It was a day that many people probably circled, and then likely punctuated with a few exclamation marks, when the schedule for the inaugural BottleRock Napa Valley was first released.

It was the chance to see the Black Keys, the Shins and Alabama Shakes -- three rock acts with huge crossover appeal -- all in one day.

Not coincidentally, some 30,000 -- about 10,000 more than turned out on Thursday -- found excuses to take the day off work and show up at the Napa Valley Expo center on Friday.

The trio of big main-stage acts certainly didn't disappoint fans. The Black Keys rocked the blues to the delight of a huge crowd, while Alabama Shakes and the Shins were as tuneful as ever.

Friday's lineup, however, was quite top heavy. There were the three star acts, but not a lot else worth seeing on Day Two of the festival. The depth of the bill couldn't compare with what was being offered on the other three days.

Not that anyone seemed to mind. They were too busy grooving to Alabama Shakes' bluesy rock, sipping wine from local vineyards and enjoying the fantastic weather. Once again, good times were in abundance and hassles at a minimum at BottleRock.

I arrived early in the day, mainly to see Allah Las, the Los Angeles surf-rock act that has drawn strong reviews. The band was just OK, although it's easy to understand why its '60s throwback sound has its share of supporters.


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I spent most of the rest of the day at the main stage. Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard once again impressed with her larger-than-life voice, which -- in regard to pure power -- does deserve all those comparisons to Janis Joplin. The Shins were fine, but a little bit of Shins goes a long, long way. Then the evening came to a close with the Black Keys' consumer-friendly brand of blues rock.

Ricocheting back and forth between the other two stages, I managed to catch bits of Blues Traveler, Andrew Bird, Matt Nathanson and the Flaming Lips. The only one of those that really made an impression was the Flaming Lips, who delivered their regular space-age spectacular.

The Lips also provided what might have been the single best moment of Day Two -- a triumphant cover of "Heroes" that was nearly as great as David Bowie's version.

In all, it was another enjoyable day at BottleRock. Look for things to only get better over the next two days.

Those attending BottleRock on Saturday should definitely catch the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Iron & Wine, Bad Religion and Best Coast. Recommended acts on Sunday include the Secret Sisters, Charlie Musselwhite and Mavis Staples.

Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.

BottleRock Napa Valley
When: Festival runs through Sunday
Where: Napa Valley Expo
Tickets: Single-day tickets are $139; http://bottlerocknapavalley.com