Miley Cyrus thrills during muddy second day of Beale Street Music Fest

By Updated: May 05, 2019 12:22 AM CT | Published: May 04, 2019 9:53 PM CT

Miley made it to Memphis.

After a surprise social media announcement on Friday, a storm of rumors preceded the pop star's arrival at Beale Street Music Fest.

Will she be performing or just hanging out? When and where will she pop up? Will it be a part of the Facebook sponsorship teased by Memphis in May officials and Memphis Travel in an impromptu press conference on Thursday?

Well, the last part was true.

Jared Boyd: Miley Cyrus added to Saturday's Beale Street Music Fest lineup

Curious fans gathered in front of the music fest's Terminix Stage after the festival hinted on Twitter that their restructured stage schedule omitted a 6:30 p.m. performer to make room for the surprise guest.

When the time came, first there was a message onstage that read "This performance is being recorded." Then came an advertisement for #MoreTogether, a new campaign by Facebook, emphasizing connectedness through the site's Groups function.

And then came Miley after an introduction by local radio personality Liz Luedeman of Q 107.5.

"I'm so honored to be in my home state of Tennessee," Cyrus said on stage after wrapping her opening song "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," her recent collaboration with Mark Ronson.

"I used to drive for three hours to Memphis every three weeks because my dad knew nothing could make me happier than the 'gates of Graceland,'" Cyrus said, quoting the words of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis."

Cohn then joined Cyrus on stage for his 1991 hit.

"This is the first time I've ever performed this as a duet," Cohn said before the two sang the song together.

Each time the duo got around to the song's refrain "touched down in the land of the Delta Blues, in the middle of the pouring rain," the crowd roared in a display of wet, muddy solidarity.

But the rain, while incessant, was far from "pouring" during the duration of the festival's Saturday events.

It was just enough to create a few hazards around the park.

Up on a hill in the middle of the festival grounds were two adjoining tents: one for free samples of Corky's BBQ nachos and another for free samples of Wing Stop wings.

At the bottom of the hill were the loose wings, chips and condiments spilled by hungry concert goers who tumbled to a messy fate on the way down.

The best place to stay dry and keep the mud away was the party inside of the Blues Tent where acts such as guitar prodigy Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Blind Mississippi Morris and Terry "Harmonica" Bean tore the house down.

And rain wasn't all that was in the air. Memphis' musical Prince Mongo, eccentric comedy rapper Muck Stucky, took the stage with two giant, lit joint set pieces. As the smoke from the two props lifted into the air over the crowd, a gust of wind carried confetti over an excited audience.

Other standouts included Houston R&B band The Suffers, Memphis-based soul rocker Liz Brasher, and country heartthrob Riley Green.

The festival continues Sunday with what is expected to be dry, sunny weather and performances by Cardi B, The Killers, Gary Clark, Jr., and more.


Beale Street Music Festival
Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd is a general assignment reporter with The Daily Memphian who can be found covering just about anything people in the Mid-South might find interesting. His friends call him "Jay B.," and you can, too.

Comment On This Story

Email Editions

Sign up for our morning and evening editions, plus breaking news.