Over the weekend, Pilgrimage Music & Arts Festival took over the park at Harlinsdale in the beautiful town of Franklin, Tennessee for two full days of non-stop music. Though the heat was formidable, the weather didn’t stop festival-goers, with both days of the festival selling out and many folks staking claim at the front of the festival’s four stages to get close spots for Justin Timberlake, Eddie Vedder, Ryan Adams, Mavis Staples, The Avett Brothers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Revivalists, and more.
Following the death of the iconic soul legend, Charles Bradley, Pilgrimage Festival saw a number of shout-outs and touching tributes to the late singer. Shovels and Rope dedicated “Save The World” to him, while Longhorn Slim‘s “Song For Sid” and its line “Where do the great ones go after they’re gone,” served as a way to honor Bradley.
Highlights of the festival included an electrifying set from Gary Clark Jr., which saw an amazing cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together”; Trombone Shorty’s New Orleans’ funk set, featuring a cover of Green Day’s “Brain Stew” with the horns laying out the traditionally vocal melody; and The Revivalists’ high-octane performance led by David Shaw. Ryan Adams laid out a smokin’ set as well, working in numbers from his new album Prisoner, in addition to classics like “Fix It” from his previous album, Cardinology.
One sweet moment from Pilgrimage Festival this past weekend was during Amanda Shire’s set. Her husband, Jason Isbell, played guitar and sung backup vocals for the duration of the show. The love between the two was clear, with him frequently looking over and smiling at her in addition to handing her sunglasses mid-set when he noticed the sun was in her eyes.
On the other hand, Eddie Vedder put on a powerful, more politically charged performance, at one point taking a knee and saying, “Thirty minutes would be how long it would take North Korea, and how did we get here? Fuck fuck Fuck!” Although there was a political tone, he focused more on expression through his music. However, Vedder later brought up a young boy named Jack West who he had met earlier in the day after thinking his PJMC shirt was cool. Vedder and West sang “Society” and brought the house down. For the main headliner, Justin Timberlake put on a spirited performance to the packed audience. During his headlining set, the pop icon brought out Chris Stapleton and his wife for three numbers—”Tennessee Whiskey,” “Fire Away,” and “Sometimes I Cry”—as a special surprise.
You can check out photos from Pilgrimage Music & Arts Festival below, courtesy of Carol Spagnuola.
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