Last weekend, Mt. Clemens once again played host to the fourth annual Stars and Stripes Festival.
The festival expanded to four days this year and included a wide range of musical performances, a variety of food vendors, a carnival and art fair.
This year’s festival was the first time that it had been held during the July 4th weekend and that combined with the overwhelming heat did affect attendance with the numbers expected to be just under last year’s 500,000.
Much of the weekend was spent under a heat advisory but Friday and Saturday saw huge crowds because of headliners The Rockets and Vince Neil and Friday featured a massive fireworks display.
Warrant was the headliner on Sunday and Monday was supposed to be Jason Derulo but his performance was canceled at the last minute due to “transportation problems”.
The cancellation was a huge disappointment for the several thousand people who suffered through the high temperatures to see the R&B star.
I had a chance to get out and see the shows on Friday and Saturday and both days featured solid performances from a number of local and national acts.
Detroit’s own Stellar Drive and the Dirty Americans kicked things off on the main stage on Friday and were followed up by country stars Love and Theft, who went over well with the crowd.
Their performance included their hit “Runaway” which got a lot of radio airplay last year.
Classic rocker John Waite was up next performing a number of his hits from his The Babys and Bad English days.
“Missing You” and “When I See You Smile” had the crowd singing and swaying along.
The reunion of Detroit rock band The Rockets closed out the evening.
The band performed a jam packed set of their classic songs including a inspired version of their song “Takin’ It Back”.
Saturday gritty Detroit rock band Pistol Day Parade rocked the main stage with songs from their EP She Wants More.
Songs like “It’s Over” and “Rock Star’s Girlfriend” make them one of the most entertaining and talented local bands right now.
Mt. Clemens’ own Critical Bill were up next and as usual rocked the crowd but were disappointed in the festival’s continued use of a VIP area that kept the regular crowd quite a ways from the stage.
The band is known for it’s crowd interaction and lead singer Powerdise told the crowd that the only reason they agreed to perform there again this year was that they were told that the barricade would be taken down.
Powerdise later ended the set by coming out into the crowd to perform their version of House of Pain’s “Jump”.
Reformed hard rock band Fuel was up next and although they performed a number of their most popular songs, vocalist Brett Scallions seemed to be struggling with all of the high notes on his songs.
Versions of “Shimmer” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” suffered, particularly since the rest of the band sounded great.
Motley Crue front man Vince Neil closed out Saturday’s lineup with a set comprised of Motley Crue songs and songs from his current solo album Tattoos and Tequila.
Neil opened his set with “Live Wire” and “Dr. Feelgood” and never stopped providing the energy during his hour set.
At one point he left the stage and his band, comprised of Slaughter members including Flint native Jeff Blando, performed a couple of Led Zeppelin tracks and performed a bit of Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” as a tribute to heavy metal singer Ronnie Dio.
Neil returned to the stage and closed his set with “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Wild Side”.