The fourth annual Moon River Festival took place this past weekend at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, TN. The two-day festival under the bridge was sold out and so successful that there were even people lined up on the bridge to get a glimpse. Everyone left the weekend with huge smiles, albeit exhausted. Here are some highlights we captured at the festival:
Renaissance Marching Band
Sunny Saturday started with a high energy performance by the Renaissance Marching Band on the main stage. Although their set was cut short due to delays, they definitely set the tone for the rest of the festival and got everyone dancing.
Allison russell wowed the crowd with his wonderful voice and banjo playing. It was such a nice intimate performance to help start the day. Playing songs from his new album ‘Outdoor child‘Russell blackmailed old and new fans alike. If you weren’t a fan at the start of the set, you definitely left the crowd downloading their music.
A highly anticipated act was Chattanooga-local Amythyst Kiah. The festival-goers had a soft spot for those from East Tennessee, and definitely showed their support during this set. His self-proclaimed âsad songsâ and powerful voice echoed throughout the park and could be heard even above the screams of the crowd.
A remarkable performance from day one was Overcoats, a pop duo from New York. The duo looked like they were having fun on stage, and it was extremely contagious. They played songs from their first album ‘YOUNG‘, as well as some glimpses of unpublished work to be hoped for.
Shovels And Rope
Husband and wife duo, Shovels and rope, attracted many fans to the main stage. Their catchy folk sound and independent tunes were almost impossible not to dance. You can see the passion they have playing by the smiles on their faces during the time.
This quartet from North Carolina brought a unique blend of modern and traditional string orchestral sounds. Mipso combines guitar, bass, violin and drums and it’s an amazing live experience. They played songs such as “Let in some light” and “Your body” and looked like they had a great time playing.
Seahorse perhaps brought the biggest fan base with them to Chattanooga. Many fans have waited on the main stage all day just to get a closer look at their set. The Minnesota-born band opened with tunes from their new album ‘Good dog, bad dream‘as well as classics from their album’Bambi‘. Fans rocked the barricade as they blasted with their favorite tunes. The band promised the festival’s WIFI password if the crowd sang a song, then played an upcoming unreleased single.
Just as the sun was starting to set under the bridge, Aces played an incredible golden hour set to fans who ran from Seahorse‘on the main stage. This group of ladies have an impossible amount of enthusiasm and energy on stage, and they completely wowed the crowd. Their indie pop tunes are about things like their personal struggles being gay in a small town, and it really resonated with many fans. This emotional performance was truly something to see.
Diving in the lake street
Inspired by classic rock and 70s gold Diving in the lake street was to be seen on the main stage. The quintet all have different musical influences and blend together to create a sound that is both retro and contemporary. This band is the epitome of love for what you do, as none of the members lost the smiles on their faces the entire hour they played.
Californian folk rock band Dawes played the first performance after sunset on the first day. Their heavy bass and keyboard songs were perfect for a night out at the festival. It was a great way to wind down at the end of the night.
The first day was closed by an indie rock band from Michigan. Lord Huron. The set design was beautiful and the fans were excited as they waited for the band to take the stage. It was an incredible final performance of the day. The band played hits such as “At night we met “and”Meet me in the woodsMany passers-by piled onto the bridge to catch a glimpse of what lit up the dark night.
The second day started with an enthusiastic act The Seratones on the main stage. This performance definitely brought serotonin (or Seratone-in?) To the entire watching crowd. Their soulful sound came straight from Louisiana to excite the Chattanooga crowd for the final day.
Another big act was American Aquarium, which brought a unique blend of country and alternative music to the scene. Many longtime fans have come forward to support this set.
When his mic was accidentally cut off, Molly tuttle left the crowd speechless with his seemingly effortless guitar skills. Her independent singer / songwriter sound is completely enhanced by her impressive acoustic guitar riffs. The crowd chanted until her mic came back on and she was also able to woo the crowd with her voice.
A highlight of the weekend was National parks, a Utah-based folk pop group. The four members are extremely good with their respective instruments, it is difficult to choose who to watch. The members have such amazing chemistry together as they performed on their flower covered stage to welcome their new album ‘Wild flower‘.
Duo born in Atlanta Indigo girls have been playing and writing music together since 1989. However, they haven’t lost a bit of their energy. Many longtime fans were among the crowd and were happy to see them perform on stage again after the pandemic.
Maddison Cunningham is a jack of all trades as she writes / sings her own songs in addition to being the lead guitarist. his jazzy folk-rock tunes were absolutely magnificent. Cunningham played songs such as “Pin it Down” and “Song in My Head”. It was a cool set during the heat of the day.
Medicine of the old raven
If you are looking to dance and sing and smile until your cheeks ache, a Medicine of the old raven is the one for you. The band came out raving about the return of live music to East Tennessee and feeling like it was like a dream. They then performed classics as their hit song “Wagon wheelâAnd high kick around the stage. You could hear the cheering crowd from all over the park.
PIECE OF MONEY
A fan favorite performance was the local indie-pop group from Tennessee PIECE OF MONEY. Their interaction with the crowd is unmatched and many fans have had tears down their faces in excitement. They mentioned that it had been a while since they last performed, but you would think they haven’t missed a show. The energy of songs like “I don’t wanna dance” and ‘Crash my carechoed throughout the festival grounds.
Drew Holcomb and the neighbors
One of the most anticipated acts of the festival was festival creator Drew Holcomb and his band. Many festival-goers buy tickets just to see his performance. His wife,Ellie Holcomb, was also there to celebrate his birthday and she went out to sing with him. The Memphis Americana group was just one of the best bands at the festival.
American rock group Dr Dog stopped by the festival as a point in their last tour. The band recorded their first album in 2001 and have been playing together ever since. Even though they weren’t on the main stage, they drew a crowd that covered most of the park. Fans were thrilled to hear songs such as their recently resurfaced. “Where has all the time been? “. Their set was a great way to start closing this amazing weekend.
Last but not least was the headlining alternative rock band Wilco. Being formed in 1994, the crowd featured very longtime fans. An enthusiastic fan held up a sign saying she had waited 20 years to see them live. They didn’t disappoint, playing songs spanning their entire discography. Their brilliant performance lit up dark Chattanooga on Sunday night and closed the highly successful comeback of Moon river festival.
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