September 20, 2002
Fort Worth, TX
|This was the innaugural Texas Music Festival. Two days, two stages,
held outdoors at the Ft. Worth Rail Market on the edge of downtown. Tickets were
advertised as $15 advance, $20 gate. Buying my $20 ticket at the gate, I'm charged a
$2 service charge. Now, consider, there's no reserved seating, no computers
generating the tickets, just a woman picking up a ticket off a stack and handing it to me.
It's as if you bought a 50¢ newspaper at the newsstand and got hit for a 10¢ fee.
So my first thought as I walked in was to write an angry letter to the organizers.
My second thought was that I probably shouldn't bother, as this would be a one-year festival. Where was everyone? The Flatlanders started playing to a crowd of fifty - it grew to a couple of hundred by the end of the set. Jimmie Vaughan played to about two hundred, and Live's audience was between 500 and 1000. Whuile you never know what the organizers expect to draw, the fact that I didn't see a line all night, for food, for beverage, or for port-o-let indicates that I think they'd hoped for more.
I enjoyed the Flatlanders set a lot. I'd seen Joe Ely before, but never the three together. They complement each other well, and truly seemed to be having a good time up there. Most of the small crowd seemed to be avid fans, calling out requests, singing along, and having a good old time.
After that set, it was time for a bite to eat. I skipped the booths selling the usual "festival" food, and instead went inside the Rail market, where I got a very tasty catfish po boy from the fishmonger shop. By the way, the fest booths all took cash, instead of the annoying ticket scheme. Beer was $3. Fest sodas were $2.50, but only a buck from the shops inside.
Jimmie Vaughan disappointed me. I've seen Jimmy a few times before, both when he's "on" and when he's not, and I'd have to put this set into the latter. Not that it wasn't a good show, and I did enjoy it, but Jimmy just didn't seem to be too into it. I don't know if it was the sparse crowd, or just an off night, but the passion that I've seen him have at some other shows was missing. Lou Ann Barton sat in for part of the set, sounding good but looking unhappy, as always.
|Jimmie Dale Gilmore
|Lou Ann Barton joins Jimmy
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Photos copyright © 2002 by Swag