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" and led them on an extended round of singing "Oh yeah." Men and women cheered as the 64-year-old took off her leather jacket and showed that shes still in phenomenal shape. JJ sang the title song, written by Bruce Springsteen, of the movie, Light Of Day, a film in which she co-starred with Michael J. Fox. She also sang a few songs played live for the first time from a new EP set to drop soon.

The Queen of Rock and Roll stood out front without a guitar for "Androgynous" by The Replacements, a well-crafted cover song. Capturing memories in everyones lives was "Love Is Pain" with its haunting and sometimes heart-piercing lyrics. The extra tight band members of Michael McDermott on the kit, Dougie Needles on lead guitar, Hal Setzer on bass and Kenny Laguna on keys kept on point all night, adding immensely to the concert.

Covering Sly Stones "Everyday People" was a highlight of the night with dual guitar solos and a vocal jam by the crowd. They then roared at the first notes of "I Love Rock N Roll," a song which remained #1 for seven weeks. JJ led everyone in the refrain as the band stopped and a few minutes of a cappella filled the interlude. The rowdy attitude continued with "Crimson and Clover" with 100% of the audience as the backup singers.

Fans were getting hoarse from singing at the tops of their collective lungs and it continued for "Bad Reputation" and "I Hate Myself." The loyal fans knew the hits and shouted them out. The closer was "Whiskey Goes Good," a new song that made people feel like they had friends over to listen to Joan Jett play while sitting in their den drinking whiskey.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer put on a great show and obviously enjoyed her time entertaining her fans. Shes sold millions of albums for a reason.

Sundays headliner was Texan Jimmie Vaughan (click here for gallery) and the loyal crowd was thrilled he was back home. The seven-piece band began with an intro if blues before lots of guitar solos highlighted "Roll Roll Roll." Vaughan bent heavy strings for a hurting heart blues song, then stretched the the strings for "I Aint Never," an almost rockabilly, uptempo tune that featured the Texas Horns.

A blues song celebrating misery, from last years Baby Come Home, highlighted its lyrics that unfortunately revealed that she didnt come home. Fans cheered for the hit "A Teeny Weeny Bit" featuring his long-time Tilt-A-Whirl Band and the cohesion showed to everyone. JV covered T-Bone Walker, the first musician to play electric guitar to sing the blues on "I Wanna Walk With You," which raised another cheer.

Vaughan broke the trend when he added some chicken scratch when he mixed in some Cajun flavor to a boogie blues song. He fast-fretted "Texas Flood" then changed to heavy strokes as he simultaneously engaged the crowd. Guitarist Billy Pittman sang "The Crawl," while Jimmies solo added his signature behind-his-head stroking. Billy Horton on bass and Jason Carver on drums complemented each other while the Texas Horns, consisting of John Mills, Kaz Kazanoff and Al Gomez, jammed away while part of the audience danced away.

The four-time Grammy Award winner finished up his set by mentioning several blues stringers who have passed, including his brother, the great Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie KIng, T-Bone Walker, and others, before finishing with a strong upbeat song that sent the crowd home all pumped up.

The Wildflower Festival was another success, especially the musical portion. The entire staff and all the volunteers worked hard to make it a major event.

Special thanks to Greg Sowell for his help.

Wildflower Arts and Music Festival
Next Show
Author: David Simers
Photographer: Kayla Young & Rene Rivera
The JAM Newsletter