June 4, 2022 Action Fest

Published by Victor Barr on

Music echoed through the park. I walked across the field and felt the rhythm infect my body. The live energetic sounds of Bring It On Home by Led Zeppelin bounced into the air. I bounced across the grass. 

Live music lifted my spirit and filled my soul.

They were called the Bay Island All-Stars and they played their hearts out to the people of Summerland at the annual event known as Action Fest. 

Live music in the park was back. Our friends John Karroll and his wife Patsy spent a labour of love helping put on the annual musical event in conjunction with a baseball tournament. It was Summerland’s big get-together for the year. It was another sign the coronaverse had ended.

The world was another step back into normal – whatever that really is.

I felt music lift me and I walked toward the sounds that filled the afternoon. I bounced to the rhythm and danced while I walked. I’m sure people looked at me and laughed at the crazy fifty-some-year-old guy bouncing across the field.

I didn’t care.

I looked at the stage as I reached it. The group of musical veterans was playing the song from the heart. I could feel the rocking beat sweep me into another world of musical ecstasy. I saw the guys on stage and felt a jolt of energy watching me dance to their rocking beat.

And the music ended too soon.

I saw my wife and hugged her close. We met at Action Fest for her friends band, the band John was just playing for – it was only a short stop. The plan was to leave and go to a party in Kelowna. But the energy and excitement of a live outdoor event were drawing us in.

We felt torn. What to do? Go see our friend who was going for surgery the next week. But it was getting late and we needed to eat. It was a long way and we heard the band Barracuda was a great Heart tribute band.

First-world problems abounded.

We also had another party we were supposed to go to. What a difference only a few months have made. At least we had the problem of what party to attend. 

We decided to stay in the moment. A forty-minute drive across the valley held no appeal to either of us. Just being outside in a park listening to music held us in its grasp.

The headliner for the evening was Barracuda with two ladies and the rest of a band that played Heart music. From the first notes, we could tell they knew Heart and they knew their stuff. The bass player and drummer were from the backing band who played with Paul Rogers regularly. Yes that Paul Rogers who sang with Bad Company, Free, and The Firm. 

And man they were good.

When they played Heart the vocals were dead on and the music filled the evening air. We felt lucky to be in that moment of musical excellence. 

Then they started to play a Led Zeppelin song. 

I grabbed my wife and swung to the magical music that rolled into the evening in the park. And it was good. They sounded as good as the live show we saw with the original members of Heart when they played a set of Led Zep songs. I closed my eyes and was carried back to that night five years ago. I moved my body in ecstatic, rhythmic joy. 

Then they bounced their music back to a Heart song. Crazy On You brought more people to the front of the stage.

I felt my heart and spirit rise as the crowd grooved to the melodies.

It was nothing I expected.

We were so happy we stayed. Blessed by the musical moment. We felt a tinge of regret we never made it to the party. Soon our guilt was lost in the amazing sounds flying out of the stage in the middle of a park in Summerland.

And more people danced to the song.

When Crazy On You finished the band shifted gears and began the familiar notes of Stairway To Heaven. At first, I thought they’d made a mistake. The crowd was energized by the upbeat song Crazy On You, why not keep it rocking and go to another Heart song? I love Stairway, but… why not keep up the same energy?

Their musical perfection soon shone through. I forgot my original reservation as the song took me away. I closed my eyes and imagined I was there on a Stairway To musical Heaven.

As the song lifted I felt it move me. I felt the music and my body swayed to the beats. The energy released into the night and felt a cleansing, a purity of soul. The last notes filled the park and the crowd roared in appreciation. I could tell at first that many people wondered about the choice to play such an iconic song. By the end, everyone was in awe. 

They nailed it.

They finished their Heart/Zeppelin concert by playing a raucous rendition of Rock and Roll, the mighty Zep’s signature song of musical celebration.

The whole night was a musical celebration.

We all need to make our choices. After watching the talented musician play their hearts out and fill ours, I left satiated. My musical cravings were filled until another day. I smiled as I drove back down the highway homeward, music was alive and well.

And so was I.

Categories: Daily Journal


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