Rain, cool temps don’t dampen performers’ enthusiasm at March Madness Music Festival

Posted Saturday, Apr. 05, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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The second day of the March Madness Music Festival was gloomier and wetter than the first day.

But to the musicians’ credit, a little light to moderately heavy rain and temperatures that dipped into the low 50s throughout much of Saturday (it felt at least 10 degrees cooler than that) couldn’t dampen their enthusiasm for performing.

Rapper and actor LL Cool J opened the Coke Zero Countdown and was followed by country superstar Tim McGraw, whose 90-minute set, backed by an impressive band, was peppered with hits like Hey Girl. A light rain began during McGraw’s performance, sending some attendees for what modest shelter the few buildings at Reunion Park provided. Others simply headed for the exits. Although attendance figures were not immediately available for Saturday, the crowd seemed somewhat smaller than Friday’s estimated 16,000.

After the University of Connecticut beat the Florida Gators (the game was televised on the main stage’s mammoth video screens), Las Vegas rockers the Killers took to the stage and delivered an immensely crowd-pleasing turn. The 90-minute showcase was packed with hit after hit — Somebody Told Me; Mr. Brightside; Read My Mind — and had the cold but enthusiastic audience singing along to nearly every word. The rain returned, almost as mist, near the conclusion of the Killers’ performance, but the audience simply huddled closer together and sang louder.

The forecast for today, the final day of the festival, promises rain, but nothing short of seriously severe weather will deter fans from filling Reunion Park for the weekend’s most anticipated headliner: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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