If you follow Sonoma Magazine on Instagram, you probably saw Estefany Gonzalez, our music and arts reporter and photographer, buzzing around the 2017 BottleRock Napa Valley Festival this weekend snapping photos, meeting up with bands, and exploring the festivities and fashion on the festival grounds. Here’s Estefany’s top five highlights from this year’s BottleRock – and the one thing she regrets she missed:
My Biggest Regret: Missing Foo Fighters Secret Set
I’m sorry to say that most of this year’s BottleRock attendees – including myself – missed the biggest BottleRock festival happening to date. I’m referring to the Foo Fighters’ secret and intimate two-hour set at the Blue Note in downtown Napa on May 26.
As someone who openly confessed that I wouldn’t be stopping by any of the BottleRock after shows, I mentally kicked myself as I sat at the very back of the Jam Cellars stage on Sunday night watching the Foo Fighters play. It was almost incredible to imagine that the same band I saw so many people watch on LED concert screens from the culinary stage still would play a venue smaller than the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa. I made a mental note for myself to stick around for more after shows next year.
Martha Stewart Cooking with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The culinary stage at BottleRock Napa undoubtedly served up quite a few surprises. This year’s most exciting celebrity fusion was the Martha Stewart, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis mashup, which resulted in fans fighting over a piece of chicken Macklemore threw at the crowd. I couldn’t help but laugh when Macklemore mentioned this later on the Jam Cellars stage, before he played “Thrift Shop,” saying he was now friends with Stewart, even though she told him he couldn’t cook but he sure could dress well…
The Ayesha Curry Drake Parody
… Oh, and then there was that moment when Ayesha Curry rapped to a Drake parody on the culinary stage, alongside hype man E-40 and husband Stephen Curry.
Getting Intimate at the JamPad Sessions
Another highlight this year was the number of pop-up “JaMSessions” at the JamPad.
This particular stage (if you could really call it a “stage;” there was no clear divider between the floor and the performance area) offered short acoustic song sets from a number of musicians. It provided a closer and more intimate setting than the large stages most of these artists played earlier in the day.
Con Brio, Judah & the Lion, and Gnash were some of the artists who played this close-knit stage.
When I first heard about the silent disco, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I mean, Tom Petty was playing the main stage when Outkast’s Big Boi and The White Panda kicked off Saturday’s silent dance party. After the loss of so many musical legends last year, was I really going to miss some of Tom Petty’s set?
Well, I did and let me tell you, I have no regrets. This was, after all, America’s largest silent disco that shattered the previous American record of 3500 headphones, with 5000 participants. Sure, I thought I’d look a little silly dancing around to no sound (at least that’s what it looked like to the people exiting the festival at this point) but once I saw everyone around me cutting loose I couldn’t help but join in.