A couple of weeks ago I had some rare free time on a Saturday night. So I decided to take a trip to a neighborhood that I rarely visit just west of Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks. Feastival is a free event, now in it’s fourth year, that exists mostly to do just this very thing….bring people to McKees Rocks who don’t normally go there. Mission accomplished. The event is all day festival that features food trucks, merch vendors, beer, and live music. This year, the live music consisted of three nationally touring bands that all play their own brand of funk. To me, in a region that has it’s fair share of rock ‘n’ roll fans and easily could have gone with all classic rock bands, this was a wonderful choice.
Out of the three bands, none of which I’ve ever seen, the one that was most appealing going in was not the band that I enjoyed the most. I really wanted to finally see Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. They were about halfway through their set when I got there, but I feel like I got to hear enough of them to know what they were all about. They have a bit more of a rock vibe than I normally look for in a funk band (they even played a Zeppelin tune). But something I really dug about their set was the addition of the Steeltown Horns, which is a horn section made up of Pittsburghers Reggie Watkins on trombone, Rick Matt or sax, and J.D. Chaisson on trumpet.
Brooklyn-based funk band Turkuaz was headlining. Even though I’ve seen their name many times over the years, I had never made an effort to check them out. I had actually never even heard any of their music at all. Not one song. I actually kind of thought they were an Afrobeat band or something. To my surprise, they were a funky, high-energy party band that really had their shit together. This may not be the type of music I’d put on at home or in the car very often, but it’s great live.
Overall, this was a cool event. There was a really nice variety of food vendors and the beer selection was pretty good. Parking was easy and free. I ran into some friends that I haven’t seen in a while. And the music was perfect for a free summer time festival on a warm sunny evening. Here are a couple of pics of Turkuaz and one of a super cool cupcake camper!