A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Pearl Jam, T-Pain and Mana Ignite BottleRock Day 2

Yna Bollock
T-Pain performs on the Verizon Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley on Saturday, May 25, 2024.

While the lines might have felt quicker to get through as BottleRock Day 2 started, it definitely didn’t stay that way as BottleRockers packed the Napa Valley Expo center to the brim by the time the mid-afternoon bands took stage.

The Opening Acts

At the Prudential stage, Moonalice grooved their way through a rhythmic set that sent a positive vibe through the crowd. Fans swayed and clapped along to the first few songs, but the band soon had the crowd rocking with their new hit song “Happy Here Now.” Long time lead singer, Lester Chambers, sat atop a chair, still dancing in time to the soulful funk beats laid down by drummer John Molo. Chambers’s son, Dylan, stood by him and sang, making the show a family affair. 

The couples in the crowd danced and canoodled as the back up singers adorned in colorful psychedelic clothing crooned “You’re All I Need to Get By.” Guitarist and vocalist Roger McNamee summed up the band’s main message well when he said, “The music industry is all about bringing people together, and that’s why we are here. Love, peace and happiness.” 

Lester Chambers paid homage to his age and the other seniors in the crowd with “Old & Proud,” which, fittingly, led into the band’s closure of the epic “Time Has Come Today.”

Moonalice performs on the Prudential Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Nick Vides)

In the mid-afternoon over at the JaM Cellars Stage, My Morning Jacket rumbled their way through their set with bass loud enough to shake your soul. Vocalist and lead guitarist Jim James sent out passionate solos that moved the crowd. 

Dressed in a pink and white 70’s style ensemble and a shaggy haircut, James resembled a rambling man of the era. The band’s use of reverb and etheric key board took hold of the crowd during their song “ Wordless Music.” Later on, the wind whipped up during “Phone Went West,” adding to the ambiance of their happy-sad music. 

Ditching his electric guitar for an acoustic one, James began playing the band’s song “Golden.” Their next song “Run It” got the crowd moving, jumping, dancing and singing as drummer Patrick Hallahan went crazy on his set. My Morning Jacket successfully summoned the spirit of the south, bringing their home of Louisville Kentucky to The Bay.


Before the headliners

Shortly after My Morning Jacket, Maná brought the energy to BottleRock’s main stage. From the VIP section to the very back of the crowd of hundreds, fans were dancing and singing their hearts out while Maná’s frontliner Fher Olvera belted out hits like “Corazón Espinado” and “Oye Mi Amor.” The band’s Thrumming bass and tight guitar riffs brought down the house. The screams of fans often drown out the music, showing the crowds devotion to this Mexican pop rock group. Alex González, the drummer, put every previous drummer at BottleRock to shame with his vigorous pounding on his kit. 

Bay Area native Oliver Tree came onto the Verizon stage announced as “loser in the kids choice awards two years in a row.” Tree with his band showcased his signature early 90s look with matching wardrobes of extremely baggy jeans, purple and red windbreakers, and red-rimmed sunglasses. Tree also may have been the only musician at BottleRock to bring out the keytar for a few songs. 

They immediately energized a crowd fatigue with midday sun with “Miss You” accompanied by Tree’s dance moves reminiscent of a toddler doing that cabbage patch amid a sugar high.  

Tree kept the crowd’s energy by getting them to sing along with songs like “Swing & Miss” and “Alien Boy.” He further messed with the crowd by attempting to get the VIP section for form a mosh pit and convince the audience he was “born right here in muthaf@#$ing Napa Bi@#h!” though a quick google search returned results that said he was born in Santa Cruz. 

Mid-set he treated fans to a mini strip show to reveal an 80s aerobics outfit under his outer garb and took off his bowl-cut wig to show off his extensive mullet. The party-in-the-back style turned out to be perfect for Tree’s headbanging on “Cash Machine.” 


The One and Only

In what should have been a headliner performance, T-Pain packed the Verizon stage, rapping all of his hits, from “Buy U a Drank” to “Up Down (Do This All Day)” and “Cyclone,” T-Pain managed to turn his matinee performance into a 2 a.m. dance club. 

He commanded the crowd throughout the packed set, with fans dancing in every direction and hands constantly in the air. After a few songs, T-Pain took a moment to address the swearing in the songs, “This is supposed to be a family friendly environment, but I see you all as family; and I’m friendly.” and then immediately broke out into a dance and rapped the song “Booty Wurk” which was anything but family friendly, but then again it’s T-Pain. It would be foolish to assume his, nor any other, performance would be strictly family friendly. 

He then performed his first single that debuted in 2005, “Im Sprung.” T-Pain then brought out a choir to sing his new single “On This Hill,” which can only be described as a soulful rap piece.

He wrapped up by rapping “All I Do Is Win” before taking a bow and leaving the jam-packed Verizon stage with a thunderous applause. T-Pain’s hour long performance had crowds wondering why he wasn’t a headliner, we were thinking the same thing.


Bianca Del Rio, Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka and Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem’s greet the crowd at the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Nick Vides)

The Culinary Stage

If you thought a culinary stage wouldn’t get crowded — think again. Stars like Neal Patrick Harris, Bianca Del Rio, T-Pain, Stephen Curry and Bradley Cooper made their mark on the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage throughout the day. While it’s not certain how much actual cooking was happening, the crowds went wild as Curry and Chef José Andrés chucked frisbees and dozens of chip bags to a loud and hungry audience. At one point, Andrés bet Curry $20 he couldn’t make a bag of chips into a basketball hoop on stage. Andrés won the bet to Curry’s surprise. 

Early in the afternoon, Harris and Del Rio created a safe and loving environment for people of all backgrounds, with some swear words thrown in for good measure with Del Rio saying, “This is the Gay f*cking part of BottleRock,” which made the crowd laugh and shout. Del Rio was witty throughout her time on the stage.


Emilio Castillo of Tower of Power sings on the Prudential Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Nick Vides)

The Headliners

The good vibes were flowing as Tower of Power started their epic intimate performance. Singer Jordan John proclaimed, “We have over 50 years of history to sing tonight, so let’s get to it.” Epic saxophone solos were common throughout the performance by Stephen “Doc” Kupka and Tom E. Politzer. While the crowd may have been smaller than Pearl Jam, Tower of Power did not disappoint fans that were singing and twirling all over the grass.

At the JaM Cellars Stage, Pearl Jam started a relaxed set and ramped up throughout. Early on, Vedder dedicated one of the band’s newer songs, “Wreckage,” to a couple of fans who were braving the front rows while needing crutches to move with. 

However, they satisfied dedicated fans with favorites like “Daughter” and “Even Flow.” On the latter song guitarist Michael David McCready enthralled the crowd with a guitar solo played mostly behind his back. 

Vedder also played “Last Kiss” on stage solo, and then was joined by Bradley Cooper who sang “Maybe It’s Time.” At some points, Cooper seemed a bit nervous behind the microphone, but the crowd didn’t care.

The gigantic screens surrounding the stage added to the atmosphere with psychedelic or serene colors, and for the classic “Do the Evolution” they showed drawn animation in a similar style as the acclaimed music video from the 90s. 

Toward the end of the set Vedder tossed tambourines to the front row fans during “Alive.” Fittingly for a music festival, Pearl Jam closed with Neil Young’s “Rocking in the Free World.”

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About the Contributors
Cameron Romanik
Cameron Romanik, Sports Editor
Cameron Romanik (he/him) is in his third semester at SRJC and his second at The Oak Leaf. He's very knowledgeable about sports, and loves to share his opinions and insight. He also is often focused on music and film, and stays up to date with what's popular and successful in those fields.
Nick Vides
Nick Vides, Photo-Editor
Nicholas “Nick” Vides (he/him) Is a seasoned breaking news reporter dedicated to making sure every shutter click of his camera captures a moment worth sharing. Nick's itch for chasing fires has kept him busy over the past seven years, covering every major fire event in Northern California from the Paradise Fire to the Caldor Fire. Nick currently splits his time as a photojournalist with The Oak Leaf and as a Contract Photographer with The Press Democrat. He has more than nine years of experience with photography, has been director of photography for multiple short films with the SRJC Media Arts Center, directed numerous student-led broadcasts with his Media 19 class, and interned for The Sarah and Vinnie Show on Alice 97.3. In the little free time left, he works for Highway 12 Winery in Sonoma, California as a Cellar Hand.  
Michael Combs
Michael Combs, Editor
Michael Combs (he/him) is in his fifth semester writing for The Oak Leaf, and his second as co-Editor-In-Chief. He began taking natural resources management classes at Santa Rosa Junior College to pursue his love of nature and the environment but has shifted toward journalism so he can share those passions with the world. Besides the environment, Michael also likes to write about politics, social justice and mental health. He has a bachelor’s of science in neuroscience and mammalian physiology from the University of California, San Diego, and hopes to get back to his roots with more science journalism as well. In his off time Michael likes to read, write and hike as often as possible in beautiful Sonoma County and beyond.
Yna Bollock
Yna Bollock, Reporter
Yna Bollock is in her first semester with the Oak Leaf. She has been working on prerequisites for the last two semesters and is elated to begin major specific requirements for the journalism program, specifically photojournalism. Prior to pursuing a photojournalism degree, she graduated from SRJC’s culinary program in 2013. In 2020, following a layoff from the hospitality industry, Yna graduated from the CNA program in June in an effort to stay gainfully employed throughout the pandemic. Now in 2024, she is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s of arts in photojournalism.
Emelle Raschein
Emelle Raschein, Reporter
Emelle Raschein (she/her) is in her first semester at the Oak Leaf and is pursuing a degree in journalism.

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