Review: Maximum Ames Day 2

Patrick Tape Fleming performs at the Vinyl Grind for a Maximum Ames after party on day two of the Maximum Ames music festival.

Jacob Beals

Note: The photos in this article are from a variety of shows from Day 2 of Maximum Ames Music Festival 2017

Joe and Vicki Price

A couple of years ago, I saw Joe and Vicki perform in Ames. Needless to say, they have not lost a beat since then. The two of them charmed the Flavor Basket Memorial Stage on Saturday afternoon at KHOI Radio. 

Joe took the stage first, with his beautiful blue guitar and Victoria amp. He started out by playing a couple of instrumental pieces. 

“I think I’m going to start out with a little blues,” Joe said.

There is always something I find captivating about a person playing the blues on a guitar. The sound tends to engulf my attention, and with Joe, that was no different. 

When Joe would end a song, it was always really interesting to see how he would close it on his guitar. Sometimes, his playing got pretty wild. His guitar talent was a lot of fun to watch. 

About halfway through the set, Vicki joined Joe up on stage. He played a little melody for her while she walked up to grab her guitar. 

Vicki played music in a higher pitch compared to Joe. But their playing styles complimented each other. I also enjoyed hearing the differences in their voices. Joe sounded more mellow, while Vicki’s voice really packed a punch.  

The two of them sounded a little different, but I think that is one of the most unique things about their act. Their differences and similarities really correlate as they perform. 

Joe and Vicki also really know how to keep an audience entertained outside of their music. Both of them are very funny. Plus, they just seem like really sweet people as it shows in the way they interact with the crowd.

Joe would always check with on the members of the audience throughout the show. He made sure everyone was having a good time. 

On stage as performers, Joe and Vicki make a great team together. The two of them would encourage one and other, tease each other and even fist bump after a song was done.

Their whole performance just made me happy.  I love the fact that Max Ames was able to bring a couple of Iowa legends downtown for this year’s festival, and Joe and Vicki seemed just as excited to be there.  

Gaelynn Lea and Kelli Rae Powell

On Saturday evening, Gaelynn Lea put on a show that I found very inspiring.  It all started with a great opening set by Kelli Rae Powell. 

Powell seemed thrilled to be opening up for Lea, as she told the crowd about her love for the artist right from the get go. 

“I could not be more honored to open for Gaelynn Lea tonight,” Powell said. 

Powell’s music left me with a good feeling. All of her songs were really well written, and each of them felt calming. 

She was very funny as well. Between every song, she always had a very charming story about her life. Her personalty was a fun one, and I think it really stuck out in both her music and in the way she interacted with everybody.

Lea took the stage with much excitement coming from the crowd. Her first song was “Amazing Grace.”

I could tell right from the start that I was going to enjoy Lea’s performance. She looked very elegant while she played, and her style was beautiful.  

The way she performed was very entrancing, and it sparked emotion inside of me. I loved her original music. The lyrics were well written and sung with so much love. 

Like Powell, Lea also had a story for every song. She told inspiring ones about her career and finding new creative ventures. She told sweet ones about friends and her husband. Lea even told sad ones about struggles in the hospital.

But, all of the stories had so much meaning. Each of them provided background for Lea’s life and her attachment to the songs played throughout the night.

To me, Lea seems like a very happy person. I could tell she is someone who loves sharing music with the world. Because of that, her whole set made me feel uplifted.

She even had the audience participate near the end of the show with “Bird Song.” I loved this part of the performance, as almost everyone around the room could be heard singing along.  

Lea received a standing ovation before doing an encore, in which she read a poem to music. After the show had officially came to a close, she received yet another standing ovation. 

It seemed that Ames left a great impression on Lea. She exclaimed her love for the town, and the festival, near the end of her set. 

“Someday I hope to come back,” Lea said. “I’m glad to see music is doing well in Ames, Iowa.” 

Lea’s performance brought yet another intimate and engaging show to the Maximum Ames Music Festival. Her set at the Ames Public Library was just plain moving.