Attendance picks up second day of music festival

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Want to go?

  • What: City of Roses Music Festival

  • When: Music begins at noon, Sunday, at the main stage. Headliners the Sitze Family play at 4:45 p.m.

  • Where: Riverfront Park

  • Admission $12

    By Mike Wells ~ Southeast Missourian

    The sound of classic guitar rifts spread through Riverfront Park Saturday night during The Dave Mason Band's headline act at the City of Roses Music Festival.

    Mason is remembered by many as one of the music industry's true rock legends, having performed with Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton.

    And Saturday night's crowd of more than 1,500 people reflected that, said Wes Wade, president of the sponsoring City of Roses Music Heritage Association.

    "I think it's more on the name recognition of Dave Mason," Wade said. "He's been around a long time, and people are familiar with and like his music."

    One exuberant fan near the stage shared his longtime appreciation of the singer by shouting that he attended one of Mason's 1974 concerts.

    Organizers were disappointed by the much smaller riverfront crowd Friday night, which was the first time a day of the festival was dominated by country music.

    "That's not to say we didn't have an excellent show," Wade said. "Many people were packing the clubs downtown, but we had awesome entertainment here last night and all day today."

    Despite Friday being hampered by the late arrival of the barge for the main stage, this year's show has run much more smoothly than those in the past, Wade said.

    "We've had a few glitches, some manpower issues," Wade said. "But overall, the public has truly enjoyed the show, and we've heard extremely positive comments."

    Opening for The Dave Mason Band were The Cantrells, an acoustic folk and bluegrass band. Eight other bands performed on the main stage throughout the day, and an estimated 50 other bands and singers entertained patrons at 11 bars and restaurants in the downtown area.

    Afternoon delightMore than 80 people took in the late afternoon show on the main stage by ColorWill, a four-member Cape Girardeau band influenced by blues, jazz and funk. Those enjoying the late-afternoon tunes included three fishermen on a motorboat anchored 100 feet from the main stage barge, and in the crowd a pot-bellied pig named Pork Chop.

    The pink and black spotted porker napped during an instrumental from a safe vantage point on the retaining wall, in the lap of Julie Suedemeyer of Cape Girardeau, but she still managed to catch the attention of about a dozen people wanting to pet her.

    Pork Chop's owner, Bob Mixon, brought the music-loving swine to the festival from his home in Batesville, Ark.

    "We went bar hopping last night, and she liked this band the best," Mixon said. "Some of the other bands scared her, but she just loved ColorWill. We saw them at Mollie's. She got right up there and listened to them."

    The festival continues today with gospel music beginning at noon. The headlining act will be the Sitze Family at 4:45 p.m.

    mwells@semissourian.com

    335-6611, extension 160

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