In stark contrast to last year’s 100 degree weather, the hills of San Bernardino were covered in a fine gray mist and cool temperatures as the 2nd annual Cal Jam fest took over the Glen Helen Amphitheater. The revitalized festival brought back by Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters last year, came back with an equally impressive lineup for 2018 including: Iggy Pop, Garbage, Greta Van Fleet, Tenacious D, Manchester Orchestra, and a surprise reunion of the remaining members of the 90s rock grunge group Nirvana fronted by the one and only Joan Jett.
Serving as the largest outdoor concert venue in the United States, the Glen Helen Amphitheater was packed with food, carnival rides, a traveling rock memorabilia museum and three stages that bore witness to 19 impeccable performances on Saturday Oct 6th.
Throughout the day of nonstop music, the side stages known as “The Mountain Stage” and “The Sun Stage” brought some mega impressive talents. The “Mountain Stage” saw performances by “Charlie Overbey & the Broken Arrows”, “Gang of Youth”, comedy acts “Skylar Stone, Harland Williams, and Jaime Kennedy”, and “Black Mountain” but the most notable act to grace the “Mountain Stage” on Saturday was band “Giants in The Trees”. With former Nirvana member, Krist Novoselic at bass, the female fronted folk band played a very bluesy set list that saw friend, Dave Grohl at the drum kit for a quick song.
"Giants in Trees"
The “Sun Stage” housed acts such as “Kingfish” followed by Chicana Punk rockers “Fea” from San Antonio who shouted, “Fuck that Puto Kavanaugh” before launching into a slew of loud feminist anthems. The “Sun Stage” also saw the energetic young English alternative rocker, “Yungblud” followed by Canadian Punk band “Metz”, Nirvana cover band “Deer Tick”, and closing out the “Sun Stage” the very fun, very comical “Tenacious D”.
Back over on the main stage, fans saw acts including “Slaves UK”, “The Front Bottoms”, “Manchester Orchestra”, the very popular, “Greta Van Fleet”, “Garbage”, “Iggy Pop and the Post Pop Depression” and headliners, “Foo Fighters”
"Greta Van Fleet"
Promising to, “Take it back, way back” the Foo Fighters played a reverse chronological order of their hits starting with their most recent “Run” and “The Sky is a Neighborhood” and took us on a journey through 25 years of music.
In addition to hit after hit, the audience was graced with a Taylor Hawkins drum solo which was done atop a rising platform and Grohl even took a moment to honor his “Sweet Virginia”, his momma, who was there that evening and had the entire audience singing in her honor.
To conclude the weekend festival, Grohl brought out fellow Nirvana band members Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear to play a hand full of Nirvana classics including “Taste Like Teen Spirit” with help from friends Joan Jett and band Deer Ticks vocalist John McCauley.