November 10, 2023

Take Me Back to the Night We Met (All of You at Dreamy Draw)

The Friday audience at Dreamy Draw Music Festival watches Margo Price perform.

It’s been one week since the inaugural Dreamy Draw Music Festival came to Scottsdale Civic Center, and we still have the American roots music that anchored the festival running through our mental playlists, from Midland’s “Cheatin’ Songs” to Lord Huron’s “The Night We Met.”

The festival was the exciting culmination of a partnership between Scottsdale Arts, Oh Wow, and Spoonful, and it was the first event to fully activate the entire Scottsdale Civic Center following recent renovations. Below you’ll find some highlights of the Nov. 3–4 festival with images from the two nights.

Friday, November 3

Hailey Whitters performs on the Stamped Stage (east side of the 360 Stage facing Civic Lawn).
Line dancing lessons were available between the Stampede and Bronco stages.
Margo Price’s powerhouse vocals illuminated the Bronco Stage (East Bowl amphitheater).
Temporary art installations provided Instagrammable moments near permanent public artworks like Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture and the newly installed The Desert’s Garden by Tammi Lynch-Forrest.
An appearance by TV star Luke Grimes (Yellowstone) on the Stampede Stage caused a first-night buzz. Grimes asked the audience if there were any real cowboys among them because he just plays one on TV.
The audience at the main Bronco Stage was appropriately attired in cowboy hats for Midland’s Friday night headlining set.
The trio packed plenty of their own hits and a few cover songs into the hour-long set, decorating everything from “Drinkin’ Problems” to “East Bound and Down” with their tight harmonies.
Midland even spurred some audience participation during a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” by giving signals based on lead singer Mark Wystrach’s biceps.
Of course, you can’t end the first night of a music festival without the obligatory phone lights in the air.

Saturday, Nov. 4

For those who left their cowboy hats at home, Dreamy Draw had plenty of vendors to supply the necessary accouterments.
Scattered hay bale seating, like these outside The Store @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, added to the festival’s western vibe.
Another buzz band was the traditional bluegrass ensemble Mighty Poplar, a supergroup featuring mandolinist Andrew Marlin of Watchhouse, banjoist Noam Pikelny and guitarist Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers, bassist Greg Garrison of Leftover Salmon, and fiddler Alex Hargreaves of Billy Strings’s band.
By the time American Aquarium hit the Bronco Stage on Saturday night, the energy was rising.
The East Bowl’s stage lighting added to the festival atmosphere, bathing the audience in light and color.
After opening for himself as part of Mighty Poplar, Andrew Marlin joined his wife, Emily Frantz, as the duo Watchhouse for some tuneful, bluegrass-influence folk at the Stampede Stage.
Ironically, one of the most electric sets of the night was delivered by a band with only acoustic instruments, but the power of Trampled by Turtles’ bluegrass-infused folk rock was palpable.
Trampled by Turtles fiddler Ryan Young was especially energetic, throwing his whole body into it.
Jamestown Revival delivered a set that was both soulful and celebratory for the final Stampede Stage performance of the festival.
From their outfits to the lighting, the visuals of Lord Huron’s dramatic headlining set perfectly matched the tone of their unique musical brand—a mix of indie alternative, chamber rock, and classic country.
The large festival crowd during Lord Huron’s set became the largest group so far to experience the East Bowl stage, surpassing the audience for the venue’s debut concert on Oct. 3, featuring Wilco with My Brightest Diamond.
Lord Huron frontman Ben Schneider donned a skeleton mask for a few songs.
After two beautiful days of music, Dreamy Draw came to a close at 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Next up at the East Bowl amphitheater is The Mavericks with openers Robert Jon & The Wreck on Nov. 18. Dust off your dancin’ shoes for this one. It’s going to be a party as The Mavericks crisscross musical boundaries with abandon. And get ready for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance automotive showcase in January.

Dreamy Draw photos by Brian Passey, senior communications manager for Scottsdale Arts.

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