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<p class="text-align-right">Leon Bridges 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography</p>
Leon Bridges 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Moon River Music Festival 2022: Day 2 Recap

Moon River Music Festival took place September 10th and 11th, 2022 in Chattanooga, TN

Thunderstorms and rain try and stop Moon River, but a joy for music and dedication to fans save the day.

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Drew & Ellie Holcomb 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Early into day two of the festival, Moon River was evacuated due to lightning. Six hours later it was cancelled. A pop-up show at the Soldier's and Sailor's Memorial Auditorium was scheduled shortly after by Drew Holcomb and helped turn the night around.

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Leon Bridges 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Leon Bridges made a surprise appearance at the pop-up show. Initially unannounced, Leon appeared and performed solo, a rare sight for the Grammy Award winner. While only performing three songs, the crowd was enamored. Especially when the final song, "River," featured both Charley Crockett and Abraham Alexander.

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Charley Crockett 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Charley Crockett was also an addition to the make-up show. Crockett's recent rise to cult-country superstar has seemingly happened overnight. Charley's songwriting and vocals ring of classic country of decades past, but his wit and talent is timeless. His performance comes just two days after the release of his latest album, The Man From Waco.

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Local Natives 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Local Natives had the longest set of the make-up show. Five songs, including their hit "When Am I Gonna Lose You." Stellar harmonies and a skilled group of musicians made them sonically one of the best acts all weekend. 

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JP Saxe 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

JP Saxe, best known for his song "If The World Was Ending" with Julia Michaels, wowed the crowd with his powerful vocal ability. Loud ripping yells juxtaposed quiet whimpers, all laden with piano. It was clear he was a favorite among the younger audience, but his sheer talent drew the ears of everyone in the room.

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Sammy Rae & The Friends 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Sammy Rae & The Friends ended up performing three times throughout the day. Their final performance was at Solders & Sailors, and it was stellar. Every performance from The Friends as electrifying, the band is incredibly skilled at performing, they know how to hold an audience's attention, and they give it their all throughout the entire show. 

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Abraham Alexander 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Abraham Alexander is an insanely talented songwriter and singer. His acoustic performance after the festival was jaw dropping, it is incredible to see such a talented artist this early in their career. His guitar playing, capped off with an instrumental interlude, was some of, if not the, best of the night.

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Drew & Ellie Holcomb 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Drew & Ellie kicked off the night at Solder's and Sailor's. The festival founders, they were dead-set on scrapping together something for the fans. Their dedication to the festival and their fans is something truly special, a passion you don't see often. The crowd support, despite everything that had happened throughout the day, was overwhelming when they came on stage.

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Sammy Rae & The Friends 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Right before the official announcement of the festival being cancelled, Sammy Rae & The Friends did a pop-up set for fans. They were determined to perform. JP Saxe also did a performance shortly after the official cancellation of the festival.

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Drew & Ellie Holcomb 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Prior to The Friends' pop-up, Drew & Ellie Holcomb went out into the crowd to perform. The festival grounds were still being investigated for safety, but the Holcombs new they needed to be with their fans. 

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Sammy Rae & The Friends 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Sammy Rae & The Friends had gotten two songs into their set before disaster struck. They were unfortunate enough to be the band that had to inform everyone of the impending evacuation. However, these two songs were easily the most energy-filled jam-packed songs of the weekend. Sammy Rae & The Friends are extremely talented performers. Their headline U.S. tour kicks off soon, including a stop at Birmingham's Saturn on October 5th.

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Abraham Alexander 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Abraham Alexander's performance at the festival might have been one of my favorites of the weekend. This performance was Abraham's first in Chattanooga and first ever national festival appearance. A relatively stripped back set, consisting of guitar, kets, and backing vocals, Abraham and his band were perfect. I was throughly impressed by the sounds they produced with such little production.

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Maggie Rose 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Finally, Maggie Rose kicked off the morning. Rose's vocal ability was standout, her powerful, soulful voice harkened back to greats such as Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin. Maggie also had great control of the stage, and despite the small crowd, as gates had just opened, she gave it her all. Maggie Rose is certainly a name to keep your eye on.

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Leon Bridges 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Overall, despite the disaster that struck the festival, the second day of Moon River was fantastic. Even with the cancellation, many fans were still able to see their favorite artists perform live, many of whom were in rare, stripped back, acoustic sets.

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Charley Crockett 9/11/2022 at Moon River Music Festival | Dylan Basden Photography

Want to know more about Moon River? Check out our recap from day one below:


Moon River Music Festival: Day One Recap


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