Day two of the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Arts Festival felt like it was crafted especially for the Americana enthusiasts, like myself, and making it to all the shows I wanted to catch felt like quite a daunting task. Anderson East kicked off the day with a rip-roaring set on the main stage. The soulful, gospel-tinged rocker took to us church on that Sunday afternoon with apparent ease. The crowd felt the spirit moving and East played, hands down, one of the best sets of the day.
I hustled over to the second stage to catch Canadian songwriter Dallas Green, better known as City and Colour; Green and company played songs from their new album, If I Should Go Before You, along with some old favorites, each performed beautifully with lush and full arrangements that perfectly complimented Green’s otherworldly vocals. City and Colour put on an unparalleled performance that fit nicely into the Pilgrimage lineup.
Margo Price herself was up next, and she brought roots to the heart of the festival with her highly-acclaimed honky tonk country style, leaving the crowd cheering long after the final note echoed through the air.
Kacey Musgraves followed suit with a set filled with her catchy melodies and signature witty lyricism; she played to one of the larger crowds of the day, those in attendance singing along to every verse. She definitely satisfied her loyal fans, and gained new ones, including yours truly.
Finally, it was time for Americana superstar Jason Isbell to perform; accompanied by a full band and his wife Amanda Shires on fiddle and singing harmony, Isbell delivered the most powerful performance of the day. Isbell himself was visibly moved, excited to play to a hometown crowd. Every line, every guitar solo, and every note was extremely intentional, his band firing on all cylinders.
They worked their way through every inch of his impressive catalogue and left the crowd speechless. The festival ended with a set from legendary duo Hall & Oates, who worked through their career-spanning cache of hits. Every member of the crowd was moving, singing along to familiar favorites,ending the weekend on the highest of notes.
The Pilgrimage Festival is only in its second year but is shaping up to be one of the nation’s top annual outdoor music events. With outstanding lineups and obvious attention to behind the scenes details, Pilgrimage is a surefire standout amongst its festival peers.