By Sara Spangler, Contributor, DC Music Live
Returning to his roots in Alexandria, Va., Pat McGee headlined this year’s Del Ray Music Festival, taking place this year on June 23 in the heart of Del Ray. Despite the hot temperatures and muggy weather, dozens came out to this all-day event to check out local bands and vendors.
McGee played many old crowd favorites including “Haven’t Seen For Awhile,” “Girl From Athens,” and “Come Back Home,” which he dedicated to troops still overseas. McGee released his latest album “No Wrong Way to Make it Right” independently in 2011, and also played a few selections from this record.
The atmosphere at the Del Ray Music Festival was very laid-back, much in line with McGee’s personality and presence on stage. Children and families could be seen dancing in the space just in front of the stage, while others chose to remain seated and comfortable on their blankets. McGee invited his daughter up on stage during the performance of a song he wrote for her, simply titled “Juliet.” McGee’s niece joined Juliet in dancing on stage for the song as well.
Michael Ghegan, McGee’s saxophonist and keyboardist on his last few tours, delivered multiple, flawless solos on tenor and soprano sax, as well as on the keyboard. Many of the songs lead into improvised jam sessions which highlighted each of McGee’s band members.
McGee’s shows are often filled with a laid-back, yet energetic vibe, and this night was no different. Between songs McGee develops
an unmistakable rapport with his audience, making you feel like you’re hanging out with a bunch of your closest friends in his living room.
If you missed seeing the Pat McGee Band this time around, make sure you snag tickets to his September 28 show at The Strathmore in Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $38, and are still available here.