Blackberry Smoke/Doobie Brothers (Ribfest - St. Petersburg, FL) - 11/12/16
By: Gail Gerdes
The first thing I can think of, is “Thank You” Northeast Exchange Club and Sonny’s Bar-B-Q for an extraordinary Ribfest 2016! Rockin Ribs – Helping Kids! This has been just an outstanding day of food, fun, and music for this year’s Ribfest in St. Pete.
The hometown band, The Black Honkey’s, kicked off Day 2 of the Ribfest with a bang. Of course, a crowd favorite, the band was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed welcoming in the droves of people flowing into Vinoy Park.
Hailing from Texas, Whisky Myers laid down some serious southern rock. It was the perfect warm up to the mid-day greats, Blackberry Smoke. What can I say about Blackberry Smoke. Unbelievable. They performed countless songs from their repertoire like “Aint got the Blues”, “One Horse Town” and “Good one Coming On”. Charlie Starr introduced a few of their songs from their new CD, “Like an Arrow”….These guys were definitely a crowd favorite and there was a sea of people pushed up to the stage singing along with the band.
The day was warm, spirits were high, the park was getting full. Plenty of cold refreshments and ribs from all over the country. People of all ages were having the time of their lives at Vinoy this afternoon.
Fire and Ice followed the southern rockers with a change of pace. They performed a list of ‘80s pop rock tunes from Journey, Styx and Van Halen to Pat Benatar and Heart, warming up for the amazing Fabulous Thunderbirds. Even though Jimmie Vaughan is no longer part of the band, the guys still belted out the crowd’s favorites like “Tough Enough” and “Here Comes the Night”.
Night had fallen, the park was jammed full of people; all waiting for tonight’s main event: The Doobie Brothers. Let me tell you, AMAZING! These guy were spot-on with more hits that I knew they had. Opening with “Jesus is Just Alright”, they just kept going with “Take me in Your Arms”, “South City Midnight Lady”, Black Water” and so many more.
Everyone was on their feet, singing and cheering. They encored with “China Grove” and “Listen to the Music”, where the entire park was singing a cappella. I must admit, this was one of the best performances that I have seen in this area in a very long time.
As the saying goes, “It aint over, til it’s over”. There’s more tomorrow! One more day of this 3-day festival and will highlight some amazing country artists.