Bluesfest 2023 - Day Three

It's Saturday night and a few legends of blues are in Byron Bay.

Words by Victoria Bihun.

Photos by Damien Stacey and Josh Groom.

Saturday 8th April - Day 3

Day three and the lower back pain is well and truly settling in but that won’t keep us from catching the high-energy, soulful explosion that is Vintage Trouble.

Vintage Trouble // Josh Groom

The American band’s bluesy rock ‘n’ roll sound was as tight as ever, and lead vocalist Ty Taylor, aka Mr Sass, exuded a magnetic stage presence and infectious energy that had the crowd on their feet from the moment he stepped on stage. His repartee with the photographers in the photo pit was hilarious to watch and I’m sure a dream to shoot. What an incredible entertainer.

Gang of Youths // Josh Groom

Although we were in hairography and head banging heaven last night with the Gang of Youths’ performance, Vintage Trouble has taken the prize of best dance moves of the festival. There is no stage big enough for this man and his band, they were living, as were the completely captivated crowd.

Vintage Trouble // Damien Stacey

The Delta tent was calling as the immensely talented singer-songwriter Frank Turner took to the stage for his 2750th show. Yes, he keeps count. After moving past the pleasantries where he apologised for performing a “shorts gig” and exposing us to his “snow glare, white English legs”, Turner launched into his perfect blend of folk, punk rock, and alternative sounds. His unique and deeply personal storytelling style has earned him a dedicated following of fans around the world, and within this tent evidently. With his catchy melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, and raw, passionate vocals, Frank Turner crafted a sound that was both emotionally charged and musically diverse, captivating the multigenerational audience.

Frank Turner // Josh Groom

Next up we were off to a bustling Mojo tent to see a singer-songwriter whose music has truly stood the test of time. Jackson Browne’s thoughtful and introspective lyrics have resonated with listeners for decades, and his melodic voice is instantly recognisable.

Jackson Browne // Josh Groom

His unique blend of folk, rock, and pop, that delves into personal and political issues, and his ability to capture complex emotions and social issues in his lyrics is unmatched. A true icon of American music, Browne’s performance was a testament to his skill as a musician and his connection with his audience.

Jackson Browne // Damien Stacey
Buddy Guy // Josh Groom

We excitedly headed to the Crossroads tent to see a true legend of the blues, Buddy Guy. His unique guitar style and soulful vocals have influenced countless musicians over the years, and seeing him in live performance was nothing short of electrifying. His music is a blend of traditional blues and rock, with searing guitar solos and heartfelt lyrics that cut straight to the heart. His performance was full of energy and passion and his cheeky humour and killer side-eye had the audience in the palm of his hand. Guy's music is a testament to the enduring power of the blues, and his legacy as one of the greatest guitarists of all time is well-deserved.

Buddy Guy // Josh Groom

To round off a night of nostalgia, we headed back to the Mojo tent to hear the prolific mastery of the Counting Crows. The group’s signature alt-rock sound was as powerful and emotive as ever and their deep catalogue of hits had the crowd singing along throughout the set. Counting Crows’ performance was a reminder of why they remain one of the most beloved and enduring bands of the era.

Counting Crows // Josh Groom
Counting Crows // Josh Groom
Watch gig →
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