.BottleRock Pops Off in Napa

The biggest music festival in the North Bay is underway as we speak, for its 11th year: BottleRock at the Napa Valley Expo. And from all the social-media slideshows and news reports I’ve seen so far, it looks like it’s popping off pretty hard right now. In an interview with the Bay Area’s local FOX station, one attendee calls it “momchella.” Indeed: Everymom’s favorite rocker, Stevie Nicks, reportedly crushed her set last night, casting what the San Francisco Chronicle called “a nostalgic spell” over the crowd with an hour-and-a-half setlist of Fleetwood Mac hits, some solo stuff and crowd-pleasing covers of rock classics like Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” The set was even more climactic for the fact that her first two scheduled BottleRock appearances, in 2020 and 2021, never happened because of COVID. Other big artists who laid it all out on the stage last night: Meghan Thee Stallion, Nelly, St. Vincent and Bebe Rexha. Tonight’s acts will include Pearl Jam, Mana, Kali Uchis, My Morning Jacket and the Kid Laroi; and tomorrow, we’ve got Ed Sheeran, Queens of the Stone Age, Norah Jones, the Offspring and more. But Bottlerock isn’t just a music festival. Almost more of a draw than the procession of rockstars is the lineup of food and drinks — which makes sense, considering we live in wine-and-food country. First, there are the 80-plus food vendors serving crazy stuff like lobster tots and caviar hot dogs — turning the expo grounds into a Mecca for the trashy-meets-classy food trend. Wine-wise, the festival seriously upped its game this year, the Chronicle reports, with “a handful of small, premium Napa wineries… added to the typically lackluster roster.” There’s also this whole culinary performance type stage at the festival, run by Williams Sonoma, where BottleRock musicians and other celebs josh around with famous chefs; stir big vats of things; hawk their own food and wine brands; and engage in other variety show-style stunts that would make the Michelin crowd blush. For some reason, everyone can’t stop talking about Cameron Diaz’ appearance on this foodie stage yesterday, where she danced in all denim and sipped a glass of her own organic wine. But the highlight, according to the Chronicle, was “the day’s final pairing, which featured celebrity Bay Area chef Tyler Florence and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in a theatrical open-fire cooking demonstration of tomahawk steaks — featuring an unhinged cameo from Neil Patrick Harris — that rivaled the excitement of a rock concert’s pyrotechnic show. The standout moment came when Mayclem handed Lee a pair of bones, leading to the rock legend delivering an unforgettable drum solo on a specially built drum kit.” You can’t make this stuff up! Last BottleRock update of note: The Napa Valley Register is reporting that three of the yachts used to transport attendees into the festival from Vallejo via the Napa River — an attempt at “avoiding the occasionally treacherous and often stressful traffic and parking issues” at BottleRock — became ensnarled “in a different sort of jam when the drawbridge at the Mare Island Causeway Bridge in Vallejo” got stuck in the down position, leaving the yacht riders “idling just out of sight of the fun and music.” Thus adding a small sprinkle of Fyre Festival-esque *fail hype* to the 2024 event. Genius… (Source: Bohemian & BottleRock & KTVU & Daily Mail & Press Democrat & Napa Valley Register & SF Chronicle & SF Chronicle & Marin Independent Journal)


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