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Opening Pitch: Innings Festival Hits a Home Run on Day One

by Shannon Flack February 27, 2024


The first day of Innings Festival in Tempe, AZ, held on February 23, 2024, dawned with a breathtaking Arizona sunrise, casting a golden glow over the festival grounds. Despite whispers among attendees about the possibility of rare Arizona rain dampening the day's events, the weather remained clear and sunny, much to everyone's delight. The crowd was a vibrant tapestry of musical and baseball fandom, with festival-goers donning attire reminiscent of their favorite artists and sporting gear representing their beloved baseball teams. As the music filled the air and the excitement grew palpable, it became evident that this inaugural day of the festival would be nothing short of unforgettable.


Hours before the gates swung open at the Innings Festival in Tempe, AZ, dedicated fans lined up eagerly, determined to secure prime spots for their favorite artists. Some arrived as early as 10 hours before showtime, armed with an unwavering resolve to claim their coveted spots near the stage. These die-hard fans were prepared to stand still for hours, fueled by their passion for the music and the anticipation of seeing their beloved performers up close. Meanwhile, others chose to explore the festival grounds, weaving through the various attractions and stages to discover new artists performing earlier in the day's lineup. Whether stationed steadfastly by the main stage or wandering in search of musical treasures, the spirit of excitement and discovery permeated the air as fans eagerly awaited the start of an unforgettable day at Innings Festival.


Day 1 of the Innings Festival in Tempe, AZ, boasted a stellar lineup headlined by the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers, igniting the stage with their iconic energy and hits. Joining them were other notable acts such as the rock sensation Greta Van Fleet, the beloved Jimmy Eat World, and the dynamic 311, each delivering electrifying performances that resonated throughout the festival grounds. Meanwhile, the baseball element of the festival added an extra layer of excitement, with former MLB stars taking center stage. Ryan Dempster showcased his charismatic charm as he commanded the mic at the Left Field Stage, while Eric Gagne and Brandon Webb tested attendees' pitching prowess at the speed pitch. Over at the batting cages, fans had the thrill of facing off against the likes of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, making for a perfect fusion of music and America's favorite pastime on an unforgettable first day at Innings Festival.



Red Hot Chili Peppers

As the sun dipped low over the desert horizon, casting a warm glow across the sprawling festival grounds of Innings Festival in Tempe, the anticipation reached a fever pitch for the headline act of the night: the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea, with his trademark boundless energy, soared across the stage, captivating the audience with his dynamic basslines. Chad Smith, the maestro behind the drums, kept the rhythm pulsating with precision and power. With John Frusciante's mastery on lead guitar and Anthony Kiedis's unmistakable vocals, the band delivered a spellbinding set despite Kiedis sporting a leg brace, which remarkably didn't hinder his performance in the slightest. As they launched into hits like "Californication," the packed grounds erupted into a chorus of voices, singing along to every word with unbridled enthusiasm. For many fans, witnessing this iconic group in such an intimate setting was a rare treat, especially considering their elusive tour schedule. The performance not only exceeded expectations but also provided an opportunity for more people to experience the magic of the Red Hot Chili Peppers live on stage.



Jimmy Eat World

At the Innings Festival in Tempe, the performance by Jimmy Eat World proved to be a highlight of the event. Despite gracing the smaller of the two stages, the band's presence was larger than life, captivating the audience with their electrifying energy and infectious melodies. As they worked through their setlist, anticipation grew among the crowd for their iconic hit "The Middle," a song that has become synonymous with the band's legacy. Jimmy Eat World strategically saved it for later in the set, ensuring that even as some attendees began to migrate towards the main stage for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance, many still had the opportunity to witness this timeless classic performed live on stage. The band's performance, though on a smaller platform, resonated deeply with fans, showcasing their enduring talent and leaving an indelible mark on the festival experience.



greta Van Fleet

The performance by Greta Van Fleet was nothing short of spectacular. Dressed in outfits and imagery from their Starcatcher World Tour, supporting their album of the same name, the band brought a mesmerizing visual element to their already electrifying stage presence. They seamlessly blended earlier hits like "Highway Tune" with tracks from their latest album, including the rare gem "Runaway Blues," a treat for fans who seldom had the chance to hear it live. However, it was the perennial favorite "Light My Love" that truly stole the show, captivating the entire audience and igniting a joyous sing-along that reverberated throughout the festival grounds. Greta Van Fleet proved once again why they are a must-see act, demonstrating remarkable talent and promise for such a young group, leaving no doubt that their future is as bright as their blazing performances.



Phantogram

The electrifying performance by Phantogram added a unique East Coast flair to the Arizona desert setting. Hailing from New York, the duo injected their signature blend of electronic and indie rock into the festival atmosphere, captivating the audience with their infectious energy. Singer Sarah Barthel commanded the stage with effortless grace, her dynamic presence and vocals drawing the crowd into every beat and lyric. As she ran around the stage, engaging with the audience, the energy surged, creating an unforgettable connection between performers and fans. Phantogram's performance showcased their undeniable talent and leaving a lasting impression on all who were lucky enough to witness it.



311

At Innings Festival in Tempe, 311 delivered a dynamic performance that electrified the audience from start to finish. Unfazed by any challenges, the band brought their trademark energy and enthusiasm to the stage, captivating fans with hits like "Amber." Their seamless fusion of rock, reggae, and rap kept the crowd moving and singing along, showcasing their enduring talent and undeniable stage presence. 311's performance was a beacon of musical excellence, reaffirming their status as one of the most dynamic and enduring bands in the industry.



Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim ignited the stage at Innings Festival with an explosion of unbridled energy that was contagious from the moment they stepped into the spotlight. Against the backdrop of the festival, their performance was a whirlwind of excitement and vibrancy. Behind them, two larger-than-life beach balls, adding an extra layer of fun and whimsy to their already colorful set. The duo's chemistry was palpable as they effortlessly engaged the audience, inviting everyone to join in on the infectious atmosphere they created. Matt & Kim's performance was a celebration of joy and music.



Bully

Bully commanded the stage at Innings Festival with a raw, unapologetic energy that left the audience spellbound. Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno's signature gravelly voice cut through the air with intensity, adding depth and grit to the band's unmistakable rock sound. With each impassioned lyric and thunderous chord, Bully unleashed a sonic onslaught that reverberated throughout the festival grounds, captivating listeners with their unfiltered honesty and raw emotion. Bognanno's distinctive vocal delivery served as the driving force behind the band's electrifying performance.



The BEaches

The Beaches are emerging as a captivating force in the music scene, garnering attention as an up-and-coming group to watch. Hailing from Canada, this quartet of talented women is making waves with their infectious sound and dynamic performances. With a blend of rock, pop, and indie influences, The Beaches deliver music that is both fresh and electrifying, drawing listeners in with catchy hooks and powerhouse vocals. As they continue to carve out their place in the industry, The Beaches stand poised on the brink of greatness, their boundless energy and undeniable talent propelling them toward a promising future on the global stage.



Tapiei Houston

Taipei Houston, a duo comprising two brothers, electrified the festival grounds with their infectious sound, even as attendees were still flowing in. With their undeniable talent and captivating stage presence, they showcased a commanding performance that left a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure of witnessing it. As they continue to tour and gain momentum, Taipei Houston emerges as powerhouses to watch in the music industry, poised to captivate audiences worldwide and earn the recognition they rightfully deserve.



Breakup Shoes

Kicking off the day at Innings Festival, Breakup Shoes set the perfect tone with their infectious melodies. As the first band to take the stage, they wasted no time in captivating the early-rising crowd with their unique blend of indie rock and pop. With each chord and every lyric, Breakup Shoes brought a sense of warmth and excitement to the festival grounds, setting the stage for a day filled with memorable performances. Their dynamic presence and undeniable talent left attendees eagerly anticipating what the rest of the day had in store.

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