Musicians from around the world gathered in Pasadena, California at the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend this past Saturday and Sunday with one goal in mind -- spread the message of love.
"People need this in their lives right now," multi-platinum pop singer and songwriter Andy Grammer told AOL. "You're working your whole week, things are going sh*tty in the world, you need to show up, feel something different, have your soul messed with a little bit."
The singer's latest single, "Give Love," was the perfect example of one of the themes at Arroyo Seco.
A post shared by Andy Grammer (@andygrammer) on Jun 25, 2017 at 5:51pm PDT
"We can't really argue with giving love," Grammer said. "The song is basically a story about my mom and how she taught me how to live my life. Now my job is to go around the country and just spread it to different places every night, it's special."
Alabama Shakes echoed that same sentiment and got the crowd singing to their soulful powerhouse hits, "Sound & Color" and "Don't Wanna Fight," giving festival goers constant chills as frontwoman Brittany Howard's vocals sailed through the scorching heat.
The weekend festival was also a sort of homecoming for many of the bands. Taylor Goldsmith, frontman of L.A.-based band Dawes, told the crowd it felt good to be home and closed out the epic singalong set by dedicating fitting final song, "All Your Favorite Bands," to the audience. The band is currently on the road for their North American "Evening With Dawes" tour and will be opening for John Mayer and Kings of Leon later this summer.
Another local talent that highlighted the theme of closeness to home was Andrew Bird, whose unique talent and experimental music got the old and young swaying in the grassy fields as the sun started to set and the heat began to cool.
Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real proved rock 'n' roll is not dead with their energizing set. Nelson, son of legendary Willie Nelson, gave a fierce and soulful performance, fulfilling any music lover's dream with a mix of blues, roots and classic American rock. Their appearance at the festival comes in the midst of a show-stopping national tour in which they're opening for opening for Sheryl Crow.
But the weekend's heavy headliners, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and British band, Mumford & Sons are what drove many festival goers to pack the main stage.
A post shared by Arroyo Seco Weekend (@arroyosecowknd) on Jun 24, 2017 at 10:33pm PDT
During night one of Arroyo Seco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers delivered some of their greatest hits in front of a mixed crowd of parents with toddlers in tow along with young new fans. They opened the set with "Rockin' Around (With You)" -- Petty chimed in, saying it was their first song on the first album they ever did. They followed it with "Free Fallin'" and "I Won't Back Down." Petty joked during the band's introductions that although most of them had known each other before becoming the Heartbreakers, their drummer Steve Ferrone was "the new guy," who's only been with the group for 23 years. The classic rock band is celebrating their 40th year together and is currently on an international tour.
Mumford & Sons wanted to make sure people were feeling the love during their set on night two, dedicating a song to the "wood people" out in the far back of the massive crowd that gathered for their performance. The band took the audience on an emotional rollercoaster, singing songs like "Lover of the Light," "Little Lion Man," and "I Will Wait," putting a large bow on the epic weekend.
Despite the sweltering heat, older, yet hip local Angelenos came out in droves (along with an unexpectedly large contingent of toddlers) looking for a laid-back festival experience to get their groove on and to spread the good ol' peace and love.
See images from the inaugural festival:
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