Juke's Eric Garcia: Day Two of His Miami Music Festival Journal

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Day Two: "It's like deja vu all over again."

I'm back at the same venue, the Stage, for my first real crack at the whole Miami Music Festival experience. Tonight, however, they have added an outdoor stage to accommodate all the rocking that is planned to go on.

Actually, the lineup is pretty good. Most of the bands know each other, and there is a smooth ease to loading in as musicians shake hands, half-hug, and decide who's going to share whose equipment.

Entering the gates to the club, however, was the most difficult task of the evening. There was an awkward squadron of MMF volunteers at the gate who couldn't seem to get their heads around the fact that me and my girlfriend didn't have wristbands.

I said to the head of the short-bus castoffs, " I'm playin'. We start at 11. I need to get in."

He looks at the others in disbelief, as if this scenario could not possibly have been forseen. "But you don't have a wristband. If you have a wristband, you can get in anywhere!"

I tighten my grip on my amp and take a breath. "I don't wanna go anywhere dude. I just wanna go here. Where am I supposed to get a wristband? Can you give me one?"

He proceeds to tell me with a straight face, "No, you can pick them up at the Hyatt, downtown." There is nothing for me to do at this point but stare at him and hope that even he absorbs what he just said. It took about 8 seconds till his eyes relented, and we walked past him towards the stage.

I told my girl, "I can't believe I almost didn't get into my own show because some volunteer who works at Starbucks has a protocol fetish." I start drinkin' Jaeger for my throat. My voice is still damaged from singin' too loud last night. I don't even like Jaeger. It makes me funny. And not clown funny. But I gotta do what I can to make it through the set.

People are actually filling the place. All kinds of different people too. That's a good thing. Looks like the public seems to be drinking the MMF Kool-Aid. I'll know for sure tomorrow when I play at Bayfront Park. Our set is starting, and the crowd seems eager.

I decide to start off with an old spiritual called "Get to Heaven on My Own." I'm not a Lord-y guy, but there is nothing like gettin' all Lord-y right out of the gate.

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