The second day of Innings Festival Tampa on Sunday, March 20th was off to a start. As the gates opened, crowds poured in with blankets and chairs to grab their spots before the performances began. Opening up the second day was folk rock musician Liz Cooper from Nashville, Tennessee on Home Plate. With a small crowd already forming, Cooper started things off with the folky style that would carry out for the rest of the day.
Following Liz Cooper was the All-Star Baseball Jam hosted by MLB pitcher Jake Peavy on Right Field. Accompanied by Ryan Dempster, Bronson Arroyo, and several other MLB All-Stars, the former players got together for one big jam to have fun and hangout with baseball fans from around the country.
Back over on Home Plate, pop rock band Neon Trees was starting their set, with a crowd of young adults who grew up on their music began to gather around. As lead vocalist Tyler Glenn emerged, he shouted out to the crowd, “Is it okay if I say gay?” remarking on the recent Florida law, as the crowd erupted into cheers of support. The band opened up with “Moving In The Dark” from 2012’s Picture Show and “Animal” from 2010’s Habits. As they sang along, a group of teenagers sang right along with them, getting the attention of Glenn as he ran over to the side of the stage right in front of them, singing with them and waving. Flashing a toothy grin at the cameras, Glenn bounced around the stage for the remainder of their set, before closing out with “Everybody Talks” from Picture Show.
As the crowd cleared out after Neon Trees, fans began to move over to Right Field for Skip Marley. As the grandson of legendary Bob Marley, Skip Marley was following right in his grandfather’s footsteps. Marley grooved out on the stage alongside his band, as a familiar scent filled the air. Fans began to dance and sway together to the music, while fans further back lounged out on their blankets and bobbed their heads to the music while they laid out in the Florida sunshine.
Switching back to Home Plate, the screen was lit up for the arrival of Of A Revolution, better known as O.A.R. As the band appeared, lead vocalist Marc Roberge strummed casually on his guitar, as fan shouted out. Roberge and guitarist Richard On danced around back and forth, flashing looks to each other and enjoying their time on stage, not long before fellow band member Jerry DePizzo came out strong for a solo on his saxophone.
As O.A.R. closed out their set, another legendary rock band was ready to go over on Right Field. Formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York, the Goo Goo Dolls had made their way to Tampa. Still donning the same long hair as when they formed, frontman John Rzeznik came out onto the stage to the screams and shouts of fans of all ages. With a full hour set, the band knocked out all of their hits for the crowd, before closing out with their top hit single “Iris” from 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl.
As the sun began to set, a golden glow was blanketed across the main stage as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats began their set. With his yellow cowboy hat, black jacket, and golden brown guitar, Rateliff and his band got straight to the show, with no introductions needed. The band opened with “The Future” from their most recent album of the same name from last year, with Rateliff raising his guitar in the air as he played during the bridge. With the folksy tunes ringing out into the evening sun, the whole crowd got up on their feet and began to dance, with a small dance circle happening in the middle of the grounds. The band closed out their set with “S.O.B.” from their 2015 self-titled album and “Love Don’t” from Future, as the sun began to finally set right before the second to last act.
As the sun descended behind the horizon, the dark of the night was ready to be lit up by psychedelic rock band Khruangbin. With funky outfits and the light show to match, the three-piece emerged on stage as they calmly and coolly moved across the stage as the atmospheric melodies rang out. From the front of the pit to the opposite side of the festival, all attendees were swaying and grooving to the music, winding down for the final act of the night.
As Khruangbin cleared off the stage, the final headliner of the weekend was ready to close out the festival. American folk rock band The Lumineers were the final headliner of the weekend, with a nearly sold-out crowd already formed around the main stage. The band gained international acclaim from the release of their single “Ho Hey” from their 2012 self-titled album, with the album reaching number one on the Billboard 200, and later their second album Cleopatra (QRO review) in 2016 taking the slot for number one.
As the band emerged onto the stage, front man Wesley Schultz greeted the crowd right before the band started into “BRIGHTSIDE” from the most recent album of the same name. Following “BRIGHTSIDE”, the band started into “Cleopatra” as the crowd exploded into cheers. And, with a surprise and the sheer excitement of the crowd, the band did back to back hits with “Ho Hey” following right behind. As the band started into the song, the entire crowd sang along as each musician moved to the front of the stage side by side, playing with a heightened energy as they let the crowd sing out the chorus. As their set went on, attendees in the far back had stood up from their lounged blankets, swaying and singing together for the rest of the night. As the band started “Ophelia” from Cleopatra album as both VIP and general admission sections clapped and cheered. The band finally closed with “Stubborn Love” from their most recent record, III (QRO review), before bidding goodbye to their Tampa fans.
As the gates opened to let everyone out, the first year of Innings Festival in Tampa was nothing less than a success as the nearly twenty thousand fans poured out of the festival grounds, heading back to their cars and rides, back to rest before the week started up.