BRADENTON -- Butch Corlisa grew up listening to Jefferson Starship, so when the New Hampshire resident found out that his visit to Florida coincided with the band's 40th anniversary tour, he knew he couldn't miss it.
On Saturday, Corlisa was in the front row, rocking out to his favorite band at the Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta.
"It was awesome," he said after the one-hour performance. "I can't get any closer."
Jefferson Starship, the succes
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sor of the legendary Jefferson Airplane, was the headliner at the regatta's Main Stage at the Bradenton Riverwalk. The lawn at the Main Stage was standing-room-only listening to Jefferson Starship perform.
Keith Richardson drove from Venice to watch his daughter, lead singer Cathy Richardson, do what she loves. Since the band frequently is performing internationally, he can't get to as many shows as he would like, so he said he wouldn't have missed Saturday's show.
"It is wonderful to see her do what she loves to do," Keith Richardson said after the show.
A couple hours before they took the stage, Sarasota resident Ed Sanbbach had his regatta wish came true. Sanbbach, a longtime fan of Jefferson Starship, met guitarist David Freiberg and had him sign some posters.
"It's amazing to have someone I've admired for a long time and be able to go up to him and have him sign something," said Sanbbach, who added that he wore his lucky Hawaiian shirt Saturday.
The City of Bradenton helped ensure the show would go on after the generator at the stage went out during Tampa's Mojo Gurus' performance. The city delivered a new generator right before Jefferson Starship went on, but Mojo Gurus' performance was cut short.
American Idol Sam Woolf, who is from Bradenton but now lives in Nashville, was able to perform even with the lack of a working generator since he didn't require much amplifier power.
During Woolf's last song, Del Couch, the founder of the Del Couch Music Foundation, brought eight teenagers on stage to dance behind musician.
Lexi Deitemeyer, 15, and her best friend, Lauryn Daubler, 14, both freshmen at Manatee High School, were still shaking. "It was amazing," Daubler said. "I've never met him before."
Daubler said they were shaking from stage fright while on stage. "It was really cool to be on stage," Deitemeyer said.
The other performers during Saturday's regatta were First World Problems, Manatee School of the Arts Jazz Band, Julia Gibbons and Tea Spacsic, Eliza Lipton and Gabriel Storm, Matt Walden, Brooke Bonderer, Paige Merriman and The Western Son.
Bonderer, 19, said performing at the regatta reminded her of performances she did when she used to live in St. Louis, Mo.
"It was incredible," she said. "I live for it. I love performing outside, especially like settings like this."
Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.