Starting on a Friday at 5 p.m., the Maverick Music Festival got off to an understandably leisurely start. The main stage was empty until 6:10 p.m., but Ras G played straight I-Tal reggae 45s in the Biergarten and people played Cornhole and Jenga as the sun went down.

Over on the charming Arneson River Theatre, a grassy amphitheater looking onto a stage across the river, local music was the focus. The Last Bandoleros played an upbeat set of twangy jangle rock during the magic hour delighting the passengers of the tour barges cruising by.

Joe “King” Carrasco, Tex-Mex music legend and San Antonio native, played a jubilant twilight set, and crossed the stone bridge multiple times to urge the amphitheater audience to sing along to his set. Seeing the icons of the local music scene in concert was a piquant reminder of how singular and vibrant the San Antonio sound is.

On the main Shiner Music Stage, Austin’s Bright Light Social Hour played a buoyant hour of synth-rock in the vein of Phoenix or Tame Impala. The main stage began to fill up and reached capacity for The Drums’ glossy set of polished new-wave. Closing out the night, Public Enemy played an ambitious, coiled set of their powder-keg classics with a full band.

While the main Shiner stage drew the biggest and most diverse crowds, the Biergarten and Arneson stage were popular with older attendees and families, providing seating and closer access to food vendors such as newly-established gourmet hot-dog joint, Frank.

The two most prevalent drink vendors at the festival– Deep Eddy Vodka and Shiner Beer – had enough booths on the grounds to allow for short lines. The Merch table sold band-specific swag, including Public Enemy hoodies, as well as festival apparel silk-screened on site.

With clear skies, a light breeze, and a perfect equilibrium with the crowd, day one of the Maverick Music Festival went off without a hitch.

*Top image: The Maverick Music Festival attracted hundreds of attendees to the La Villita stages. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone 

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Neil Fauerso is a writer and lawyer who has lived and worked in Los Angeles, Seattle, Beijing and Austin. He recently moved back to San Antonio from Austin.