Moondance Jam IV near Walker Friday and Saturday completed a metamorphosis that in its third year had left doubts it would live to maturity. The fourth year venue shedded a country slant, opting for big-name bands, professionally managed staging and expansive advertising while still keeping tickets affordable.
Bill and Kathy Bieloh of Walker were delighted to see more than 6,000 fans pack the hillside opposite a throbbing stage of amplified sound. Twice the number of concessionaires served a record throng everything from Indian tacos to customized wardrobes. Rock ’n’ roll seems to be the formula around which a successful outdoor concert weekend is built. Two nights of cloudless, star-filled skies (and a moon nearly full) added to the environment driven by well-known bands -- The Guess Who, Kansas, The Grass Roots, Starship with Mickey Thomas, and Survivor.
Regional acts got a chance to open for the main acts. While not paid significantly, they received the portfolio-building privilege of a Moondance stage. Among them; Dead Stiks from Hackensack (the only band playing all four Moondance Jams), Park Rapids’ Ripchord (a hot young band soon to play closer to Brainerd), Bob & Julie (the Brainerd duo based at Pauline’s, an acoustic interlude), Hands Down from Bemidji and High Tolerance from the Twin Cities.