Joshua Boydston and Stephen Carradini
Norman Music Festival
Thursday-Saturday, downtown Norman
The problem with Thursday festivals is that, sometimes, you
have to go to work on Friday. It’s 3 p.m., and I’m just starting to recover from
the revelry that was the first night of NMF4 (Health shakes! Upbeat music! Motivational thoughts!). And if the next two nights live
up to the first one, I may have to skip work Monday and just sleep.
I started my fest at Brewhouse Stage, taking in the sweet sounds of Edgar Cruz. The Spanish guitar virtuoso wowed the crowd not only with classic finger-picked Spanish guitar tunes, but transcriptions of classic rock songs. If you’re skeptical, join the 13 million YouTube viewers who dropped their jaws during his complex yet faithful rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He played it during his set, and it was wildly impressive. “Paint it Black,” “Wipeout,” and the Moody Blues also made appearances in his guitar work.
Just for kicks, Cruz busted out what he called a “harp guitar”: an acoustic guitar with a bass guitar sticking out of the top of it. Just looking at it was entertaining, but the low notes that augmented his already intricate finger-style work made the performances a thing to remember. With his personable stage presence and confident skill, his set was an excellent kick-off to my festival.