The heat of the day became exhausting, but when you’re out listening to the live jams of the day, who really cares. Rock the Garden returned to its home at The Walker Art Center’s Sculpture Garden after having moved to Boom Island river front last year due to construction.
With its signature two stages, many talents, and a garden filled with festivities, the sold out concert kept attendees busy. The Garden Stage hosted the young 20-somethings, while the main stage rocked the night away with the grown folks.
Benjamin Booker, a soulful 28-year-old singer who grew up in Florida and was born in Virginia, had much of the crowd dancing around at the Main Stage. “Since 2012 we’ve been performing so we’re pretty new at this,” he told the MSR. “Minneapolis has always been nice to us with the radio station The Current playing us.”
Booker and his band toured Europe, Japan and Australia with their first album self-titled in 2014. After releasing the second studio album, Witness, on June 2, 2017, he and the band just started touring again.
When asked his favorite city in the U.S. to perform in, Booker replied, “Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington D.C. Because of The Current, we usually have fun shows [in Minneapolis]; people know the songs so it’s fun to play.” Benjamin Booker currently lives in California.
At the Garden Stage, the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture cooled the crowd off from the smoldering heat, blowing water in what little wind the day gave. Dwynell Roland and his crew ran around the stage rapping hip hop lyrics with a DJ.
The MSR was able to catch up to Roland and his crew before the festivities. “We’re more like a collective than an actual group,” said Roland. He also said he played “the whole west coast,” when asked what other states he performed in.
The crowd seemed anxious to get over to the Garden Stage where the punk rock band Bruise Violet stomped around while singing and screaming lyrics from their 2015 release Survival of the Prettiest.
The highlight of the day was when the legendary group The Revolution, the late Prince’s former band, took over the Main Stage singing well known and patriotic songs with spunk. The crowd was bopping, dancing, clapping and singing along to songs of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
As in previous years, the lineup for next year will not be announced until a month or so before the concert.
Jonika Stowes welcomes readers’ responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.