Innings Festival: Day Two

Innings Festival combines baseball’s spring training with excellent live music, all flavored with various food and beverage options. Innings Arizona took place on February 25 & 26, 2023 at Tempe Beach Park and Innings Florida played ball on March 18 & 19, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium Grounds in Tampa, Florida.

Day 2 of Innings Florida was headlined by Dave Matthews Band. Their performance was highly anticipated and never disappoints. They were given two full hours to play, an eternity at a music festival, but closer to half of a typical show for DMB. Despite enduring an unseasonably cold Florida spring day, their rabid fans were satisfied time and again with the song selection and brilliant musicianship. There were threats of rain storms throughout the day, but the skies held.

Perhaps coincidentally, Matthews and the band broke into a stellar cover of “Fool In The Rain” by Led Zeppelin, as a brief shower sprinkled down on the festival grounds.

The baseball elements of Innings Florida were well represented by former pitcher Ryan Dempster recording another live “Off The Mound” podcast, this time with Aaron Boone and Third Eye Blind vocalist Stephan Jenkins as guests. Once again, fans could meet former All-Stars and Hall of Famers for a photograph and an autograph. Sundays stars were Cecil Fielder, Tom Herr, Goose Gossage, Edwin Encarnacion, Andy Van Slyke and Travis Hafner. Bronson Arroyo brought his band to town, and they were excellent. After 25 years as a cover band, he released his first album of originals this year.

Sunday’s musical lineup was much more chill than Saturday’s, somehow predicting the chilly weather that suddenly descended on Tampa. Matching the headliner’s vibe, fans were graced with an easy Sunday morning brunch buffet of The Ries Brothers, The Heavy Heavy and Faye Webster.

Next to the plate was a double shot of rock and roll royalty. The Breeders, led by the legendary Kim Deal, along with Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, hit it out of the park on the Right Field stage. They played a great set of alternative rock, capped off by their mega hit “Cannonball”. Waiting on deck at the Home Field stage was Third Eye Blind. The band was clearly having a great time performing and the crowd went wild, singing along to almost every song. Band leader Stephan Jenkins promised to return to Tampa as soon as they completed their next album. 

As the sun started to set on the Raymond James Stadkum grounds, The Revivalists started to heat things up with their jazz-influenced New Orleans sound. They had the crowd moving to their joyous music. Marcus Mumford took to the main stage as a solo acoustic act. He joked around throughout the set, at one point introducing his imaginary back up band of Hobbits. He played the best Mumford & Sons songs and other select covers. Carolina folk rock outfit The Avett Brothers closed out the Right Field stage. Their sound is rounded out by live string instruments and piano. They are a dynamic live act and they loaded the bases for Dave Matthews to end the night with a grand slam.

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