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This was the inaugural edition of the Extra Innings Festival took place March 1-2, 2024, the weekend after the Innings Festival. It’s no surprise that another weekend was added since the last six years have been so successful for the Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona. The weather has been perfect for the last two weeks and made for fun days at the fest. 

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Extra Innings fans had opportunities to see MLB legends Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Tim Raines, Rollie Fingers and more. There was also a live talk show, “Off the Mound With Ryan Dempster,” in which the World Series champion hosted interviews and performances from surprise guests.

Photo Credit: C. Elliott

The fans have been very receptive to the festival with its close proximity to Arizona State University and the timing that coincides with MLB spring training. Here are some of our favorite moments of the Extra Innings Festival.

Friday

Chris Stapleton headlined Friday night. He began his set with “White Horse” playing his electric guitar as he stood at the front of the stage. He followed with “Parachute” and “Second One to Know.” He addressed the crowd, “Hello Arizona. Welcome, thank you for being here with us tonight.”  Stapleton is usually a man of few words and this seemed like the longest speech he has delivered. 

He performed “Starting Over,” “Millionaire,” and “Hard Livin.” The fans were mesmerized by the country crooner throughout the set as he delivered many brilliant guitar solos along with 20 favorite Stapleton tunes. And let’s not forget his performance of “Tenneessee Whiskey.”

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Charley Crockett brought his classic country sound to Extra Innings to the delight of the country fans in attendance. It’s amazing to think about the singer has releasing 12 albums in eight years with his latest album being The Man From Waco in 2022. His set included covers of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally” and Ernest Tubb’s “Just a Drink Away.” Both songs blend seamlessly with Crockett’s original tunes. He packed many songs into his short set with songs that seem to be timeless.

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Elle King brought her country and pop vocals to a scorching mid-day set. This was her first live show in several months since her controversial performance during a salute to Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry. King postponed several shows after the backlash of her Jan. 19 performance covering Parton’s “Marry Me” while appearing tipsy. At one point during that performance, she said, “Hi, my name is Elle King. I’m f*cking hammered.”

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

King dressed in a red skirt outfit that mused of a flirtiness to the large crowd. She pulled out her popular “Ex’s & Oh’s” in the middle of her set along with Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” were offerings from her 13-song set. Country music is not a new genre for King, but she has evolved into it since her big single “Ex’s & Oh’s” in 2015, as evidenced by her latest release Come Get Your Wife. Even though she is more country now, she still has her ‘rock ’n roll’ edge fans have come to love.

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews
Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Ryan Bingham had fans craving for his brand of country rock. The field was packed to capacity as Bingham took the stage. His grins throughout the set garnered the crowd’s attention and instantly improved their mood. His songs are personal and politically charged. The audience sang along and were fully engaged throughout the show. Right from the get-go, Bingham encouraged as much audience participation as possible, and one couldn’t help but oblige.  He kicked off the set with “Nothin’ Holds Me Back.” “The Weary Kind” and “Hallelujah” were included in the offerings of the night.

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Saturday

Morgan Wade has been making headlines all year after appearances with Kyle Richards from “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Kyle was front row for Morgan’s set at the festival as she performed her hits including “Wilder Days” and the title track from her latest album “Psychopath.” She also sang an upbeat cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”

Photo Credit: C. Elliott

The Grammy winning duo Larkin Poe delivered a crowd pleasing set with songs that included: “Summertime Sunset,” “Georgia Off My Mind” and an Allman Brothers cover of “Jessica.”

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews
Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Noah Kahan is quickly becoming one of the biggest pop stars in the world as he is being announced for his own headlining spots in festivals across the globe. As the artist came out onto The Home Plate Stage, he was met with a ferocious roar of screams from the crowd. Kahan started the set with the high energy “Northern Attitude,” “New Perspective” and “Everywhere, Everything.”

Photo Credit: C. Elliott

Noah opened up about his long-standing journey with therapy during the set, revealing that he began sessions at the tender age of eight years old. He candidly shared that, for the initial ten years, he lied to his therapist. This personal reflection seamlessly transitioned into the tracks ‘Growing Sideways’ and ‘All My Love,’ leaving a sense of optimism lingering in the evening air.

Photo Credit: C. Elliott

Dave Matthews Bandwas in the headlining spot of the Extra Innings Festival on the Saturday. One thing that fans can depend on is that no DMB show is ever the same. If you saw their previous Innings Festival show in 2020, there was very little repetition.  

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

DMB performed hit songs as well as some covers. Who would have thought Matthews would cover David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” or Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles?” That they did and much more. The band performs many genre of music. Matthew’s music crosses many generations of fans as evidenced in the crowd. 

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews

Their special guest, Jennifer Hartswick ,trumpeter and vocalist from Trey Anastasio Band, made the evening very special, even by DMB’s standards. Hartswick joined the band for “Jimi Thing” marking her first ever collaboration with the band. She played with the band’s other brass including trumpeter Rashawn Ross and saxophonist Jeff Coffin. They transitioned into a cover of ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses” and after continuing on with “You & Me,” Matthews stopped to acknowledge Hartswick and thank her for sitting in with the band. 

The band tours throughout the summer and it’s well worth catching their show!

Words by Mary Andrews. Photos by Mary Andrews and Cynthia Elliott

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