Tomato Art fest Midway 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tomato Art fest Midway 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Founded in 2004 by Meg and Bret MacFadyen, owners of East Nashville’s Art and Invention Gallery, The Tomato Art Fest is now part of an established trio of festivals that has come to define Nashville, for locals, rather than the huge tourist CMA Festival and Bonnaroo.

Live Music on Fanny's House of Music Porch, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, East Nashville, photo- Brad Hardisty

Live Music on Fanny’s House of Music Porch, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, East Nashville, photo- Brad Hardisty

To get an idea of how big this one had become, The Tomato Art Fest was voted “Best Festival” in the 2007, 2008, and 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 in the Nashville Scene Reader’s Polls. The Tomato Art Fest has come to define and be a showplace for the center of East Nashville’s Five Points area.

Five Points has a convenient outdoor venue that is nothing more than a grass covered lot that can hold about 1500 people about 25 steps away from Fanny’s House Of Music / I Dream Of Weenie and this year housed a great main stage sponsored by First Tennessee Bank while a small second stage brought in one of the ‘last men standing’ of original Mississippi Blues, L.C. Ulmer this year.

Fanny's House of Music, Main Stage, Tomato Art Fest 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Fanny’s House of Music, Main Stage, Tomato Art Fest 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Craft fair style booths that featured everything from artwork to fresh grown tomatoes drew fans in droves all day long until events started to taper off about 5Pm when the food trucks shut down and the booths were quickly cleared from the road.

Head Over Heels, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo- Brad Hardisty

Head Over Heels, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo- Brad Hardisty

The  nightlife crowd crept over to The Pied Piper Creamery  for some Orange Tomato Cinnamon Sorbet or one of the local pubs as the late afternoon saw music cranking up at the main stage when  Fanny’s House of Music Youth Artists: Girls Sing/Head Over Heels launched into the mega Go-Go’s hit, “Our Lips Are Sealed.”

Thurston Ford, Bear Cub, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Thurston Ford, Bear Cub, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

Jesse Hall, Bear Cub, 2013 Tomatoo Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jesse Hall, Bear Cub, 2013 Tomatoo Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

Bear  Cub  featuring the songs of Jesse Hall and the guitar pyrotechnics of Ford Thurston played several songs off of their recent release Good Morning, Every Morning. Bear Cub came off more aggressive live with their more pop oriented Beatles / Big Star / Arcade Fire influenced music sounded more “in your face” than the album with more fire power and a cover of “Helter Skelter” that was more Paul McCartney than Motley Crue played with finesse and musical depth.

The Young International, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

The Young International, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Young International take the Mutemath meets Coldplay path with some good original tunes and a strong four piece band. They took in the face with the sun setting in the West. The only thing to do was wear cool shades.

Dave Pahanish, Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Dave Pahanish, Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

Dave Pahanish, phenomenal songwriter who has written hit songs for Jimmy Wayne, “Do You Believe Me Now” and “I Will” as well as for Keith Urban who recorded “Without You” is a great front man and bandleader as well.  Dave is also the local host at East Nashville hang-out venue, The Building, known as a second home for cast and crew of the Nashville TV show after all day shoots brought his latest incarnation of Panfish to close out the Tomato Art Fest.

Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

Panfish is a four member powerhouse that translates well as an almost all acoustic except for electric bass (Let go of the electric Bass and get an upright) power jam act that crosses between a modern Country hit songwriter’s showcase and an opener for the Zac Brown Band that would fit well with the current Southern Ground travelling circus.

Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Panfish, 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

The mildest summer on record made for a great turnout and a most excellent vibe.

Bear Cub, backstage at 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo - Brad Hardisty

Bear Cub, backstage at 2013 Tomato Art Fest, photo – Brad Hardisty

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

 

 

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