It was a chillier day on Sunday for Innings Fest after a warm and sunny Saturday that featured the likes of Green Day and Weezer. Fans showed up with baseball jerseys over their sweatshirts and thick jackets to enjoy music from Paris Jackson, Marcus Mumford and the headliner Eddie Vedder.
Fans and attendees were given the choice to watch music or to meet their favorite ballplayers. Fans lined up to see a hall of farmers Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson over in the Left Field stage at Tempe Beach Park, one of the many baseball references throughout the venue. In left field, attendees could also take a crack at hitting in the batting cage or pitching a baseball.
Hazel English lead off the Sunday slate at the main Home Plate stage, while Paris Jackson was the first to perform at the Right Field stage. Jackson wowed the audience with her band, telling brief stories about her and her band, while also making her presence known with her vocals and guitar.
Mt. Joy kicked off the back half of the lineup. They performed at the first-ever Innings Festival back in 2018. The band performed most of their songs off their latest album “Orange Blood” which was released last year.
Another Innings Fest returner was The Head and the Heart. The band performed songs old and new, dating back to their first self-titled album, released in 2011, to their most recent album “Every Shade of Blue,” which was released last year. The band was without vocalist and violinist Charity Rose Thielen for the performance but would be with the band for the rest of their tour. The Head and the Heart was able to balance their folk-acoustic sound that fans originally fell in love with, with the more recent alternative-pop sound that they’ve experimented with in the last two albums.
Marcus Mumford followed The Head and the Heart, as fans trekked from the right field stage to the main stage to see the British folk singer. Mumford played mostly stripped-down versions of his most familiar songs, including songs from Mumford and Sons. While it was different to hear songs like “The Cave” and “I Will Wait” in a more somber tone, it was refreshing to hear those songs in a different way.
If there was one performer that fans could not wait for it was Eddie Vedder, who closed out Sunday’s show. Vedder, a known baseball fan, shared stories during his performance about his times playing at Wrigley Field in Chicago, home of the Chicago Cubs. He referred back to a story of an old friend and musician Tom Petty, who called him up one day to tell Vedder that he was playing at Vedder’s favorite place. The Pearl Jam frontman then proceeded to honor his friend by playing a stripped-down version of “I Won’t Back Down.”
A lot of Vedder’s performance was stories. The most memorable of which was when he introduced the audience to Youk the Uke, named after former Red Sox third baseman. He called it his favorite ukelele. As Vedder strummed his Youk, he became frustrated with it and started banging it on the side table to try and get the sound to work, as the sound from the ukelele was muffled. Vedder ended up breaking Youk. He went up to the microphone and said in his soft, low voice “I think I need another one.”
The last day of Innings Fest was a memorable day for all who attended. Attendees got to meet their favorite baseball players, hear great music and have a great time.