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Holy Harefest

In its fourth year, Harefest is a tribute to musical...tributes


Photo Credit: MEG HODSON - The band Unchained offers a tribute to David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen and the rest of the crew as a Van Halen tribute band at Harefest. The weather was perfect a few short weeks ago when The Wild Hare Saloon held it’s fourth annual Harefest.

The nostalgic music festival is a two-day concert spectacle, highlighting some of the best tribute bands in the Northwest. The music focuses primarily on popular music from the '70s and '80s. It is the “next best thing” for fans of bands such as Journey, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n Roses and more.

This year, Harefest tried a new schedule with a Saturday night and Sunday matinee, running from July 20-21.

Saturday night had a lineup paying homage to the '80s. Ants In the Kitchen paid tribute to Rod Stewart to kick off the festival. Random Pressure took us back to hits by Styx and REO Speedwagon. Unchained fired up the crowd with classic songs from Van Halen. Steelhorse did a stellar job covering Bon Jovi. Who remembers "Slippery When Wet?"

Shoot To Thrill brought down the house with hits from AC/DC. To close out Saturday night, Appetite For Deception rocked the crowd with music from Guns 'n Roses.

It was hard to believe they weren't the real deal.

Sunday brought a relaxed afternoon perfect for reliving the '70s. Photo Credit: MEG HODSON - Barracuda pays tribute to the long careers of Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The Red Light Romeos, a Wild Hare stand-by, sang hits by the Eagles. The Rolling Tones definitely gave us "satisfaction" covering the legendary Rolling Stones. Barracuda wowed the crowd with an impeccable tribute to Heart. Ramble On couldn't have done a better set of Led Zeppelin hits. To close the 2 day event, Stone In Love kept the crowd wanting more hits from Journey, so they even did an encore.

The festival is set up literally in the backyard of the Wild Hare.

It comes complete with a big-venue style stage, backed by a production crew that are world class. Numerous local food vendors are on hand and there is a selection of beer on draft and drinks. This year, the addition of a photo booth was a big hit. Fans could “play” guitars and drums while their photo was taken.

Each band that performed also made an appearance at the booth to pose with excited groupies.

The event is organized by Jason Fellman of J-Fell Presents and Joan Monen, owner of the Wild Hare. Fellman attributes the success of the festival to “...the strongest band lineup and production level that we've had in our four years. Many of the bands pulled out all the stops.”

He goes on to say that “the bands who perform at Harefest are disarmingly good -- some are practically indistinguishable from the original acts when they were in their primes.”

Because of this, Harefest is an event that draws people from throughout the metro area to the community of Canby. In fact, an estimated 90 percent or more of the revelers come from outside of Canby.

And Harefest presented a bona fide rock show for the crowd. From the fog creeping around the stage to the top notch light show to the stadium-worthy band performances, fans got their fix.

"I think the whole vibe is just really welcoming, carefree, and nostalgic. There's something 'unpretentious' about the event, and I think that people feel like they are an integral part of the experience, as opposed to simply being 'attendees.'" said Fellman.

You can read more about Harefest on their website (www.harefest.com) as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@harefest).

Meg Hodson is a freelance writer. You can find her at http://www.happykidsincblog.com




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