Sloss Music & Arts Festival (SMAF) recently had their successful, third installment during the weekend of July 15th-16th, 2017 and Concerthopper was there to enjoy every minute of it. This year’s lineup boasted such names as Alabama Shakes, Odesza, Widespread Panic, Sturgill Simpson, Run the Jewels, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Spoon, Phantogram, Tycho, Cherub, Conor Oberst, and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires to name a few. SMAF boasts 41 total bands over 4 stages located throughout the Sloss Furnaces, a National Historical Landmark in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.
Needless to say, this was a mind-blowing weekend that both Ricardo and I got to experience. Since this was my first time attending this festival, I was very excited to see what SMAF was going to bring to the table. Believe me when I say that this is one of the best festivals in the Southern region and should be on your radar in 2018 (July 14 & 15).
Two artists that I saw early on in the day that deserves some recognition were John Moreland and Mike Floss. Moreland is singer-songwriter from Tusla, Oklahoma whose alternative country sounds were quite welcoming during the first day of the festival. Mike Floss, a Nashville native, is a young up-and-coming hip hop MC that definitely derserves a listen. In the days where trap music reigns supreme in the rap world, it is hard to find someone who is not with the status quo. Next up on the agenda was the “Screaming Eagle” Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Conor Oberst, & a little Spoon.
It was great to see Charles Bradley back on stage and looking healthy after his most recent successful cancer treatment. This man has so much energy and sings deep within his soul that you know it’s real. If you have never seeen Charles tear it up on stage, then please check out his upcoming tour dates for a date close to you. Conor Oberst (a.k.a. Bright Eyes) came to play for an excited, group of loyal fans who sang word for word each lyric out his mouth for at least the first three songs. This I can solely testify to as a witness. It was a real honor to get close to the man himself while he performed as I have never seen Conor perform until this day. Spoon was also a band that I had not seen before and was getting the chance to see while doing photography. As soon as they started to play, the crowd was mesmerized as Spoon went through songs from their discography.
Next up on this very stacked Saturday in Birmingham was Run the Jewels (RTJ), Tycho, & Cherub. RTJ is definitely one of the main highlight performances for me during Day 1 of the SMAF. Each time I see them perform, they get more hyped and amped during their set. But then again, the crowd gets more and more wild so that could be evident of feeding off the crowds energy. One of my favorite “jam-tronic” bands is Tycho. After just seeing them during the first weekend of Electric Forest, I was excited to get a second opportunity to do photography just a few weeks later in Birmingham. Cherub played the Shed Stage which was packed to the brim with fans for this performance. The smooth yet funky grooves of Cherub got the crowd moving and dancing to their entire set. Always a great time to be in the crowd at a Cherub show. You never know who you will be dancing next to at the show.
And let us not forget, the legendary Widespread Panic (WSP) closing out this fantastic Day 1 of the Sloss Music & Arts Festival! Last time I saw WSP was in 1994 when they performed with Deadeye Dick and Uncle Mingo and it was for less than $20. Yeah… let that sink in for a minute. This moment was long overdue and what an incredible set list to witness.
- Old Neighborhood
- Chilly Water
- Stop Breakin’ Down Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
- Up All Night
- Porch Song
- Space Wrangler
- You Should Be Glad
- Honky Red (Murray McLauchlan cover)
- Barstools and Dreamers
- Radio Child
- Climb to Safety (Jerry Joesph cover)
We had a fantastic time during Day 1 of the Sloss Music & Arts Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. We want to express our gratitude to Red Mountain Entertainment and Associates and AC Entertainment for allowing Concerthopper.com the opportunity to come to the SMAF. Stay tuned for my Day 2 recap featuring Phantogram, Waka Floka Flame, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sturgill Simpson, and K. Flay.
We all like to stay really, busy at Concerthopper.com so check out what is on our upcoming schedule in 2017. ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2017 on all music related events/festivals such as: Mo Pop Festival, Shabazz Palaces: Live at Terminal West , Pallbearer: Live at The Masquerade, Project Pabst: Atlanta, Arcade Fire: Infinite Content Tour, Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, & Russian Circles: Live at the Fox, Gorillaz: Invade Atlanta, Thievery Corporation: Live at The Tabernacle, Boris: Dear/25th Anniversary Live at The Masquerade, and Hulaween by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram.
Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!