Monday, August 4, 2008

Ribs N’ Soul Festival at Hart Plaza

The Ribs and Soul Festival. Now this was a great, free festival in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza. It was all weekend, Friday through Sunday, mostly R&B performances. But, on Saturday, there was a house music stage at the pyramid stage near the river (see my earlier posts from May on Hart Plaza layout). The food was great – ribs. And there was a great turnout, especially in the evening on Saturday. But the name of this festival, I have to say, is pretty funny – Ribs and Soul. Ribs are good, lots of Detroit restaurants had their smokers down at the plaza and the food was excellent. Clearly the music had soul, it was soul music! But a whole festival called Ribs and Soul…what if there was a Tofu and Yoga festival that was so awesome it took over Hart Plaza, whoo hoo! Or maybe a Granola and Hiking festival, or a Taco and Mariachi festival. I know, I'm just kidding. Ribs and Soul, I get it, clearly a lot of people got it because come Saturday night, it was packed.

Headed down to Hart Plaza with my family early Saturday afternoon to check out the river walk, the fountain that you can walk through (kids loved that). We ate some great food and got to hear Rick Wilhite play, even though I didn't know it was him because we got food before walking over to check out the DJs. We could hear the music and it was good – of course, it was Rick. Then Reggie Hotmix Harrell went on and we headed over to the pyramid stage to listen. The baby had waxy earplugs and didn't mind a bit. My older two climbed on the railing to look out over the river and watch the boats, and then found the pyramid to climb and ride their scooters around, so they had some fun and weren't just board kids waiting for Mama. Got to see Rick Wilhite and then Minx. Music was banging – I'm beginning to really understand why people label their music the way they do. Minx describes her music as deep house – and it is a really good descriptive phrase for what she does, it is house, with all its funkiness and beautiful vocals, and the beats are DEEP! Just like the Bangtech 12 crew – it is banging techno, perfect description for it. Its definitely important to explore these definitions and descriptions further, but for right now, for some DJs, I am beginning to understand what these labels sometimes mean. But these genre terms and descriptions are definitely not absolute concepts that apply for all DJs and all performances of electronic music.

After the kids were truly done with the music, we headed back down the river walk, through the fountain and into the car to go home. After dinner and FINALLY getting the kids to bed, I was back out again to pick up my good buddy WhoDat and go back down to the festival. We parked downtown and had a nice walk through the city to get to Hart Plaza. It was packed, it was filled like it was for the Movement festival, but this time, it was mainly Black people.

Okay, the sweat is pooling and I have to leave the computer for the night. More tomorrow.



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