Downtown Macon got a serious case of the blues when the third annual Blues Festival came to town Saturday, March 5.
The festival, named The Blues is Alright Tour, was held at the Macon Centerplex and combined the best of old school sounds and new school blues. The event was catered to an over 18 audience and brought out a range of cultures.
The show kicked off at 7 p.m. with a soulful band playing traditional blues. The music was a slow tempo compared to the rest of the evening, but it helped set the mood for the sounds to come.
As the first band played, the audience slowly poured in, and by the time the next set took the stage, the floor area was almost packed. The second act featured piano playing that rivaled that of John Hermann from Widespread Panic and a lead guitar that seem to sing to on its own.
Although not many people were dancing, it was hard to not tap your toes to the beats and get lost in the smooth vocals. One audience member said she loved the music because it was “sexy.”
The second set had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing along and featured female talent with a powerful voice. The music mixed traditional blues sound with remixes of today’s R&B songs like “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan.
Between the sets, event promoters keep the crowed hyped up by offering hors’devours to the audience in the floor seats and having a group of dancers showing their talents on stage.
Royces Foreman, also known as DJ RollsRoyce, took the opportunity to promote her business Roycevents & Sounds. She offered the crowd a chance to participate in a pre-show event that would give ticket holders a social hour with live music and dancing before their entertainment begins. Roycevents & Sounds up graded a lucky couple’s seats to front row for free.
Foreman said she wants to help entertainers by getting the crowd ready to enjoy their event beforehand. “We want entertainers to stay, hang out with us and talk to us because they are in our city,” Foreman said.
The night wasn’t filled only with sultry music, but also comedy. Although the comedy was very crude, the audience seemed to be in the right state of mind to enjoy it. They may have found it funny, but the comedy seemed to be competing with the blues and took away the chilled atmosphere created by the music.
The festival overall was a great way to pay respect to the blues, and being in the audience, you could feel all the elements that make the blues so powerful. “Tonight has the right atmosphere with the blues playing while the rain is coming down,” said Foreman. “If only it was a Monday, then it would be perfect.”