Well folks, the end, as they say, is nigh. When the last bit of explosive entertainment leaves its mortar tube to close out the fireworks display this evening, another Riverbend will be over and done with.
Usually, this is a fairly sweet moment for me since I'm exhausted by the rigors of my coverage, and I AM tired. But this year there's more than a little bitterness in the mix as well.
But before I get all weepy and sentimental, we've still got one day worth of killer music to get through. I won't shortchange you that, but I will make a trio of suggestions for how to spend your final hours of 'bending.
* Dan Baird & Homemade Sin (6:15-7:30 on the Bud Light Stage): If you're a Georgia Satellites fan (or happened to catch Baird last year at Nightfall), then the former front man of the Atlanta-based Southern rock band is already familiar to you. If not, you're probably familiar with his raspy twang, which narrates the band's best-known single, "Keep Your Hands to Yourself."
I'm not handing you any lines on this one, but if you happen to disagree with me, I suggest you keep your hands to yourself. (It's poor humor, I know, but at this point, take it where you can find it, I say.)
* Drivin' N Cryin' (7:45-9 on the Bud Light Stage): Speaking of classic rock bands with cult followings, Dan Baird will cede the stage to one of his Atlanta-based contemporaries, Kevn Kinney and Drivin' N Cryin'. I can think of few more appropriate ways to wish the sun a distinctly southern good bye on the last night than by hearing Kinney croon DnC classics like "Honeysuckle Blue" and "Fly Me Courageous." A few years ago, the band filmed a live DVD at Rhythm & Brews, and I have to assume some of you were there with me. You know how good it's going to be. Spread the gospel, why don't you?
* Arturo Sandoval (9:15-10:30 on the Tennessee Valley Credit Union Stage): Not a big fan of classic rock or the fiery fiddling of tonight's headliner, Charlie Daniels? Well, this being Riverbend, there's always something completely different to give you an easy out. Tonight, Door No. 2 is Sandoval, a Grammy Award-winning Cuban-American trumpeter who is widely considered one of the finest jazz musicians alive. Dizzy Gillespie was his mentor and said he had "bull chops." While I'm not entirely sure what that means, it sure sounds like incredible praise. I'd be willing to bet this will be a killer show, and even if Sandoval probably won't be destroying his instrument through his furious playing, he'll still impress the pants off you.
So there you have it. Six hours to go. Happy 'bending, folks.