Toyota|MS held a free community concert last Saturday, November 4th at Fair Park, located in the heart of downtown Tupelo. The concert celebrated Toyota|MS’s 10th year of operations in the state.
There was no mistaking the vibrance in the air as families, couples, and music lovers of all types began to fill the venue. The beautiful fall weather coupled with the usual smells of downtown’s array of food choices, which were joined by food trucks and catering services by companies such as “Forklift” and “Brunch Box Food Truck” which provided a wonderful backdrop for the evening.
The “Soul Shockers” from Memphis, TN were the first to take the stage. These Bluff City players got the crowd up and dancing with hits such as “The Cupid Shuffle” and “Uptown Funk”. The showmen also switched instruments and covered some ground from the 70’s –covering artist ranging from Earth, Wind, and Fire to James Brown.
As the stage was being set for the next act, a site foreign to North Mississippi began a commotion in the back of the crowd. The next act to perform, “The Dirty Dozen Brass Band“, from New Orleans, had started an authentic second line complete with dancers, umbrellas, and of course the captivating sounds from the famous brass band. The Dirty Dozen brought the crowd to their feet and the front of the stage. Not only did the band offer teases of New Orleans traditionals, but also lead the crowd through a rousing version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” and offered a touching tribute to the late Fats Domino.
The festivities did not stop there. Prior to headliners, “Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats“, taking the stage, Vice President of Toyota|MS, Sean Suggs, took the opportunity to do a major unveiling. In addition to the celebration Toyota had put on for Tupelo, something more was in store. Attention was again turned towards the back of the crowd. Three brand new Toyota Corollas were unveiled as a gift from Toyota|MS to a local hospice company that works with end-of-life patients in their homes.
The clouds in the eastern sky began to part as the night went on to treat everyone to a view of the stunning full harvest moon. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats wasted no time keeping the party going as the they vibrantly took the stage all in matching “Night Sweats” jackets. Between Nathaniel’s beautiful howling-at-the-moon voice; backed by his band, which includes its own brass section, and his profound songwriting, Nathaniel charmed the Tupelo audience. The band went on to deliver a sonic explosion of a set including their hits such as “I Need Never Get Old” and “Wasting Time”.
At the close of the evening it was hard not to be filled with cheer. Toyota|MS, Tupelo, the musicians, and all other staff involved worked hard to deliver a top notch experience that will be etched into the memories of attendees for a long time to come.