News

Watch Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band on 'Jam In The Van' July 06, 2017 21:16

Last week, Jam in the Van stopped by Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA, to record a session with Lesh and The Terrapin Family Band. Lesh, the founding bassist of the Grateful Dead, was joined by longtime collaborator  Jason Crosby (keys), as well as his son Grahame Lesh (guitar), Ross James (guitar), and drummer Alex Koford. The five-piece performed a total of three songs: “Galilee,” “The Wheel,” and “Uncle John’s Band.” Full video footage of each song can be found below.

Lesh and The Terrapin Family Band have had a busy year thus far, frequently playing Terrapin Crossroads, as well as venues such as Brooklyn Bowl and even Monterey Pop Festival. The band will end the summer by teaming up with Bob Weir to recreate the Dead’s Terrapin Station at this year’s LOCKN' Festival.

Watch "Galilee" here:

Watch "The Wheel" here:

Watch "Uncle John's Band" here:


Celebrating 30 Years Of The Grateful Dead's 'In The Dark' July 06, 2017 10:07

-
On this day in 1987, the Grateful Dead released its 12th studio album, In The Dark. This was the band's first album in six years, and its first studio album since 1980's Go To Heaven. It became unexpectedly popular, achieving double platinum certification in the U.S. It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the Grateful Dead's only top ten album. The peppy "Touch of Grey" peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's only top forty single; it also became a frequently played music video on MTV. This would be the second to last studio album to feature legendary keyboardist Brent Mydland.
-
Most of the songs had been played by the Dead since 1982 or 1983, which gave them a five-year edge on perfecting them for the album. After the critically panned Go to Heaven, which contained songs that were mostly under a year old, the maturity of In the Dark was significantly more appreciated. Since the band had been playing the songs for some time, they decided to record the baseline tracks for the album in a darkened empty theater ("In The Dark"), on a stage with the same lighting as they would use on tour. The idea was to capture the "feel" they had for the songs as if they were playing them to a live audience. This was done at Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, California
-
The cover art for the album was designed by Randy Tuten. The lettering forms the shape of an eye. Inside the lettering are photos of the band members' eyes. On the original LP, the photos were right side up, but when the album was released on CD in 1987, the photos were upside down. Though the band joked that the extra eye belonged to the Ayatollah Khomeini, it actually belonged to their long-time promoter, Bill Graham.
-
-
Watch the official music video for "Touch Of Grey" here:
-

Celebrating 48 Years Of The Grateful Dead's 'Aoxomoxoa' June 20, 2017 10:24

The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a Palo Alto, California jug band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. The band's first show was at Magoo's Pizza located at 639 Santa Cruz Avenue in suburban Menlo Park, California, on May 5, 1965.  Coincidentally, Velvet Underground was also performing under that name on the East Coast. After literally opening a dictionary and falling on 'Grateful Dead', the band would perform under its permanent name for the first time in San Jose, CA on December 4th, 1965 at one of Ken Kesey's 'Acid Tests'.

After signing with Warner Brothers Records, the band hit the studio hard over the next few years; releasing their debut self-titled album in 1967 and Anthem Of The in 1968. Just two months before the inaugural Woodstock in 1969, the Dead released its third studio album Aoxomoxoa. One of the first rock albums to be recorded using 16-track technology, fans and critics alike consider this era to be the band's experimental apex. This was the second studio album to feature second drummer Mickey Hart, who joined the band in 1967. The title is a meaningless palindrome created by cover artist Rick Griffin and lyricist Robert Hunter and is usually pronounced "ox-oh-mox-oh-ah."

When looking at Grateful Dead history, quite a few are connected with Aoxomoxoa. It is the first album the band recorded entirely in or near their original hometown of San Francisco.  It is the only studio release to include pianist Tom Constanten as an official member. It was also the first to have lyricist Robert Hunter as a full-time contributor to the band, which cemented the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter songwriting partnership that endured for the rest of the band's existence. It was also the first time the band would emphasize acoustic songs (such as "Mountains of the Moon" and "Dupree's Diamond Blues"), which would become the focus of the next two studio albums.

Some of the songs on Aoxomoxoa were played live briefly and then dropped. Only "China Cat Sunflower" became a set staple through the band's career, though "St. Stephen" was played until 1971, revived in 1976 and 1977 and played a handful of times after that. Likewise, "Cosmic Charlie" was played a few times again in 1976.

Track Listing:

1. St Stephen

2. Dupree's Diamond Blues

3. Rosemary

4. Doin' That Rag

5. Mountains on the Moon

6. China Cat Sunflower

7. What's Become of the Baby

8. Cosmic Charlie

Listen to Aoxomoxoa in its entirety here:

 


Watch The Trailer For Grateful Dead Documentary 'Long Strange Trip' May 16, 2017 14:48

As we inch closer towards the official release of the long awaited Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip, anticipating and excitement amongst the Deadhead community continues to grow.  We now have our first taste of the 241-minute film, as JamBase premiered its official trailer via Yahoo! Movies earlier today.  The film, which will begin showings in select theaters on May 25th, is directed by Amir Bar-Lev and produced by Martin Scorsese. The film includes many never-before-seen interviews, footage and photos combined with a career-spanning soundtrack focusing of the Grateful Dead’s live performances. Long Strange Trip will be available for worldwide streaming on June 2nd via Amazon Prime.  

Watch the official trailer for 'Long Strange Trip' here:


Grateful Dead's 'Meet-Up At The Movies' Returns To Theaters Tonight April 19, 2017 22:45

Tonight only, movie theaters across the country will host screenings of The Grateful Dead Movie in honor of the film's 40th anniversary. A short feature of the band's performance at Barton Hall (Cornell University) on May 8th, 1977 will also be shown prior to the film.  The Grateful Dead Movie, released in 1977 and co-directed by Jerry Garcia and Leon Gast, is a film that captures the Dead during an five-night run at Winterland in San Francisco in October of 1974.  The film features Dead classics such as “Dark Star,” “U.S. Blues,” “One More Saturday Night,” “Casey Jones,” “Playing In The Band” and “Sugar Magnolia."  Click here to find your theater and purchase tickets in advance.

These concerts marked the beginning of a hiatus, with the October 20, 1974 show billed as "The Last One". The band would return to touring in 1976. The film features the "Wall of Sound" concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974. The movie also portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene. Two albums have been released in conjunction with the film and the concert run: Steal Your Face and The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack.

Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies is an annual event that began in 2011. At the Meet-Up, which occurs at multiple locations in the United States, concert videos and films of the rock band the Grateful Dead are shown in movie theaters. Each yearly screening occurs only one time. Fathom Events organizes and manages the presentations. The event provides a venue and opportunity for the band's fans, known as deadheads, to gather in celebration and camaraderie.

Check out the official trailer for the 40th anniversary screening here:


Looking Back On LOCKN': A Weekend In Review September 04, 2016 14:20

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
-
Photos by Keith Griner: Phierce Photography
-

Now that I have had nearly seven full days to digest what I witnessed last weekend, it only seems appropriate to attempt to explain my LOCKN' experience.  This was something I planned to do earlier in the week, before coming down with a mild case of what many have called the "wook flu."  My friends and I set out out on the journey from Alabama to Virginia just before sunrise on Thursday, August 25th, slightly apprehensive and anxious about a four day festival in the heat of summer.  With arguably the best lineup of bands I've ever seen (extra stess on "arguably," as it's all relative), excitement was certainly abound.  Luckily, some friends hooked us up with a few extra forest camping passes, which proved to be a total game changer.  We managed to set up camp just in time to head to the concert grounds for Vulfpeck's opening set, which served as a perfect intro to the epic weekend ahead.

Vulfpeck has been one of the hottest bands in the festival scene for nearly two years, and their live show speaks for itself.  What you see is what you get with Vulfpeck. They keep it as simple as possible, playing real instruments with essentially no effects. This making for a a very raw, natural outcome.  This set was highlighted by several of their hits, such as "Funky Duck," "1612," and "Put It In My Back Pocket," as well as a cover of Steely Dan's "Peg" that nearly lit the crowd on fire.  As they finished up, the massive crowd had its first glimpse at the infamous "turntable stage," which Umphrey's McGee took full advantage of.  Within three seconds of Vulfpeck stopping, Umphreys cranked into full effect with "Nipple Trix" as the stage rotated, which quickly segued into one of my personal favorites, "1348."  

The set continued with "Attachments" and "The Triple Wide," one of the bands biggest jam vehicles.  The "2x2" > "Speak Up" > "2x2" sequence moved swiftly into a raging take on "Puppet String," ultimately leading into "Roctopus."  At this time, Brendan Bayliss called upon none other than Gene Ween, who performed an entire set with Umphrey's last summer known as "God Boner."  Being that ole Gene has an uncanny resemblance to Billy Joel these days, the decision to cover Joel's "The Stranger" was well received.  With little time to spare, the band then segued back into "Puppet String," before "All In Time" closed things out in powerful fashion.   

Watch Umphrey's perform "The Stranger" with Gene Ween here:
-
-

Next to take the stage was Ween, who was slated for the evening's headlining set.  It was clear early on that many in attendance did not know what to expect from these guys; myself included.  While I've casually listened to Ween over the last fifteen years, I never dove in deep, and I'd never had a chance to see them live.  While their were some very bizarre moments, I loved every minute of it.  These guys managed to pump out 26 total songs, including many I was familiar with such as "Transdermal Celebration," "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony," "How High Can You Fly," "Beacon Light, "Baby Bitch," "Boys Club," "Fat Lenny," "Push The Little Daisies," "Ocean Man," and "Zoloft."  We've made it a full week since this set, and I'm still talkin' bout "Boys Club."  I can't help but think that Dean and Gene must be somehow related to Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park), and last weekend further affirmed that assumption.  

After a truly exhausting two hours with Ween, there was just enough time for the first of many cool down sessions back at the car.  These sessions were critical, as we had a chance to turn up the A/C, charge the cell phone, and collect our completely scattered thoughts.  There wasn't much time to waste though, as Joe Russo's Almost Dead was up next at the Blue Ridge Bowl.  This was arguably my most highly anticipated performance of the weekend.  Like many others, I had been dying to see this band since its inception three years ago, but they don't tour extensively.  So, this was my first opportunity to catch their set, and I'll just say this.  JRAD uses the catalog of the Grateful Dead as a launching pad into something that is totally its own.  

I was absolutely blown away by my first JRAD experience, which kicked off with "Space" > "Truckin'," before moving into an absolute monster "St. Stephen."  "The Eleven" and "Brown Eyed Women" would follow, before "The Wheel" opened up another insane improv section.  The set continued with powerful takes on "Estimated Prophet," "Tennessee Jed," and "Viola Lee Blues," and a beautiful take on "He's Gone" would follow.  Right around 3:15 AM, the band busted into "Terrapin Station," and you better believe we got the full Terrapin Suite.  This was easily the best late night set I'd experienced at this point, and one of the best Dead sets I've ever witnessed.  Keep in mind that I'm a child of the late 80's.  

Watch JRAD perform "He's Gone" > "Terrapin Station" here:
-
-

While it was already nearly 90 degrees upon waking up on Friday, the lineup ahead of us demanded our full effort and attention.  Turkuaz was scheduled for a 12:30 PM power funk lunch session, and that's something you just can't miss out on.  This is one of the most entertaining, high-energy bands in the festival circuit, and they've only scratched the surface.   These guys are incredibly tight, and the level of choreography that goes into each set can't go unnoticed.  The set ultimately closed with an amazing rendition of The Band's "Shape I'm In," to which the stage rotated with Vulfpeck in full effect.

As much as I hated to walk away from Vulfpeck, I knew that my next move was arguably my most critical decision of the weekend, and the "Infinity Downs" area had a live video stream of the main stage.  I made my way over to the almighty Vida-Flo RV, which treated me to an incredibly pleasant experience.  The fine folks at Vida-Flo spent their majority of time at LOCKN' helping others rehydrate and obtain a much needed second wind to fight through the outrageously hot and humid weekend.  "The LOCKN' Special" put me exactly where I needed to be, and I was able to enjoy Vulfpeck's covers of "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Tell Me Somethin' Good" during the procress.  I can't say enough about Jamey, Katie, and the rest of the Vida-Flo team for the service they provided to so many at LOCKN'.

The remainder of Friday afternoon was highlighted by performances from White Denim, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, and Peter Wolf (of the J Geils Band).  With my new found energy and hydration, I made it back to the concert grounds and enjoyed a seriously rockin' set from White Denim, who I'd been looking forward to seeing for several years.  While I definitely haven't given White Denim the attention they deserve over the years, I have loved everything I've heard from these guys.  Songs like "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" and "At Night In Dreams" have been staples in my regular rotation for some time, and the entire Corsica Lemonade album is simply brilliant.  

One lifesaving factor to my LOCKN' experience that I have failed to mention thus far is the hospitality that we experienced at Starr Hill Brewery tent, which was located at the back of the concert grounds.  Starr Hill, a craft brewery based in Crozet, VA, is the official beer sponsor of LOCKN', and I'm not sure how we would've survived without it.  Fortunately, a longtime childhood friend works for the brewery and granted us access to the tent the entire weekend.  Shade, fans with mist, cool beer, and most importantly water, were made available to all of Starr Hill's patrons this weekend, as well as a distant view of the main stage.  The luxury of watching White Denim and part of Charles Bradley's set from the Starr Hill tent was a perfect way to continue the afternoon.  Star Hill Brewery probably saved our lives last weekend.

As the sun began to set, Ween returned to the stage for it's second set of the weekend.  While this set was closer to 80-90 minutes, it was an absolute scorcher.  One of my top highlights from the weekend came in the form of "Roses Are Free" > "Your Party" > "Bananas and Blow" > "Voodoo Lady."  Several other classics, including "Mutilated Lips," "Spinal Meningitis," "Piss Up A Rope," and "Buckingham Green" helped make this set one that I'll never forget.  

The stage was now set for a moment that so many were waiting for.  Phish was slated for two full sets as the Friday night headliner.  While the 90-minute break in music felt like an eternity, this was soon forgotten as the band took the stage and ripped into the opening notes of "Wilson."  Despite a few miscues in "Wilson," as well as the intro to "Down With Disease," this set was off to a really hot start.  "Free" and "Wolfman's Brother" would follow, before we were treated to a "Tube" which featured that extended jam that has been somewhat rare in recent years.  Next up was "555," which even went further than it typically does with a next outtro jam.  

"It's Ice" was probably the highlight of the first set for me, as it's just one of those songs that I tend to miss by one show.  "Wingsuit," which may be the most underrated song in the Phish catalog, slowed the pace and ultimately led into one of the most beautiful jams of the weekend.  The transition into "Simple" pumped a new life into the massive crowd, and just when you thought the set was over, the lights shifted to one particular mic stand, indicating an acapella performance.  I was lucky enough to witness the debut of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" at Wrigley Field in June, and I was elated to hear it again on Friday night.  There's nothing quite like their spin on that classic tune.

After a brief intermission, Trey wasted no time busting into "Punch You In The Eye," and he didn't let off the gas once.  "Blaze On" and "Fuego" were perfectly executed, and the "Ghost" that followed was easily the biggest jam of the night.  The segue into "Bathtub Gin" was seemless, and "Backwards Down The Number Line" provided an amazing, nostalgic sing-a-long, as it always does.  Any set that ends with "You Enjoy Myself" is a treat, and this was the case on Friday.  The trampolines came out, and Trey even gave us a little break dancing expo during Mike's solo.  The "Ass Handed" tease during the eventual vocal jam was icing on the cake.  You can only do so much with an encore after "YEM," and this was a night where "Character Zero" was the perfect choice.  Just like that, Phish's first LOCKN' set was over, and we couldn't have asked for much more.

I won't get too repetitive when discussing the second late night set from JRAD, but goodness gracious, it was amazing.  Just the fact that our evening included Ween > Phish > JRAD was hard to believe.  "Good Lovin" kicked off the set, and "Shakedown Street," "China Cat Sunflower," and "I Know You Rider" would follow.  The band welcomed Nicole Adkins to the stage to add a little Donna Jean flare to "Dancin' In The Streets," "The Music Never Stopped," and "Turn On Your Lovelight."  I was not familiar with Adkins prior to this set, but wow...she's got some serious pipes.  Her involvement in this set was something that will always stand out when thinking back on this one.  Fortunately, she stuck around for harmony vocals on the "Franklin's Tower," "Thowing Stones," and "Not Fade Away" which closed out night two at LOCKN'.  Joe Russo's ability to command and lead this band from behind the drum kit is absolutely remarkable, and I've never seen anything like it.  We are talking about one of the most talented drummers on the planet though, so I guess no one should be surprised.

-
-

We were now halfway through our LOCKN' experience, and waking up knowing that there were two more days of this madness was hard to believe.  Just like every other day, the lineup was slam packed full of "must see" bands, starting with Keller Williams' Grateful Grass at the Blue Ridge Bowl, or at least what was left of it from the two nights of JRAD destruction.  The Grateful Grass experience features a rotating cast of bluegrass musicians.  It's gotten to the point that Keller looks at the Dead's catalog as it's own genre, similar to jazz, as musicians can simply jump on stage with very little experience playing with one another and just roll with it.  I'd highly recommend reading Live Music Daily's interview with Keller from LOCKN', where he goes in depth on the evolution of the Grateful Grass concept.  

Listen to the entire Grateful Gospel set here:
-
-

Moon Taxi was first up on the main stage, and they had the farm rocking at an early hour.  It's been a true pleasure watching this band progress from the college bar scene to touring across the country playing many of the most prestigious venues.  Their ability to find a balance between jam and mainstream rock is brilliant, and I can only imagine the dividends that it is paying.  Twiddle was up next, and I can't say enough about this band.  I feel like I haven't stopped listening to Twiddle all summer, and I've been fortunate to attend two summer festivals (LOCKN' and The Werk Out) which featured two sets of Twiddle.  "Jamflowman" and "When It Rains It Pours" gave me my two favorite Twiddle originals, and Keller Williams' sit-in on "Best Feeling" was likely the top spontaneous collaboration of the weekend.  

Watch Twiddle and Keller Williams perform "Best Feeling" here:
-
 
-

Thanks to the champions at SiriusXM JamOn, nearly every major set at LOCKN' was broadcasted live, which you wouldn't think would impact those of us at the festival.  You have to take a break at some point though, especially amidst the extreme heat and humidity last weekend.  While I didn't watch the Galactic set with Lee Oskar, I was able to listen live from my car, which was a major luxury.  Galactic has been an anchor in the jam/festival scene for as long as I can remember, and they delivered once again.  Hard Working Americans were next on stage, providing me with my first chance to see this super group in person.  

While I've been a huge Widespread Panic fan for 15+ years, my eyes were glued to Neal Casal's guitar playing.  This guy is one of the best in the business, and easily one of the "hardest working" musicians around.  He was easily the MVP of the weekend, performing with HWA, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Circles Around The Sun.  Todd Snider's unique stage presence and style was a treat to watch, and it was a lot of fun watching Dave Schools and Duane Trucks jamming together with these guys.  

Saturday's Phil & Friends lineup was easily one of the most hyped moments of the weekend, and how could it not have been?  Who would have ever thought we would see Phil Lesh, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Joe Russo, Anders Osborne, and The Infamous Stringdusters play an entire set together?  How about adding Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi for two songs ("Mr Charlie" > "Sugaree")?  That is absolutely ridiculous, and yes, it really happened.  Seeing the stage rotate with this cast, while they busted into "Scarlet Begonias," was a memory I will always cherish.  I know I'll be listening to their renditions of "Dire Wolf," "Uncle John's Band," "Shakedown Street," and "Terrapin Station" (even if it wasn't the full Terrapin Suite) for the rest of my life.  

Most festivals would have probably featured that type of set as the night's headliner, but we weren't even close to that point.  The world class Tedeschi Trucks Band was up next for a super soulful ride into the evening.  Each night as the sun would go down, the crowd was able to breathe a little easier without the brutal sun beating down on us, and Tedeschi Trucks was a perfect way to ease into the night.  Joe Cocker's "The Letter", "Keep On Growing," and "Let Me Get By" rounded out this killer performance, setting the stage for the set that everyone is still talking about.

My Morning Jacket is no stranger to the festival scene, and it's no secret that they are one of the greatest rock-and-roll bands of our era.  That being said, I don't think anyone realized how dynamic this headlining set would be.  MMJ started in familiar territory with "Victory Dance," which flowed perfectly into a sequence of "Compound Fracture" > "Off The Record."  Next up was "Steam Engine," before a cover of Burt Bacharch's "What The World Needs Now" that had some true magic to it.  "I'm Amazed," "Spring," "Phone Went West, and Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved" would follow and keep this set alive.  "Magheeta" would precede another epic moment, as James led the band through a well executed cover of Prince's "Purple Rain."  The set's closing sequence of "Wordless Chorus" > "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream (Pt.2)," David Bowie's "Rebel, Rebel" and "One Big Holiday" couldn't have been written up any better.  MMJ was headlining the jam scene's biggest festival of the summer, and they dialed up a list of songs that reflected that.  The hype surrounding this set is absolutely justified, and anyone who had already seen this band perform wasn't surprised in the least.  Is there a bigger modern rock star than Jim James?  

-

 

Saturday's late night at Blue Ridge Bowl provided a much needed dose of funk as Lettuce took control of the party.  It's always a special occasion when Nigel Hall (keys/vocals) is on stage, adding an extra vocal element and opening up so many different options for this insanely talented group.  Prior to the set, drummer Adam Deitch and guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff promised fans the most psychedelic set of their career, and they delivered just that.  This set was specially crafted for LOCKN', and you can't help but tip your cap to these guys for such an appropriate approach.

For many, Sunday started off with a much needed church session, and luckily, Keller Williams was slated for his annual "Grateful Gospel" set.  Joining Keller on lead guitar was none other than John Kadlecick, who's known for co-founding Dark Star Orchestra in 1997, as well as joining Furthur in 2009. The female backing vocalists truly added a church-like gospel feel throughout the set, but I highly recommending watching the performance of "We Bid You Goodnight" below.  I can't imagine a better way to start your day at a festival than 90-minutes of Keller's Grateful Gospel.

Watch the "Moonlight Midnight" > "We Bid You Goodnight" sequence from Keller's Grateful Gospel here:
-
-

I was unable to make it to the main stage for the afternoon's first two performers, The Dharma Initiative and Doobie Decibel System, but there was definitely a buzz about both performances.  As amazing as this year's lineup was, it can be painful when deciding which sets you have to take a break during.  Fortunately, our campsite was within listening distance for even these sets that weren't streamed live via JamOn.  I knew I couldn't miss Twiddle's encore performance.  It's amazing to watch this band continue to flourish and reel in new fans on the biggest stage.  Sunday's set started off with "Blunderbus, "Daydream Farmer," and "Beehop," before "Lost In The Cold" seemed to have the entire farm singing in unison.  "Carte Candlestick" and "Frankenfoote" ultimately closed out the short set, as the band was again slotted for just 60-minutes.  While most any band would kill for 60-minutes at LOCKN', you just want so much more once this band gets going.  I'll be shocked if we don't see these guys back on Oak Ridge Farm in 2017.

Watch Twiddle perform "Daydream Farmer" at LOCKN' here:
-
-

Every music festival could use a nice dose of reggae, and who better to provide that than the band who taught us about this genre, The Wailers.  These seasoned vets took the stage and laid down literally every Bob Marley / Wailers hit that you've ever heard.  This music always generates a notable energy amongst a crowd, but it was something really special on Sunday afternoon. You've got to love the planning and attention to detail with the placement of each band on this lineup.  There is absolutely a science to it, and Peter Shapiro knows it as well as anyone in the game.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood took the stage fairly late in the afternoon, and they had their work cut out for them.  Not only were they slated for 90-minutes of originals, but they would then join Phil Lesh for the weekend's second set of Phil & Friends.  The CRB set was highlighted by originals such as "Leave My Guitar Alone," "Forever As The Moon," "New Cannonball Rag," and "Ain't Hard But Fair," while Jackie Moore's "Precious, Precious" and Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" rounded things out.  The band's latest hit single, "Narcissistic and Soaking Wet" would ultimately close things out.

Watch Chris Robinson Brotherhood perform "Narcissistic Soaking Wet" at LOCKN' here:
-
 
-

While Saturday's Phil & Friends lineup featured the sexier lineup on paper, I personally thought Sunday's set had the true feel of a Dead set.  Perhaps it was presence of weekend MVP Neal Casal, who just knows how to play it like Jerry.  I've always been a fan of Robinson's vocals, and he really delivered for this one.  Just as the stage began to rotate, Phil, the boys from CRB, and Gary Clark Jr. began ripping into "Samson & Delilah."  "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Wang Dang Doodle" were perfect choices, and the decision to play The Dead's version of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle" was one of my favorite moments of the weekend.  This song might be the most commonly covered song in rock-and-roll, but hearing Chris Robinson sing it to The Dead's tempo was a fucking treat.  Do yourself a favor and watch the video footage below and see for yourself.  "Fire On The Mountain" and "New Speedway Boogie" opened things up for yet another monster "St. Stephen," and "The Wheel" wasn't going to slow down.  There aren't many songs in the Dead catalog better suited for a party than "Turn On Your Lovelight" (Bobby Bland), and Robinson crushed every note.  It was refreshing and reassuring to see Phil having such a great time, surrounded by so many world class musicians at LOCKN'  

Watch Phil Lesh & Friends perform "Hard to Handle" here:
-
-

Gary Clark Jr. might have been the most intriguing act on the lineup entering the weekend.  While I've heard "Bright Lights" and "Don't Owe You a Thing" as many times as I can remember on JamOn, I just haven't given this guy the attention he deserves. I've been well aware of his reputation and status across the scene in general, but I was way past due for a Gary Clark Jr. set.  He and his band came out swinging as they opened with "Bright Lights," and swiftly moved into "Travis County," "Next Door Neighbor Blues," "Cold Blooded," and "BYOB."  The crowd continued filling in, and the set eventually closed out with "Don't Owe You A Thing," "You Saved Me," and "Shake.  The sound that this guy has is out of this world.  There are moments where My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, Jimi Hendrix, and White Denim all come to mind, except that Clark compliments the heavy riffs with one of the most soulful voices you've ever heard. 

Watch Gary Clark Jr. perform "Bright Lights" at LOCKN' here:
-
-
-

The stage was now set for one final time, and you couldn't help but stand up and look around at the scene that awaited.  The energy at Oak Ridge Farm on Sunday night was impalpable, with 30,000+ fans riding high on four days of music with two more sets of Phish to come.  Each day as the sun would set, we experienced significant release as the temperature seemed to instantly drop fifteen degrees, and this held true once again on Sunday.  Phish took the stage right around 8:30 PM, and "Sample In A Jar" was first up to the plate.  Page then cued the now infamous vocal tracking of "Martian Monster," much to the approval of the LOCKN' faithful.  I really wish they would jam this one out more than they do now, and it feels like more appropriate in the second set (Ex: Atlanta, GA - July 31st, 2015), they're typically throwing it in early and keeping it fairly tamed.

 

The first set stayed super hot with "Axilla" and "The Moma Dance," before "Halley's Comet" provided that absurd, silly sing-a-long that very few are capable of pulling off.  We were then given a double-dose of the band's 1986 cassette tape release The White Tape with "AC/DC Bag" > "Fuck Your Face."  The sequence of "Fuck Your Face" > "46 Days" is about as heavy rock-and-roll as you can ask for from Phish.  "The Line" was a bit of a curveball, as it tends to be, but "Limb By Limb," "Possum," and "First Tube" would follow and wrap up a very, very solid first yet.  

There were high expectations for a wave of heavy hitters in set two, and they were exceeded, as usual.  "Carini" lit a fire across the farm and flowed nicely into the "Chalkdust Torture" that you knew was coming as some point.  "Twist" seems to be one of the jams of 2016, and I don't think anyone is complaining.  I've been a sucker for "Light" since the release of Joy in 2009, as this tune has become one of the bigger jam vehicles of the Phish 3.0 era.  The "Light" jam ultimately landed into "Tweezer," prompting a mildly concerning glow stick war on Oak Ridge Farm.  Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" was next, prompting McConnell to guide us through the classic cover.  I'm assuming the guy next to me promised his friends that he would do a headstand if Phish was to play "No Quarter," because he went ballistic during the opening notes, and his friends proceeded to lift his feet to the sky as he hit the deck.  Truly remarkable.

From here, we went into full "space jam" mode, as Fishman dropped into the opening beat of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," aka "2001 (Space Odyssey)."  That's a dance party that never gets old.  It was apparently Fishman's moment, as he then dropped into the opening notes of "Harry Hood," which seemed to be a likely place for the set to end.  As I've said before...just when you think you know, this band proves you wrong.  They tacked on a "Tweezer Reprise" just for safe measure and made sure that this crowd was still on it's toes.  After a brief exit, the band returned and broke into The Rolling Stones' "Loving Cup" and closed out the festival with everyone screaming "What a beautiful buzz!"  While it might not have been a shocking encore selection, it felt extremely appropriate.  

Sitting down and reliving this unforgettable experience over the past few days has allowed me to fully comprehend the remarkable journey we took just a week ago.  It's easy to get caught up in the fatigue, anxiety, and pressure to "get back into a normal" rhythm after these huge musical weekends, but it's equally important to reflect and cherish the moment.  As much fun as it was, it certainly wasn't easy.  I've never dealt with that type of heat, humidity, and pure exhaustion without access to "going inside."  In the long run, that makes the experience that much more unique, and it definitely makes for better story-telling.  There were twelve different bands on this lineup that I have travelled to see play on their own, and some on multiple occasions.  Top that off with the fact that this marked my 30th show with my favorite band: Phish.  What's left to say?  My ability to continue embarking on these musical adventures with so many of the world's greatest friends is an element of life that I'll never take for granted.  Until next time, LOCKN'...

Special thanks to Keith Griner of Phierce Photography for capturing this weekend for us and allowing us to share it with you all.


LOCKN' Festival Announces Free Live Video Stream Schedule August 24, 2016 15:07

For those unable to make it to this weekend's LOCKN' Festival, we have good news just for you.  The festival has announced a free livestream this weekend sponsored by FANS.com and powered by nugs.tv and Qello Concerts, featuring sets by all of your favorite LOCKN' performers, including Phish (x2), My Morning Jacket, Ween (x2), Phil Lesh & Friends, Gary Clark Jr., Vulfpeck, Umphrey's McGee, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Russo's Almost Dead (x2), Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Twiddle, Hard Working Americans, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, and many more. For information on where to watch, visit the LOCKN' website, and view the full livestream schedule below. 

Click Here: Official Details via LOCKNFestival.com


-
LOCKN' FESTIVAL 2016 LIVESTREAM SCHEDULE:
All times are EDT, and subject to change.
-
THURSDAY 
Vulfpeck – 7:30pm 
Umphrey’s McGee – 8:30pm 
Ween – 10:00pm 
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – 1:00am 
-
FRIDAY 
Donna The Buffalo – 11:00am 
Moogatu – 12:00pm 
Turkuaz – 12:30pm 
Vulfpeck – 1:30pm 
White Denim – 2:30pm 
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires – 3:30pm
Peter Wolf – 4:45pm

Ween – 6:00pm 
Phish – 8:30pm 
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – 1:00am 
-
SATURDAY 
Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass– 10:30am 
DJ Williams Projekt – 12:00pm 
Moon Taxi – 12:30pm 
Twiddle – 1:30pm 
Galactic w/ Lee Oskar – 2:40pm 
Hard Working Americans – 4:10pm 
Brandi Carlile – 5:40pm 
Phil Lesh & Friends – 6:40pm 
Tedeschi Trucks Band – 8:20pm 
My Morning Jacket– 10:20pm 
Lettuce – 1:00am 
-
SUNDAY 
Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel – 10:30am 
The Dharma Initiative – 12:00pm 
Doobie Decibel System – 12:30pm 
Twiddle – 1:00pm 
The Wailers – 2:00pm 
Chris Robinson Brotherhood – 3:00pm 
Phil Lesh & Friends – 4:45pm 
Gary Clark Jr. – 6:15pm 
Phish – 8:30pm


Members of Phish, Joe Russo, & More To Join Phil Lesh at Lockn' July 21, 2016 12:21

Just in case the lineup for Lockn' Festival wasn't enticing enough already, the festival's co-creator Peter Shapiro has revealed new details which have created quite the buzz.  Phil Lesh & Friends, the festival's most recent addition, has featured an endless amount of amazing talent over the years, and the Lockn' editions will be no different.  

Joining Lesh on Saturday, August 27th will be Page McConnell and Jon Fishman of Phish, Joe Russo, and the Infamous Stringdusters.  Phil & Friends is also slated to perform on Sunday, August 28th, when Lesh will perform with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Gary Clark Jr

When asked about the status of Trey Anastasio, Shapiro had the following to say:

"While I did directly ask about it, I did not get a direct response. “A lot of special guests and intricacies are being finalized behind the scenes still,” Shapiro said. I creepily paused for too long to be comfortable hoping he would spill his guts, but the guy is a pro. We’ll just have to see what happens in a couple weeks in Arrington."

In regards to the correlation of last year's Fare Thee Well shows (which Shapiro organized) and this year's Lockn' lineup, Shapiro added: 

The people who love the Dead. There were shows at every Chicago venue of bands playing Dead music, artists sold their grateful art outside the shows,…everyone kind of created new life out of it. It just is such a big community, full of great people. Bringing everyone together is what we’re gonna do again at LOCKN’. That, along with the integration of Trey, Phish, and the Dead world…it’s just never been done at a festival like this. That whole thing from last summer’s gonna happen again, a year later. Phish is headlining two nights, and are surrounded by tons of Dead music. In fact, this will be the first time since Fare Thee Well that members from Phish will play with members from the Dead, and we’re really excited about that too.

One can only imagine where Anastasio and Phish bassist Mike Gordon will work their way into the mix.  Perhaps a cameo with Joe Russo's Almost Dead?  We'll have to wait till late August and find out for ourselves. 

Check out the daily schedule for Lockn' 2016 here:


Fare Thee Well: The Grateful Dead's Final Stand at Soldier Field July 09, 2015 09:40

Photo by Phierce Photo of FX Media Solutions

When I awoke and drove in to work on Friday, January 16th, I was already excited and knew that I was in for a long day.  Several of us were heading to the Charleston Pour House for four rotating sets of Phish and Widespread Panic, courtesy of tribute bands Runaway Gin and Machine Funk.  Sometime around noon, my phone started to light up with calls and text messages asking if I had heard the news.  The rumors were officially true: The Grateful Dead were playing a three-night run at Soldier Field over the weekend of July 4th.  To make things even sweeter, Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti were all set to round out the lineup.  Any chance at the slightest bit of productivity that afternoon was officially shot, and a hotel reservation in Chicago was made immediately.

In order to honor their creative tradition, the initial ticket offer was made via mail order, in order to ensure that the band's total ticket allotment would be available only to those willing to make the extra effort.  Elaborate, Dead-themed artwork was encouraged on each envelope.  Over 500,000 ticket requests were received, leaving just a ten percent chance of "winning the lottery."  The overwhelming response led promoters to adjust the seating arrangement to accommodate more guests. Peter Shapiro, the event's organizer and head promoter, gave his word that the level of production would provide all mail order ticket holders with an amazing experience.  

On April 10th, more rumors were confirmed when the band announced that their final run would now consist of two additional shows at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on June 27th and 28th.  It only seemed right that the band make a return to the Bay Area, where it all officially started 50 years prior.  Much debate surrounded the band's selection of Anastasio on lead guitar, as past Dead lineups have included many other amazing guitarists such as Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Jimmy Herring, and John Kadlecick in that role.  

FULL STORY: Fare Thee Well: The Grateful Dead's Final Stand at Soldier Field