Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

What time is it? Not bedtime. Funking out in every way on the Michigan Lottery National Stage, Morris Day and The Time won’t let me go home and go to sleep.

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MD: “Wanna hear another song?”

Crowd: “Yeah!”

MD: “What do you wanna hear?”

Crowd: “Jungle Love!”

From the rooftop of Woody’s Diner in Royal Oak, I could hear their last three songs – The Walk, The Bird, and Jungle Love – aka the only songs I know by Morris Day and the Time. I relished the last act at Arts, Beats and Eats on Monday night.

Even though I wasn’t going into the festival until after 5pm to hear Theory of a Deadman, I rode my bike up earlier in the day and paid $3 for my wristband. After 5pm, the same wristband costs $5. It was crowded and hot. A word of caution to the men not wearing shirts: your tattoos might get sunburned. FYI to the women not wearing shoes: you could step on smoldering cigarette butts and/or spilled beer.

My wristband allowed me the luxury of coming and going from the event. That way, I could eat a sub sandwich at Jimmy John’s on Main St. before seeing the Reefermen on the Budweiser Stage at 8pm. Or more like 8:45pm by the time they actually took the stage.

The Reefermen never disappoint. I danced to a medley of Rolling Stones covers, Paint It Black, Midnight Rambler, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, until the heat got to me. My companions, Doug and Bill, rocked out to the Black Sabbath cover The Wizard. “Black Sabbath is the grandfather of metal,” Doug said. “Just a little metal trivia.”

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Arts Beats Eats

Rockin’ with the Killer Flamingos (credit: Doug D.)

There was absolutely nowhere to sit by the stages and you can’t bring in your own chairs. A blond waitress came outside to tell us beer was $1 inside Woody’s. I hated missing any of the Reefermen’s set, but I had to sit down. FYI to the young lady without underwear in the micro mini skirt walking above me on the steps to the rooftop: my eyes are still bleeding. Our companion Jenna noted, “Underwear is mandatory in public.”

Can I Please Sit Down?

Doug and I also went to Arts, Beats and Eats on Friday night. He parked in my driveway to avoid using the City of Royal Oak’s Official Parking Permit, which you have to display in your car windshield on the street in my neighborhood for four days in order to avoid a $50 fine. Who wants to pay $10-$20 to park their car, then pay $3-$5 to get in? I could see Saving Abel and Theory of a Deadman sitting on the lawn at DTE for $15. Key word: sitting. I could sit at DTE.

We rode our bikes and wound up at the Made in Detroit Stage listening to the Roachmen, comprised of two of the members of the Reefermen; James Wailin on lead vocals, harmonica, tambourine; Bobby East on acoustic electric guitar. They jammed Led Zepplin and a mad cover of the Who’s Pinball Wizard, also performing their signature rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Pride and Joy. The festival used to be free admission when it was in Pontiac. Since we both paid the $5 wristband fee, Doug said, “It took the Roachmen to take our minds off how disgruntled we were.”

Don’t Stop Believing

Aside from the warm temps and humidity, the weather was perfect. Other sights and sounds included helicopters, aerial advertising airplanes, birds, and trains. The Killer Flamingos took to the Ford Focus Stage at 9:30pm to standing room only. They played two songs with a slow moving train behind them. Lead singer Michelle Carravallah did a fun cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. Their encore song was Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I’m believin’ for next year’s Arts, Beats and Eats:

  1. Ride a bike/walk to save on parking fees.
  2. Get your wristband before 5pm. Save $2.
  3. Wear shirts and shoes.
  4. Bring tissues for the dirty port-a-johns.
  5. Put on underwear.

A request to the ABE planning committee: How about booking Hootie and the Blowfish?

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