Boulevardia is a city within a city, full of citizens celebrating the wonders of Boulevard Beer, artisab goods, food trucks, and music at every turn. Walking into the festival it's easy to feel the magic and leave all your cares aside. At Boulevardia you can feel all the home town love from the beer, local art makes and food, and lots of amazing local bands. Boulevardia holds an extra special place in I Love KC Music's heart as it is the place that gave the final spark to start this blog two years ago. Night one of the festival was a blast. I Love KC Music saw Radkey, Eems, Manchester Orchestra, Kansas City Bear Fighters, Lee Fields & The Expressions, and Tech N9ne.
Radkey took the stage with a fiery passion that lit up the crowd with their energy. Seeing them on stage is seeing an unstoppable trio. Their music is classic rock with a twist; they've infused gritty rockabilly and punk in the mix making the sound distinctive. As I glanced around the crowd I saw lots of smiles and some dancing too. What a great start to the weekend.
Over on the Vineborough acoustic stage I found Eems playing. Eems had the audience captivated with the building energy of his live loops and his amazing voice. He caught a few new fans by surprise with his drum line.
On the way over the main stage Miquela and I found people having fun at the silent disco.
As I drew closer to the main stage I could feel a building energy in the crowd the closer I got to the stage. As Manchester Orchestra played you could hear the crowd singing along fueling the band's energy. You could feel the emotion of the songs sparking the heat in the air as they played. They didn't let the heat stop them from going all out.
Back on the Vineborough Stage I caught quirky, energetic Kansas City Bear Fighters fighting a bear on stage and playing some fun roots music.
Lee Fields & The Expressions brought the soul and jazz vibes for the night. There was a triumphant joy weaving through the crowd as Fields took the stage in his shinning red suit. This set was all heart and the crowd was into it.
By the end of the night two things were clear; Kansas City loves Boulevard and they really love Tech N9ne. Making my way from Lee Fields to the photo pit I walked through a sea of wall to wall people about the equivalent of several city blocks long pulsing with excitment. Tech N9ne came out on stage from a dome that spun around revealing an energetic Tech. The crowd went wild. Despite having spent a day in the hot sun, the energy in the crowd was unreal, it was so big it was like you could reach out and touch the energy. Tech N9ne had the crowd going crazy, bouncing and singing along to each song.