This past Sunday was the final day of BottleRock Napa Valley 2018. However, can we just all agree to call it Bruno Mars day? Or, Bruno Mars-Rock Napa Valley 2018 (name pending)? I think we can all agree that he absolutely shut down the festival and was the perfect ending to the 3-day show.
Fellow TYF writer, Camille Espiritu, attended the previous day but we both had very different but also similar experiences. Sunday kicked off without a hitch when it came to entering the festival versus Saturday’s fiasco of police activity! Upon entering, we noticed there were people in nearly every area of the festival from the spa (yes, there was an actual spa inside a music festival) to cooling off in the wine garden to dancing in the heat at the silent disco. There was something to do for any kind of concertgoer it just all depends on what you felt like doing.
The first act that we caught was New Politics who performed on the Midway Stage. (Protip: the perfect spot to grab some wine in the middle of the day. There were absolutely no lines whatsoever.) The trio, Danish-born, David Boyd [lead vocals, guitar] and Søren Hansen [bass, guitar, keys, vocals], as well as NY native Louis Vecchio [drums], played a one-hour set in front of a pretty decent crowd considering the other acts who were up at the same exact time. No love for “Harlem” this time around but they did play “Tonight You’re Perfect.” It was a good reminder for us at TYF to check out their latest music since we were mindlessly jamming out to a few of the new ones.
BottleRock is about ⅓ music while another third of it goes to the food. So, we hit up the William Sonoma Culinary Stage to catch Trisha Yearwood & Harlem Globetrotters make some playoff treats in honor of the NBA playoffs. To our surprise, it was a packed crowd reaching nearly to the food trucks located about half a football field from the stage. Looks like we’re not the only ones a fan of Trisha Yearwood who’s known to belt out hits from “She’s in Love with the Boy” to “How Do I Live.” It kind of was a hard sell to believe Yearwood made BFFs with the Harlem Globetrotters but hey, they did make one hell of an act together!
If you wanted a “good” place for Bruno, set up camp to mark your territory started as soon as the festival doors open. For us, that was around 5 pm. But, that isn’t to say we skipped out listening to Halsey. We were there as she performed in front of a growing audience awaiting for show’s main headliner. While we did think G-Eazy would make a surprise appearance (he’s been known to pop up here and there) he was a no-show this time around. But Halsey didn’t need him anyways. She held her own singing all her new tracks from hopeless fountain kingdom to even oldies off Badlands.
Arriving a little late to the stage, Bruno Mars made up for it in the remainder of his hour-long set with hit after hit. There was absolutely no one just standing still. We even overheard another audience member screaming, “I forgot all about this!” or “He doesn’t have ONE bad song!” It was insane. From the lights to the amazingly talented fellow bandmates, there wasn’t just one thing to look at all night long. The whole show was like a damn optical illusion. The only one critique we could possibly even think of is we wish he played “The Lazy Song.”
Overall, BottleRock delivered for Sunday night. I can’t vouch for the other days but if Sunday was any indication for the previous days, Napa did well! If you’re looking for a festival that’s laidback, not too crazy with lines (shout out to the option to prepay for items), and good energy, this is one for you. We’re not sure how they can top next year (Beyonce, maybe?) but we can’t wait and see.