The BOA perform at Saturday’s JoAnn Garrett Classic. (Photo courtesy Cassandra Mullinix)
The Joann Garrett Classic is an annual heartfelt event to raise money for local cancer charities. This year’s event was much more intimate than in years past, but there were still some wisely generous donors who bought the $40 tickets and enjoyed some big name acts at the Frederick Fairgrounds’ e-ventplex, along with some great local barbecue and beer. Here’s a list of five things we learned from the fabulous ninth installment of the JoAnn Garrett Classic!
1. The BOA still do their own thing and rock at it! The Best Opening Act, otherwise known as The BOA, still hold the honor of Frederick’s most aloof band since their beginnings in 2000. A band willed purely by their desire to play original music over the last decade and not by popular trends or the desire to get rich and famous, they take an alternative rock approach most akin to a band like Incubus. Ironically, the juxtaposition of The BOA’s hard rocking opening set against the modern pop indie bands to follow seemed to reconfirm the band’s commitment to doing their own thing.
2. Sports memorabilia auctions and live concerts are a great way to raise funds for local cancer charities. The totals are still being tallied, but donors who attended were rewarded big with a bidding table a mile long filled with sports memorabilia while they listened to a peppy mix of local and national touring bands. We picked up an Al Brumby-autographed replica Orioles helmet!
3. A tom-tom drum will make your band more awesome. So, what did our performing guests Royal Teeth and Youngblood Hawke have in common besides being amazing indie-pop rock bands? That’s right: A tom-tom drum! Both bands gave incredibly energetic performances to an intimate crowd and showed off their tom-tom skills to boot!
4. CarterQue has great … pie! Of course, without doubt, the Mount Airy-based BBQ masters most certainly have great BBQ, but what you might not know is that they have exceptional cherry and apple pie as well. With two pigs on the chopping board and a heap of traditional side dishes, it was your own fault if you left the JoAnn Garrett Classic hungry.
5. Sometimes your bass breaks just before showtime. What do you do when you take your bass guitar out of the case just minutes before you’re supposed to go on stage and it’s not working? In Ghost Hotel’s case, you freak out for one split second, and then find a Plan B (or even C), which might involve having someone drive across town to get your practice bass. The bass mishap was just a blip on the radar for the band, though, and they followed through with a classically charming knock-out set.
Big Thanks to all the dedicated JoAnn Garrett Classic organizers and volunteers for hosting a fabulous all-star event, CarterQue for filling our bellies, and Milk House and Barley and Hops breweries for keeping our whistles wet.