8th Annual Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa Breaks All-time Attendance Record

Hannah Harber. Gasparilla Music Festival March 10, 2019 - LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly
Hannah Harber. Gasparilla Music Festival March 10, 2019 – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

Gasparilla Music Festival debuted in 2012 and has grown in attendance ever since with this year surpassing 20,000 happy festivalgoers.

Gary Clark Jr. Gasparilla Music Festival March 9 - LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly
Gary Clark Jr. Gasparilla Music Festival March 10, 2019 – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

Gary Clark Jr keeps getting better. As the sun set at the beginning of Gary Clark Jr’s set in Tampa, the stage was readied for him to lay down the gauntlet as a serious artist beyond the role of the traditional guitar hero.

Launching into “Bright Lights, Big City” , Gary Clark Jr. and his band King Zapata (guitar), Johnny Bradley (bass), Johnny Radelat (drums) and Jon Deas (keyboards) treated the masses to a spiritual and musical journey culminating in an inspired rendition of “Come Together” by The Beatles.

Sunday, March 10th Gary Clark Jr stakes his claim as his latest album, This Land, debuts at  #6 on the Billboard charts.

Gary Clark Jr. Gasparilla Music Festival 2019 - copyrighted Scope Weekly
Gary Clark Jr. Gasparilla Music Festival 2019 – photo credit – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

At one point Clark Jr. asked the audience “ Can we play some blues?” as he invited  Lukas Nelson for a version “3 O’Clock Blues,” popularized by B.B. King. Watch video of the collaboration between Nelson and Clark Jr. captured by WardenJune:

Gary Clark Jr., to his credit, delivered a resounding message of unity across all cultural and political boundaries and the audience responded whole-heartedly.

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of Real opened the double bill Sunday evening by proving once and for all that’s he’s no longer Willie’s son but an artist in his own right off the heels of the release of his latest album, Stream, as he heads out to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Music Festival March 14th.

Hannah Harber. Gasparilla Music Festival March 10, 2019 - LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly
Hannah Harber. Gasparilla Music Festival March 10, 2019 – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

Hannah Harber and the Lionhearts performs from her debut album Long Time Coming

The surprise of the festival was Hannah Harber and the Lionhearts who delivered a spirited performance on the Replay Guitar Exchange stage, as they played their debut album, Long Time Coming. Stay tuned for an interview of this upcoming Florida native as well as Joshua Reilly soon.

Hannah told The Scope Weekly, “We’ve been fans of Gasparilla for years, and it was a real treat for us to be on the lineup this year.   It’s truly a remarkable festival, supporting Florida creatives and makers, and benefiting youth music education.   We gave it all we had onstage and we were so grateful to hear The  Avett Brothers, Lukas Nelson, and Gary Clark Jr.”

Lukas Nelson and Keith Allen Sr. Music Program Director Academy Prep Center of Tampa
Lukas Nelson and Keith Allen Sr. Music Program Director Academy Prep Center of Tampa – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly.

Supporting the community

Festivalgoer Matt Dawson told us “The festival far exceeded my expectations bringing a diverse group of talented musicians for the benefit of several good causes. I can’t wait until next year. “  One of the good causes supported by the festival is Academy Prep Center of Tampa, in attendance, was its director of the music program, Keith Allen Sr.

Peter Hayes of BRMC GMF, March 10, 2019, LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly
Peter Hayes of BRMC GMF, March 10, 2019 – LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rouse Tampa festival-goers.

Saturday, March 19th in Tampa the anticipation was palpable as the crowd readied itself to be rocked by Los Angeles-based Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and they were not disappointed. As the trio comprised of Peter Hayes (guitar and vocals), Leah Shapiro (drums)  and Robert Been (bass and guitar, vocals) walked onstage and launched into King of Bones from their latest album, Wrong Creatures; the tone was set.

Tearing into a 14 song set culled from their extensive discography including songs Berlin, Ain’t No Easy Way Out, Took Out A Loan and The Call’s  Let the Day Begin, they left an indelible impression on the Tampa festival goers.

 

BRMC  performing at GMF 2019. LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly
BRMC  performing at GMF 2019 –  LP Farkas for The Scope Weekly

When asked what BRMC hopes to accomplish at the Gasparilla Music Festival, guitarist Peter Hayes told The Scope Weekly It’s a good thing(referencing festivals), it’s a place to corral people. Hopefully, they can find an escape!”

Based upon Saturday’s rousing performance, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club provided an escape from the mundane. Look for BRMC  once they return from Europe touring with Alice in Chains, another legendary rock band, this summer.

GMF see you in 2020 in Tampa. I’ll be there!

This year’s hashtags are #gmf2019  #gmf  #fireitup

All photos are copyrighted Scope Weekly.


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