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Riverbend 2012

Performers

Lauren Alaina was full of nervous, excited energy as she took the Coca-Cola Stage at Riverbend on Saturday night.

On Riverbend's second-to-last night, the Goo Goo Dolls' headlining performance was not the only reason it felt like the clock had been turned back at the riverfront.

Lauren Alaina was 9 years old when she sang at Riverbend the first time, winning the children's talent contest sponsored by the Times Free Press.

Despite a stark drop in attendance at Riverbend on Thursday, the festival still oozed the soul that the event's R&B-themed night has come to be known for.

Despite their love of bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker and The Allman Brothers, the members of Blackberry Smoke prefer not to be corralled into the Southern rock camp.

The 12-year-old girl in Chicago was sure the man walking in front of her recently was singer Charlie Wilson, but her mother was gripped by a serious case of stranger danger.

The members of Queen B & The Well Strung Band came together through connections from another band. That first group lasted one gig, but out of that, The Well Strung Band was formed.

In the air-conditioned, posh interior of a 30-foot tour bus Wednesday, the members of the WTM Blues Band experienced Riverbend in a style most local artists would envy.

Peter Rowan grew up in Boston, but he plays Southern music.

Kimberly Perry often says she and brothers Neil and Reid were rocked to sleep by their father with the Rolling Stones and awakened in the morning to the sounds of Loretta Lynn by their mother.

Under a blue, wind-swept sky and with temperatures that never broke 90 degrees, the weather at Faith and Family night was as blessed as the performers said they hoped their audience felt.

Ever since they were small children, Brandon, Joseph, Ami, Chris, Lorna, and Christy McKinney have been told they remind people of the Jackson family.

Chris Tomlin has a way of keeping the main thing the main thing.

It was like time travel -- Riverbend in the '60s.

Back in the day, DeWayne Finley and Wanda Crawford might have held up lighters at the end of a Foreigner concert.

They were brown, black, red and even, on rare occasions, purple. Many were etched in intricate designs and flopped around the ankles.

Despite having to sing many of Foreigner's most memorable hits night after night, Kelly Hansen said every performance feels like the first time.

Riverbend's Happy Together Tour should evoke a stronger sense of nostalgia for Diane Brennan Knapp of Auburn, Ala., than it does for most festivalgoers.

After 25 years of shredding with some of rock's biggest names, Warren Haynes more than earned the title of "man in motion" long before using it as the name of his second solo album in 2011.

Country superstars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw were asked in last week's Entertainment Weekly magazine who they thought was the future of country music, the industry name to watch.

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