For Musicians

Sadly, I didn’t get to see or hear every band and musician play. However, if I commented about you or otherwise reviewed your band at the Revival, please feel free to use what I’ve written for your own uses including on your websites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, to mention me in your will, etc.

It should be noted that, as much as I love music, I’m not a professional music reviewer. Please take what I’ve written as nothing but high praise.

If you’d like me to update any links or pictures, or if I’ve got something terrible wrong, please let me know and I’ll do so as quickly as I can.

Thanks, John!

Day One, Way Back in January

11041810_465209700299222_7076997242243710405_nThe first I ever heard of the Roots of the Rocks Revival music festival was in the early days of 2015, mere months before it would unfold in all its madness, glory, and greatness atop the high peaks of the Tusher Mountains east of Beaver, UT.

Now, before you start thinking bad things about me for not knowing about this festival, bear in mind I’ve been a genuine fan of heavy metal music for roughly 45 of my 50 years. I’ve only recently made the migration your direction. Make no mistake, I’m hooked but admittedly new.

I had dropped in to visit my friend Robby Reynolds III (Sly and Naz-T; You Topple Over), who was staying in the home of Gigi Love and Peter Nicholson (Gigi Love and the Mystics), and standing in the kitchen was Robby, Gigi, Talia Keys (Talia Keys; Talia Keys and Marinade), and Melahn Atkinson. They were gathered around the kitchen island looking at a freshly printed poster. Excitement was in the air, so I played along.

I knew Robby, Talia, and Melahn but was meeting Gigi for the first time. In what I can now only call a most fortuitous turn of events, Gigi asked me if I was going to the Revival. Well, of course I was going, right? The last music festival I had attended was Uncle Uncanny’s in 2013—its last run—and I was anxious for another.

Music festivals of this nature are a little outside my lifetime of experiences, but I know a lot of the musicians involved, and the vibe of family inclusiveness rings a loud bell in my life. As a family we’ve begun to embrace these types of experiences because ultimately we’ve discovered they’re the truly meaningful interactions and memories, and Zen and I like that in our lives, particularly for our young son, Rex.

As the weeks fell out of the calendar and winter turned to spring and then summer, excitement levels in our family were on the rise. We were formalizing plans with Gigi and JR (The Imagine Nation) to make ourselves useful by pitching in our muscles, our vehicle, our babysitting skills if necessary, our trailer, and any other relevant skills, actual or implied. 😉

We Need Furniture

20150715_184048We ultimately made ourselves useful by getting involved in the procuring and hauling of a ton of furniture to the festival to be used in the green room and the Globe Theater.

JR, whom I essentially knew only by reputation prior to the Revival, assessed what was needed for both tents, and my friend and brother Matt Mayer and I grabbed our 16′ trailer and headed to the Deseret Industries store in Sandy, UT.

We identified the couches, chairs, and tables we needed, and between Matt’s negotiating skills, our stories of the awesome people producing and performing at the Revival, and the store’s manager’s willingness to do their part to help the festival be awesome, we got a tremendous discount on our trailer load of comfy cushions.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Sandy Deseret Industries!

Low on Fuel

LowFuelAs we loaded our trailer, Matt and I commented to each other on the fullness of the load but the relatively light weight of the cargo. After all, we weren’t hauling couches with hide-a-beds or lead balloons. We felt like it wouldn’t impact our gas mileage too badly. Famous last words, right? The extra weight of the 16′ trailer and a couple of thousand pounds of furniture and band equipment we were carrying cost us roughly five miles per gallon.

No sooner had we exited the freeway in Beaver to head up the mountain, our low fuel indicator came on. When you’re the kind of person who’s feeling the pressures of getting all that gear to the Revival—like me—this wasn’t great news. In fact, in my mind our truck was screaming, “OUT OF GAS!” Still, we slogged up the mountain, determined to get the furniture to the show. We were, however, essentially out of fuel upon arrival.

The collective help of our friends and family at the Revival helped us secure enough fuel to make it back down to Beaver where we could get enough additional fuel to get us home. Thank each of you very much.


20150717_115228We landed early Thursday morning to friendly greetings from Gigi and Peter. We were given the quick tour and promptly made ourselves useful by moving furniture and equipment. We were already having a great time!

In addition to Gigi and Peter, we knew some of the other good folk already onsite. For me, this was the moment that really started to personalize my experience, knowing full-well that many of our other friends would be arriving over the next 24-hours. There are few things better than seeing someone you haven’t seen for a while, right?

The lack of sleep the night before due to packing our own gear, the early departure from Salt Lake City, the work of the day, and the high altitude got the best of me, and before the sun had even set I was exhausted and decided I’d better close my eyes for a few minutes. The next time I opened them it was Friday morning, roughly 12-hours later. I must have needed the sleep because I don’t normally log that many hours in one stretch.

Greatest Cash Bar Ever!

20150719_113804Matt, Cole, Shayne, and Micah built what can only be called—and this isn’t even a joke—the Greatest Cash Bar Ever in the History of Mankind, Ever!

I’ve known Matt Mayer for a long time and one of his real strong suits is his ability to see the final version of something really cool and then build or otherwise create it. I had just met Cole and found out a little more about his presence at the Revival, and honestly I was blown away by what he and his friends are up to.

ReincarNature is a concept Cole Wardley has nurtured since his youth in Huntsville, UT. Whatever I write about what he does will not give it proper credit, so please forgive my poverty of words. Essentially, he listens to his natural surroundings and begins to arrange and rearrange the fallen offerings, like tree branches and fallen logs, in such a way that it shows how that particular area wants to present itself, at least in that moment.

I find it fascinating and hope their very special touch continues to be a part of the festival life.