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BottleRock Napa Valley brings music, gourmet food to Wine Country

NAPA -- The ninth edition of BottleRock Napa Valley kicks off Friday with a full weekend of music, gourmet food and good times featuring headliners Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, P!nk and Luke Combs.

Last fall, the festival was finally held after being pushed back from its traditional Memorial Day weekend dates following an over a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite facing some challenges including two headliners (Stevie Nicks and Chris Stapleton) who cancelled due to health concerns and non-COVID illness, the 2021 staging of BottleRock Napa Valley was a rousing success that happily did not end up being a super-spreader event thanks in part to the safety precautions taken by organizers.

Friday night's headliner Metallica stand alongside the Grateful Dead, Journey and Green Day as one of the biggest, most influential groups to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area. Though the pioneering thrash-metal band was founded by guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich in Southern California (second guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist Ron McGovney rounded out the early line-up), Metallica would establish deep Bay Area roots after recruiting bassist Cliff Burton, who said he would only join the group if they relocated to the Bay Area in 1982. After the acrimonious departure of Mustaine prior to the recording of their debut album Kill 'Em All, the band further solidified its Bay Area ties by adding local product and Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Metallica Seek And Destroy Live at The Metro 1983 by 1MASTER1100 on YouTube

The band would release two more acclaimed albums -- Ride the Lightning in 1984 and Master of Puppets two years later -- before a tragic tour bus accident in Sweden took the life of Burton. Metallica weathered that trial, re-emerging with bassist Jason Newsted and becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time on the strength of their ambitious And Justice for All... record and their massive self-titled breakthrough effort aka "The Black Album." The quartet -- now rounded out by bassist Robert Trujillo, who joined in 2003 -- celebrated its 40th anniversary last December with a pair of sold-out concerts at Chase Center to go along with a full-blown festival that took over San Francisco, complete with a "Metallica Day" declaration by Mayor London Breed.

Metallica: Trapped Under Ice (San Francisco, CA - December 17, 2021) (MetOnTour Video Edit) by Metallica on YouTube

Metallica closes out the festivities on the main Jam Cellars stage Friday following sets from Zeppelin-esque hard-rock upstarts  Greta Van Fleet (6 p.m.), indie rockers Spoon (4:30 p.m.), soulful guitar phenom Marcus King (3 p.m.) and Oakland's own celebrated blues-funk hero Fantastic Negrito (1:30 p.m.). BottleRock also presents an array of pop, hip hop and rock acts across the other five stages that day, including Japanese psych favorites Kikagaku Moyo (5:15 p.m. Allianz Stage), modern electro-rock outfit Chvurches (6:15 p.m. Verizon Stage), EDM/deep house DJ Kygo (6:15 p.m. Verizon Stage), pop songstress FLETCHER (7 p.m. Truly Stage) and youthful North Bay alt-rock trio the Alive (1:45 p.m. Verizon Stage) whose teenage drummer recently made headlines by playing with Pearl Jam at one of their Oakland Arena shows.

Saturday's jam-packed schedule includes pop/hip-hop headliners Twenty One Pilots (8:15 p.m. Jam Cellars Stage) and hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore featuring local legends E-40 and Too $hort with Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg topping the bill at the Verizon Stage with their 8:30 p.m. set as well as reunited rockers the Black Crowes playing songs from their classic debut album Shake Your Money Maker (6:15 p.m. Jam Cellars Stage), indie-rock band and perennial festival favorite Silversun Pickups (5:15 p.m. Verizon Stage), and OTTTO (8:15 p.m. Plaza Stage), the rising young metal band featuring Trujillo's son Tye playing bass that has appeared at several editions of BottleRock already.

On Sunday the festival comes to a close with a headlining set from powerhouse pop singer P!ink (8:15 p.m. Jam Cellars Stage) after sets from kinetic indie-pop band Bleachers (6:15 p.m.), youthful pop diva Alessia Cara (5 p.m.) and socially conscious Bay Area soul/hip-hop songwriter Michael Franti and Spearhead (3:30 p.m. as well as 7:15 p.m. at the Jampad Stage). Meanwhile, country superstar Luke Combs (8 p.m.) wraps up the Verizon Stage after performances by Latin hip-hop favorites Pitbull (6 p.m.) and Australian pop songwriter Vance Joy (4:30 p.m.) while reggae greats the Wailers featuring Julian Marley play classic Bob Marley tunes to close out the Allianz Stage (8:30 p.m.) following sets from folkie Amos Lee (7 p.m.) and Chilean-French singer/rapper Ana Tijoux (4 p.m.). The full line-up and stage schedules are available on the BottleRock website.

BottleRock also welcomes back the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage that will present a schedule of chef demonstrations and performances that will feature an all-star line-up of chefs interacting with a variety of musicians, vitners, well-known actors and professional athletes. The stage will once again be hosted by KCBS "Foodie Chap" Liam Mayclem, who will introduce such figures as Red Rooster chef and television personality Marcus Samuelsson, chef and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, Korean-American food truck mogul and chef Roy Choi and noted local barbeque guru Matt Horn will join sports figures Ricky Henderson, Hunter Pence, George Kittle and Charles Woodson and headliners P!nkLuke Combs, and Twenty One Pilots along with top musical performers at the fest including Michael Franti, Silversun Pickups, E-40 and Too $hort.

The festival is also hosting a packed line-up of aftershows happening in Napa as well as San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose with a number of bands appearing at BottleRock -- most notably Bleachers, Chvrches, Kikagaku Moyo and Spoon -- also headlining their own concerts at more intimate venues for those festival attendees with the energy and the funds to purchase separate tickets. While general admission Friday and Saturday tickets are still available, all other tickets are currently sold out. However, the festival has opened it's official ticket exchange website for those interested in buying or selling tickets. More information on the festival is available at the BottleRock Napa Valley website.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2022
Friday-Sunday, May 27-29, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. $139-$3,000
Napa Valley Expo


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