Pilgrimage Festival 2022 Achieves Groovey Perfection During Day 1

Pilgrimage Festival 2022 Achieves Groovey Perfection During Day 1

Franklin’s Music Jewel Proves To Be Magical Gem Of A Weekend In 7th Year

We have now covered over half (four) of the Pilgrimage Festivals in Franklin, TN, since the event’s birth in 2015. Every year seems to leave an indelible vibe in our hearts and at least one deep core memory that we carry with us, from the depths of our hometown. From the highs of Leipers Fork part-time resident Justin Timberlake thrilling Harlinsdale Farm and the deep roots blues guitar of Gary Clark Jr as he thrusted his fist into the afternoon sky, to Mavis Staples telling us stories of walking with MLK and Eddie Vedder taking a knee at the start of his headlining show. Who could forget the Counting Crows whipping the afternoon audience into a 1980’s trip-induced frenzy and then half way thru their set, raindrops unexpectedly started falling- followed by lightning, downpour and a mass exodus in the sudden mud- towards The Factory across the street. The canceled Covid year after the weather cancellation was a massive challenge for the festival’s organizers. But, here’s the thing- the jovial, chilled, family vibe of the festival, combined with the eclectic lineups stays with you and beckons you to return to the Farm… and Pilgrimage has not only endured, but thrived.

This year’s lineup was insanely good. We were super excited to see Album of the Year Grammy winner Jon Batiste and his groovy, lifting, spirit-filled mastery. And let’s get right into it. He exploded into his set with a euphoric 45 minutes of beats and melodies that put a smile on the face of even the most sullen personalities in the crowd. How Batiste cooked up this level of energy was mind-blowing- as he had just been at New York’s Carnegie Hall debuting his brand new symphony, By the time that Jon crashed into his final number, he was off the stage- caravanning straight through the nighttime crowd and causing a surge of the Franklin faithful, just to get a glimpse or even a touch of Batiste’s magic…

Before Pilgrimage, we had never had the chance to cover Brandi Carlile. Her legend preceded her, but her headlining set made us fanboys/fangirls! Brandi was as excited to headline as the crowd was to have her. She shared about how pumped she was to have the final slot of the night and how she wore her stunning bright yellow jumper for the occasion. We knew that Brandi was already knew for the magnificence of her voice and her place in the folk music world… but, we didn’t know just how alluring her mix of soulful tunes with intoxicating storytelling would be. She crashed the party, starting with her band’s classic “Twintro” where identical twin brothers (and 3x Grammy Award winners) Phillip John and Timothy Jay Hanseroth hit the stage in matching black hats and lit the fuse on the set with dueling, screeching guitar solos as Carlisle hit the stage and tore it up with “Broken Horses.”

“As a gay country kid growing up in Seattle, I didn’t want to go to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon. I wanted to go to Nashville.”

Brandi became super transparent about halfway thru her set. She spoke of her upbringing in the white evangelical Christian church and sucked the listeners in, with little snippets of sunday school hymns. Then, told us what it was like to still love Jesus and be married with kids to a woman and the challenges involved. She dedicated her massive hit, “The Story” to her family, as chills ran up my spine. The sway of the crowd under the starlight of Middle Tennessee said more than words could ever say. We were swept away to another place. A place where love and empathy reign. All was right with the world.

Another transformative moment was when Carlisle covered David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. Her voice is so powerful… so soulful, that the Starman himself must have been grinning down from heaven… she took Bowie right into Radiohead’s “Creep”… wow, just wow… She was also able to pull off a stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s classic “Woodstock.”

By the time that Brandi Carlisle closed the night with the Harold Arlen/Judy Garland classic “Over The Rainbow” she had entrenched herself in Franklin, TN legend. As usual, we can’t wait to get back to the Farm next year…

SETLIST: Brandi Carlile, Pilgrimage Festival 2022

  1. TwintroPlay Video
  2. Broken HorsesPlay Video
  3. Mainstream KidPlay Video
  4. You and Me on the RockPlay Video
  5. The StoryPlay Video
  6. The EyePlay Video
  7. The MotherPlay Video
  8. Mama WerewolfPlay Video
  9. Space Oddity(David Bowie cover)Play Video
  10. Creep(Radiohead cover)Play Video
  11. Right on TimePlay Video
  12. The JokePlay Video
  13. Woodstock(Joni Mitchell cover)Play Video
  14. Hold Out Your HandPlay Video
  15. Stay GentlePlay Video
  16. Over the Rainbow(Harold Arlen cover)



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