As the second annual Groove in the Garden festival commenced, attendees emerged from Raleigh’s city oak woods caring coolers and lawn chairs, ready to rock ‘n’ roll in the summer heat. Put on by Younger Brother Productions and The Pour House, the day-long event was held at Raleigh Rose Garden and Stephenson Amphitheater at Raleigh Little Theatre, which provided a quintessential space for local food trucks, vendors, and live music from the area and beyond.
In the earlier hours, most of the attendees were North Carolina’s late 70s and early 80s rock fans, eager to see the reunion of the once popular group, The Fabulous Knobs, after 27 years. The band came out embracing every individual member’s style, full of confidence, and ready to rock out. Everyone welcomed the piercing humidity, with a beer in his or her hands, jamming through nostalgic memories of the good days when the band toured up and down the East Coast in an orange box truck nicknamed “The Big O.”
Visitors quenched their thirst from a variety of beer from Foothills Brewing Company while strolling through the Rose Garden, looking at the diverse local vendors like WKNC 88.1, Dink Design, Cirque de Vol, Recycled Art, The Produce Box, and much more. While browsing through the vendors, acoustical performances could be heard through the rose garden on a side stage. These acoustic sets allowed no musical breaks between the main stage sets, which was a new addition from the first year. Families picnicked in the mid-afternoon sun; toddlers ran around entertained by large bubbles, hula hoops, and balloons, and dogs cooled off in an inflatable pool. A dunk tank, also new this year, raised money for Interfaith Food Shuttle, a hunger-relief organization serving seven counties in and around the Triangle. On the other side of the grounds, a mixed variety of food trucks provided substance throughout the day and into the night.
As the blazing sun started to settle and the sky crimsoned, Holy Ghost Tent Revival put on an exhilarating show that uplifted the audience with their unique sound of classic rock, horns, and soul. Inflowential followed, spitting flow with live instrumentals and a human beatboxer instead of drums. Matthew E. White proceeded with an introspective, soulful, and lyrically profound performance that had the crowd passionately grooving. Hammer No More the Fingers, a three-piece indie-like rock band from Durham with a unique edgy sound, gripping lyrics, shredding guitar riffs, and melodies ended the Raleigh family oriented festival until next year.
Raleigh Little Theater’s Stephenson Amphitheatre Stage Lineup: Hammer No More The Fingers, Matthew E. White, Inflowential, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Skylar Gudasz, The Fabulous Knobs, Some Army
Rose Garden Stage Lineup: Debonzo Brothers, Matt Phillips, Christiane, Pinto, Ellis Dyson, Andrew Kasab