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(Grant Hodgeon)
(Grant Hodgeon)

A Recap of Innings Festival 2024

As another spring training season starts here in Arizona, Innings Festival once again returned to Tempe Beach Park for another weekend of entertainment for music and baseball lovers alike. 

The festival, hosted Feb. 23 and 24 next to Tempe Town Lake, featured a variety of indie, rock and pop artists, as well as conversations with baseball legends. 

The main stage, or “Home Plate,” opened for the weekend with a performance from the indie band Breakup Shoes. Fans gradually entered the festival grounds throughout the day, with the majority of fans arriving before the performance by rock band Greta Van Fleet. The other subheadliner was the ‘90s rock band Jimmy Eat World, which originated in Mesa. 

Jimmy Eat World’s performance featured many of their classic songs, several of which were from their 2001 album “Bleed American.” The set concluded with arguably their most well-known song, “The Middle,” which brought the crowd to life, with some festivalgoers even jokingly moshing with their friends.

The first night concluded on Home Plate with The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ headliner set. The group played some of their biggest hits, such as “Californication,” but relied primarily on visual effects to keep the audience engaged. The visual display was eye-catching, providing an invigorating background to set the tone for the evening. 

The second day featured a more predominantly indie and folk lineup, with some rock and pop outliers. Finish Ticket, an indie band from San Fransico, was one of the first performances of the day. The band shared an unreleased song with the audience and played their most recent single, “Changing,” which came out last year. To find out more about Finish Ticket’s performance and upcoming music releases, check out our interview with them here. 

The main highlights of the night were Macklemore and Hozier, the respective subheadliner and headliner on the Home Plate stage. Both artists drew in the crowds, with some audience members camping out in front of the barricade from the start of the day, just to be closer to their favorite artists. 

Macklemore’s energetic set brought the crowd to their feet with fast-paced rap and an upbeat tempo, with an especially uproarious reaction to his popular song “Thrift Shop.” When his set was scheduled to close he had still yet to perform his closing song, but he announced he’d paid the fine to go over the time limit at festivals before, and he was prepared to do it again. He then wrapped up his performance with his hit song “Can’t Hold Us,” during which he crowd-surfed near the barricade. 

To close out the weekend, Hozier brought a lively, but more mellowed-out set to the stage, which was especially ethereal under the full moon shining above. He performed a medley of songs from his albums, including some from his most recent release, “Unreal Earth.” After a detailed thank you to his band and crew, he wrapped up the night with his blues-inspired ballad “Work Song.”

While the performances knocked the crowd’s expectations out of the park, one downside to the festival was the event space layout. The two stages of the event, Home Plate and Right Field, were located a considerable distance from each other. While this would prevent any sound from one stage drowning out another, there was no overlap between sets where this would have been an issue. However, with only five minutes between sets at each stage, the crowds had to rush to get from one side of the park to the other, creating crowded pathways. 

Despite this issue with the layout, Innings Fest was enjoyable all around. For more festival fun, be sure to check out Extra Innings, happening March 1 and 2 at Tempe Beach Park, with headliners Chris Stapleton, Noah Kahan and Dave Matthews Band.

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