BottleRock Day One Recap

Although filled with chaos, aching feet, and ringing ears, BottleRock Napa Valley day one was an experience for the record books. 

A deep rasp able to float above the heavy clamor of musicians sharing the stage with her, with the glam of Cher accompanied by the leather pang of Joan Jett; Dorothy is a true heartbreaker, and a smashing way to begin the 2022 festival. 

“We just want you to have a really good time today–and enjoy your life; you only get one!” Dorothy set the mood for BottleRock 2022 with a passionate performance and was able to deliver her midday set with the energy of a 80s glam rocker. 

The second set of the day belonged to Fantastic Negrito; a bluesy oddity who produced his lyrics through soulful vocals and expressive movements. Don’t let his eccentric manner fool you; Fantastic Negrito is more than capable of exhibiting contemplative and vulnerable performances. 

“I’m not who I thought I was but I’m exactly what I need to be,” FN says. 

In Fantastic Negrito, the love of performance must equate the love of music. His relationship to the crowd is half of a whole; from dramatic facial expressions to energetic calls and repeats, Fantastic Negrito kept the audience captivated from beginning to end.

Ground shaking bass and sultry country vocals are a combo hard to beat, especially when being staged by a musician the likes of Marcus King. The griddy third act owned the stage and the chemistry between him and his band allowed for a set of pure organized chaos. The cacophony of horns and guitar was topped off with a guest appearance from Hannah Wicklund, rock vocalist and guitarist, who put on a dynamic cover of Barracuda by Heart. 

After Marcus King and his band left the stage, the audience was met with an eventful set from Indie Rock band, Spoon. The sun, at its peak, was beating down on the patrons of BottleRock and about three songs into the fourth set, an audience member near the barricade passed out. Spoon heedfully stopped the music as the situation was dealt with and their set was up and running again moments after. They continued their Pop-Rock performance as the stage was dominated by bassist and keyboardist, Alex Fischel. Fischel brought an energetic twist to the set with his lively movements and spirited musicianship. Spoon, in true professionalism, was able to bounce back from an unexpected emergency interrupting their scene and deliver a performance that had the whole festival moving along with them. 

By the time the fifth act of the day’s equipment was being set up, the sun had moved just above the horizon and Greta Van Fleet performed in the golden glow of early evening. The Michigan-born rock band brought the house down with a glittering performance of pure rock n’ roll fervor. GVF’s set included long intervals between vocalizations where the band pushed their instruments to the absolute limit. Frontman, Josh Kiszka, reached out to the audience as the band blazed around him, throwing roses into the crowd and frisbeeing his tambourine to anyone dedicated enough to fight for it. Greta Van Fleet brought forth a modern take on rock n’ roll nostalgic glamor that left BottleRock 2022 questioning what act could follow such a performance. 

The act in question was none other than Metallica. The final act of the night elevated the event to a new level–it was time to bring out the big guns. The crowd was immediately frenzied by Metallica’s performance. They elicited a reaction so strong that the field beneath the audience began to shake. The weight of the bass combined with the spirit of the crowd made for the perfect closing performance, a heavy and impassioned performance not for the weak of heart. 

Day one at BottleRock 2022 was energetic and strong, the perfect introduction to a weekend of community, music, and desperate need for a lawn chair.