Sunfest Day 4 Rock Highlights - A Dirty Little Secret, a Bad Reputation, and a Semi-Charmed Kind of Life 

Story by Sheldon Robertson  - Reggae Reflection Correspondent
Photos and Feature by Empress K  - Editor at Reggae Reflection

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This Oklahoma pop-punk band has played Sunfest before (back in 2007), and once again they brought a high-energy performance to the festival’s main stage, kicking off their set with the relentlessly upbeat  “Dirty Little Secret”.  The four-man group kept the fun going throughout their set, with lead vocalist Tyson Ritter entering the crowd for “Walk Over Me”,  a track from its latest release, 2012’s Kids In The Streets. As guitarist/keyboardist Nick Wheeler played piano for the group’s big ballad “It Ends Tonight”,  the  massive crowd sang along with its emphatic lyrics. Also well-received was the title track for the band’s 2nd release, 2005’s Move Along.



All American Rejects take the Main Stage

All American Reject Fans Enjoying the show

Joan Jet & the Blackhearts Make Saturday Night Special

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This veteran female rocker that Little Steven calls America’s underrated treasure wasted no time in making Saturday night special.  The title track of 1981’s Bad Reputation got things off to an explosive start, and Joan Jett kept the energy going with “Cherry Bomb” , a song from her pre-Blackhearts group, The Runaways.  With an appearance more youthful  than her fifty-three years, Joan Jett was clad in a black leather outfit covered in studs as she sang, strummed guitar and stomped around the stage. Third song of the set was “Light of Day”, from the 1987 movie of the same name, in which Joan Jett co-starred with Michael J. Fox.


Third Eye Blind Rocks the Final Set

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The final set on the festival’s main stage got off to a heavy start, but eventually this San Francisco band moved into more familiar melodic material. The 1999 hit “Never Let You Go” was rendered in all its pulsating glory, complete with a mysterious-sounding instrumental break. This Sunfest date is technically not part of a tour, as the band is currently back home recording a new album. But earlier in the year, the quartet had played a few dates with fellow festival headliner, reggae artist Matisyahu.

The centerpiece of the band’s set was an extended version of one of its earliest hits, 1997’s radio staple  “Jumper” .  The crowd sang along with the midtempo track’s anti-suicide sentiment, then lead singer Stephan Jenkins’s acoustic guitar gave way to drummer Brad Hargreaves’ much-extended drum coda, complete with triggered vocal samples and other sound effects.



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The set then turned mellow with the acoustic guitar ballads “Slow-Motion” and “Anything”, played solo by Jenkins to fulfill a request. For the encore, the band played “Blinded”, with Jenkins accompanied mostly by piano and guitar arpeggios, then it launched into its biggest hit, 1997’s chartbuster “Semi-Charmed Life”. The group also noted the passing on the previous day of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (AKA MCA) by playing the flute sample that starts off the rap group’s  track “Sure Shot”



Third Eye Blind

Sheldon Robertson is a freelance music writer covering the South Florida music scene for his blog The Music Type (http://themusictype.wordpress.com)

Check the Slideshow for the  Full Gallery of Rock at Sunfest Day 4 - May 5, 2012