Rally in the Alley XI

Baltimore’s premiere outdoor music festival returns.

Before we arrived at Power Plant, two uber drivers had already warned us about the crowds accumulating at the venue.  They had been driving people there all morning.  The event began early on Saturday at 11am.  I would never wake up before 12 on a Saturday, but already I was thankful of my decision.  Although it rained that morning, Power Plant’s large roof outside would keep us dry.

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This year I decided to pay an extra $20 each to get VIP tickets.  Honestly, I had only gotten the ticket for access to separate toilets.  But its true value wasn’t advertised on the website.  When we arrived at Power plant, there was a line so long it would put Disneyworld to shame.  We brazenly walked to the front of the line and asked if we had to wait in the line with VIP tickets.  We did not.  Barely two minutes had passed since we got out of our uber and we were already inside.

With both the VIP and general admission tickets, everyone received six drink tickets good for a wide variety of beers.  They were also good for small cocktails featuring premium brands.  GA tickets included 2 food tickets while VIP guests had unlimited access to a choice of specialty food items — by which I mean hot dogs, ketchup, and mustard.

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There is a very specific age group attending Rally in the Alley.  Most participants were fraternity brothers and sorority sisters.  They must have all agreed to dress in themes because there was a disproportionate amount of Hawaiian shirts and costumes everywhere.  Another frat decided to wear all basketball jerseys.  If you were older than 22, you might have been one of the oldest people attending.

The headlining artists were The Grilled Lincolns.  They say they try not to describe their music because of all the genres they play.  If they like it, they play it, no matter the style.  It’s not uncommon to hear a rap tune followed by a metal song into a blues jam or an R&B ballad at a Lincoln show.  Their live act was a breath of fresh air after four hours of blasting electronic dance music.

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The five DJs were hit and miss.  A couple of them played entertaining sets with varied genres.  One of the artists seemed to be playing an hour and a half song.  Despite the occasional repetitive music, everyone was enjoying themselves.  The dancefloor was a small part of the venue.  Most people were away from the music enjoying the sun and bar.

Behind the artists there was a large screen that occasionally played beautiful and intricate animations.  Sadly, 90% of the time, they posted twitter selfies with a rally in the alley hashtag.  To quote 2 Broke Girls “Twitter is stupid, and Instagram is Twitter for people who can’t read.”  It felt out of place to see thirty minutes of selfies followed by five minutes of incredible visuals.  Why didn’t they just play these videos on repeat?  The worst part was that the selfies kept repeating, so there wasn’t even a variety.

Apart from the essentials — music and alcohol — there were a lot of giveaway at the event.  One lady on the balcony was using a large slingshot to shoot shirts at the drunks begging below.  VIPs also had access to one free shirt.  Although they were just a big advertisement for alcohol brands — with Power Plant advertised on the other side.  Bouncing in the crowd were large beach balls that kept getting popped.  Yet they kept throwing in new ones to make up for this. They also had life-size inflatable leprechauns which made for great laughs.

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Despite some complaints, $35 for six drinks and five hours in the sun with music is always a great time.  It may be just the start of Spring, but we have to grab every opportunity we have to be outside before the end of Summer creeps up.  This is one of Baltimore city’s premiere outdoor music festivals.  They are also planning on doing a Halloween version this year.   For more information on events at Power Plant Live click here.

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