August 11, I rode into the Buffalo Chip and set up my tent. Hours before the Thunder Music Festival began I parked my Nomad near center at the Buffalo Chip Wolfman Jack memorial stage. Jeff Bridges came on stage to tune up and do sound checks. Actually he did complete songs and asked the few of us “early birds” if he should include this song or that in tonight‘s concert, and we gave him a thumbs up.
When the concert started, Jeff Bridges and his band impressed me a lot. He was better live than in his movie Crazy Heart. Jeff is a REAL person in a good way.
Then Stevie Nicks came on and wow!!! Stevie Nicks is a longtime supporter of returning vets. Her new CD, "In Your Dreams," includes her original song "Soldiers Angel" which she was inspired to write following her many visits to Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda Medical Center. Stevie performed the song at the Festival and it was one of many highlights of this historic show.
My cheap cel phone camera can’t do night pictures so you will have to imagine this. When Stevie started singing "Soldiers Angel" a dramatic song, our intense South Dakota weather became part of the show. A storm blew in with lightning and strong wind gusts. The huge backdrop of the stage broke loose and went horizontal out the back of the stage. The stage hands rushed to get control of it. Stevies long hair and flowing costume went horizontal and without skipping a beat she performed the song as if these were special effects she rehearsed with. Believe me, these were God’s special effects and not man made. It is a very dramatic song and this was an awesome performance. The huge audience went crazy with delight.
Then without complaint or comment Stevie went on with the rest of her set even though some of her band was concerned for safety. I mean the heavy stage lights and rigging were swinging back and forth in the wind gusts and wind driven dirt flying in her face, but she just kept putting out her strong vocals.
After Stevie finished her set, the wind subsided, then John Fogerty came out and ROCKED us all night long with a lightning show off in the background. He enjoyed that the audience sang along with him on most of his songs. These are songs that are so much a part of our American culture for the last 40 years. It was a strong performance and his new band is even better than CCR. As Fogerty ROCKED us all night long I realized just how much music he has given us over the years, and he is still going strong.
Yep, just as the festival was over and I rode back to my tent (after midnight) and crawled into my sleeping bag the rain came and lasted all morning. The morning sunrise brought warmth and beauty. As it turned out, the beautiful girl that was dancing in the moonlight nearby during the concert was a tent camping neighbor and was with her relatives. They are good people and we shared stories about family.
Well another day and another experience to remember.
I had the pleasure of watching you perform(first time live) and was hoping the wind didnt blow you off the stage> You were awesome and your voice is so amazing! i never tire of your vocal energy!