SweetWater 420 Festival: A Weekend We Will Never Forget April 26, 2018 18:01
Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
Growing up in the southeast, I became accustomed to traveling to Atlanta to see my favorite bands at an early age. Weekend excursions to The Tabernacle became a regular occurrence by the time I was in high school, with plenty of trips to The Fox Theatre and Variety Playhouse mixed in as well. Just last year, I finally made plans to attend SweetWater 420 Festival, which was clearly becoming one of the premier festivals in the country. Following that weekend, it was clear that this would become my latest annual tradition. No excuses.
After a lineup which featured two nights of Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, moe., Ween, and Dark Star Orchestra (just to name a few), festival organizers had their work cut out for them. When the initial lineup dropped in mid-October, it almost felt like they were reading my mind. Umphrey’s McGee, Sturgill Simpson, and Tedeschi Trucks Band sat atop this lineup, along with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Vulfpeck, Papadosio, Anders Osborne, Spafford, and many more. The second wave would ultimately include The String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, Ghostland Observatory, The Infamous Stringdusters, and the young phenom Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.
Once the schedule was released, plans were made to arrive early on Friday afternoon. Southern Avenue was rocking the Planet 420 Stage in full force, and The Record Company was getting started on the main stage shortly after. We made a point to catch a nice segment of both sets and couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the weekend. This was my first opportunity to see either of these bands live, and I’ll definitely be making a point to see both again.
If you follow the festival scene at all, you’ve surely seen the hype surrounding Spafford. This band has taken the jam world by storm, selling out just about every venue on the schedule. This would be my first live experience with them as well, and I was totally floored. The band came out swinging the “Backdoor Funk” and “The Remedy” and continued with killer takes on “Windmill,” “Lovesick Melody,” and “Minds Unchained.” They closed out the set with Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” and I think everyone was wishing we had a second set. I was fortunate enough to attend to Spafford’s late night show at Variety Playhouse, which seemed to be the hottest ticket in town. This set included some amazing takes on “Electric Taco Stand,” “All My Friends,” “Salamander Song,” “All In,” and a cover of Men at Work’s “Down Under.”
Watch Spafford perform "You Don't Know How It Feels" here:
Sturgill Simpson was up next on the main stage. This would be he and his band’s first performance since October 14th, and it was clear that these guys were ready to rock. Highlights from this set included originals such as “Turtles All The Way Down” and “Keep It Between The Lines,” while the cover of Freddie King’s “Going Down” really got the crowd moving. While Sturgill has one of the most unique, powerful voices I’ve ever heard, his guitar playing is equally impressive. He’s one of the most talented performers I’ve ever watched, and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds.
The String Cheese Incident has been very kind to Atlanta in recent years. The past two summers have featured some amazing two-night runs at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, and expectations were high for Friday night’s headlining spot. The band got off to a hot start with “Sirens,” “Let’s Go Outside, and “Song In My Head.” The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky and Dave Watts, along with local Atlanta vocalist Rhonda Thomas, joined in on “Get To You,” before a cover of Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy” and “Believe” closed out the set.
Cheese returned to the stage with young star Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, who traded licks with Michael Kang and Bill Nershi throughout “Close Your Eyes.” Second set highlights also included “Beautiful,” “Joyful Sound,” “Rollover,” and “Restless Wind.” The crowd had a chance to sing “Happy Birthday” to drummer Michael Travis during the encore, and Taz + Rhonda Thomas would return for the closer, “I Saw The Light.”
Saturday may have been my favorite day of the weekend, and there are a number of reasons why. One of my favorite regional bands, Funk You, kicked things off with an amazing set on the main stage. The band welcomed The Brotherhorns for the entirety of the set, and the Augusta natives brought out an impressive crowd for the early set. Funk You delivered a number of killer originals before closing things out with The Village People's "Kung Fu Fighting" with a little help from three dancers dressed as Gumby. Why not?
Watch Funk You perform "Kung Fu Fighting" here:
Anders Osborne was up next on the main stage, and I could listen to this guy for days. Anders has one of the most soothing voices you will find, and his songwriting is tough to beat. As is the case at most festivals, you're forced to cut several sets earlier than you'd like, and I knew I couldn't miss a minute of Marco Benevento. As a longtime fan of the Benevento Russo Duo, it's been remarkable to watch Marco's career flourish. This was my first chance to see his solo band, and it was easily one of the weekend highlights. This set was jam packed with energy from start to finish, and I was floored by bassist Karina Rykman. They gave us an amazing cover of Butthole Surfers' "Pepper" and had the entire crowd going wild as they closed out with "At The Show."
Brandon "Taz" Niederauer was arguably the star of the weekend. While he made guest appearances with all three headliners, he and his band provided an incredible set on Saturday afternoon. The last time I'd seen Taz in Atlanta, he was tearing through a guitar solo as his mentor Col. Bruce Hampton tragically passed away on stage. Watching him perform "I'm So Glad" in Bruce's honor was a truly special moment. While his guitar playing is essentially indescribable, this "kid" can really sing too.
While this weekend had many peak moments, Joe Russo's Almost Dead was my personal main event. Thankfully, the second wave of artist announcements included a second set for JRAD, which set us up for an unforgettable evening. A lengthy jam led into "Cats Down Under The Stars," while "Feel Like A Stranger" would follow. A beautiful take on "The Wheel" led into a rockin' "Estimated Prophet," which segued perfectly into "He's Gone" to close the set. The second set was as strong as anything I've seen from these guys. "Shakedown Street" set the tone right off the bat and moved straight into "I Need A Miracle." The set continued with "Ramble On Rose," and "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider," before "Not Fade Away" and "One More Saturday Night" closed out the set on the highest of notes. I could go on for days about this band. Here's to hoping that they become regular performers at this festival.
While I hated to miss The Infamous Stringdusters and Ghostland Observatory, we solidified our spot front and center for Tedeschi Trucks Band. This was the most intriguing storyline of the weekend for me, as I knew this JRAD > TTB sequence would be outrageous. To no one's surprise, TTB came out firing with a downright spiritual set which included classics such as "Made Up Mind," "Part of Me," and "Midnight in Harlem." Susan Tedeschi led a beautiful combo of "Angel From Montgomery" > "Sugaree," and young Taz made his way onto the stage for a monster cover of "Statesboro Blues." Watching he and Derek Trucks trade licks on the Allman Brothers' classic was a moment I'll never forget. Taz would also join the band for the encore which featured Sly & The Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" > "I Want To Take You Higher."
Sunday's weather looked questionable all week, and the rainy forecast became a reality early on. This was a familiar situation for those who attended the festival last year, and a little dancing in the rain is good for the soul. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds kicked things off with a super soulful performance. Greensky Bluegrass would follow with their wildly entertaining serving of jamgrass. This would give us yet another cameo from Taz, who took the lead on the Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider." We then made our way to the Planet 420 Stage to catch the tail end of TAUK. This band is one of the most talented, dynamic bands on the scene, and we caught them just in time for an incredible cover of Rush's "Tom Sawyer."
Watch Greensky Bluegrass perform "Midnight Rider" with Taz here:
The bouncing between stages continued as we prepared for Vulfpeck on the main stage. Frequent collaborators Antwuan Stanley, Joey Dosik, and Corey Wong were each on hand for the funky occasion. The set was highlighted by classics such as "Animal Spirits," "1612," "Funky Duck," "Back Pocket," "Christmas in LA," and even a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Bassist Joe Dart would lead the way through "Dean Town" to close out a high-energy occasion with Vulfpeck. Meanwhile, Papadosio was closing out the Planet 420 stage in powerful fashion. We walked up just in time to catch a sequence which included "Cue," "Garden," and "We Are Water." The energy was palpable as the rain picked up, and the Papadosio dance party was a sight to see.
The final performance of the weekend belonged to Umphrey's McGee, and they closed out a magical weekend in fine form. They kicked off the set with "Half Delayed" and "Remind Me," before "Booth Love" really got the party moving. "Preamble" would follow before what would become a massive "Mantis" sandwich. The sequence of "Mantis" > "Wife Soup", "Lenny" w/ Taz, "Draconian" > "Mantis" would definitely need to be on any list of weekend highlights. "Wappy Sprayberry" and "Ringo" would put an exclamation point on a wild, rainy set from Umphrey's. The encore began with a very fitting cover of Led Zeppelin's "Fool In The Rain," which was followed by "Ocean Billy" and "The Silent Type." While there were quite a few heavy hitters on this lineup, Umphrey's most certainly justified their spot in closing out the festivities.
As you would expect, there was wide variety of afterparties around Atlanta each night. While many made their way to Variety Playhouse for TAUKing McGee on Sunday night, our crew headed over to one of my favorite venues, Aisle 5. Local favorites Bird Dog Jubilee were set to perform 'A Picture of Hoist' which consisted of songs from the two Phish albums ('A Picture of Nectar' and 'Hoist'). From start to finish, these guys absolutely killed it and provided a perfect ending to our 420 Fest experience. It's always a pleasure catching a show at Aisle 5, and Sunday night was no different.
I've said more than enough at this point, but I'll conclude by saying that I truly believe this was my favorite festival experience to date. You couldn't ask for a better lineup, and Centennial Olympic Park is perfectly structured for a festival of this magnitude. There were a handful of sets that I really wish I could've seen, but it's impossible to catch them all. Festival organizers and the entire staff did an absolutely phenomenal job, and things couldn't have run any smoother. I'm not sure how they will top this year's experience, but I have no doubt that they will.
Watch Tedeschi Trucks Band Perform "Mountain Jam" With Trey Anastasio October 18, 2017 14:32
One of our favorite things about the jam/live touring scene is the sense of family; not just amongst the fans, but the artists as well. While the juggernaut that is the Tedeschi Trucks Band has welcomed many special guests over the years, this past weekend at The Beacon Theatre was certainly special. TTB's roots with The Allman Brothers Band clearly run deep, and Phish frontman Trey Anastasio gives much credit to Duane Allman for his early guitar development.
Trey joined TTB last weekend for a monster cover of the Allmans' classic "Mountain Jam," and thankfully, pro-shot footage has now surfaced. TTB released footage of the final eight minutes from the 30-minute cover today, and it can be watched below. Keep your fingers crossed for a future release of the entire performance.
Watch the final third of TTB's 30-minute "Mountain Jam" with Trey Anastasio here:
Tedeschi Trucks Band Returns To Birmingham On September 15th June 5, 2017 16:21
Tedeschi Trucks Band is returning to the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham on September 15th. TTB's pre-sale begins tomorrow, Tuesday June 6 at 10am CT with no code/password needed. Tickets are available to the public starting on Friday, June 9 at 10am CT. The Tedeschi Trucks Band is an American blues rock group based in Jacksonville, Florida. Formed in 2010, the band is led by married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Their debut album, Revelator (2011), won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album. The band has released three studio and two live albums.
Watch Tedeschi Trucks Band perform "Keep On Growing" at The Fox Oakland here:
Hampton 70: A Musical Celebration Like No Other May 4, 2017 15:45
When I heard that there would be a 70th birthday celebration for Col. Bruce Hampton at The Fox Theatre, I knew that I had to be there. After reading through the star-studded lineup, there was no doubt that this would be one of the most unique musical experiences of my life. With members of Widespread Panic, Phish, Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule, Blues Traveler, and so many more scheduled to perform, the possibilities for this show were endless. This lineup was a true testament to the immeasurable influence that Col. Bruce Hampton made on the world of music, and the ultimate experience was one that no one could prepare for.
The show got started just after 7:30 PM, with the evening's emcee introducing a cast featuring many frequent Col. Bruce collaborators, such as Darren Stanley, Matt Slocum, Carter Herring, and Ike Stubblefield. The Colonel was eventually brought to the stage, wearing a blue blazer, and led the group through "There Was A Time." The show's first featured guest was Oliver Wood, who was backed by Slocum, Darick Campbell, Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic) and others. As soon as Wood began working through two originals from The Wood Brothers catalog ("Sing About It" and "Postcards From Hell"), it became apparent that anything was fair game. Before long, Susan Tedeschi was on stage trading lines with Wood. San Diego Padres' pitcher Jake Peavy and 14-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer were then introduced and led the charge through "Oh Pretty Woman" and "Shake Your Hips."
Next up was a serving a blues and jamgrass royalty, as Rev. Jeff Mosier took the stage alongside John Popper of Blues Traveler and Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon. This combo, backed by Trucks, Kevin Scott, Emil Wrestler, Matt Slocum would eventually be joined by legendary drummer Jeff Sipe, aka Apt. Q-258 for a rousing take on "She Caught The Katy." It wasn't long before Kevin Kinney, Hardy Morris, Todd Snider, Peter Buck, Dave Schools were brought out to continue the magic. At this point, it was nearly impossible to keep up with who we had seen versus who was yet to come, but we would be quickly reminded as Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule), Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers Band / Rolling Stones), Jon Fishman (Phish), and saxophonist Karl Denson took the stage. The energy reached a new level during "Rip This Joint," and the combo of Fishman and Sipe during "Compared To What" and "Good Morning 'Lil School Girl" was as heavy as it gets.
Duane Trucks stepped in for Sipe and joined Fishman behind the kit for "More Trouble Everyday," which would lead up to one of the evening's many highlights. The cast of Derek Trucks, Haynes, Leavell, Schools, Buck, Fishman, and (Duane) Trucks played the Allman Brothers Band's "Jessica" to absolute perfection. John Bell of Widespread Panic made his first appearance for "Time Is Free," and would stick around for "Don't Cry Not More," which would also feature Tedeschi on vocals.
Watch the performance of "Jessica" here:
As the show proceeded into its third hour, the Colonel returned to the stage for the evening's final performances. After leading the way through "Yield Not To Temptation," Hampton took the microphone for one of his long-time staples, "Fixin' To Die." Watching the Colonel turning, pointing, and singing those words to so many of his oldest friends and collaborators will forever be a surreal memory. He would remain on stage for the final three songs of the nearly four hour set: "Don't Go In The Room," "Space Is The Place," and a cover of Cream's "I'm So Glad" that had an especially spiritual feel to it.
After the stage briefly cleared, nearly forty performers returned to the stage for one last nod to the godfather of jam. The encore began with in classic fashion, as ARU drummer Jeff Sipe led the massive group through "Zambi Military Ensemble," creating the feel of am early 90's Aquarium Rescue Unit Show. This epic celebration would end with none other than "Turn On Your Lovelight," with Tedeschi, Wood, and Hampton rotating verses.
As Colonel walked over to young Taz (Brandon Niederauer) and signaled him to solo, we would all witness the unthinkable. Col. Bruce appeared to take a knee, as if giving praise to the young prodigy, and proceeded to slowly, peacefully lay down behind him (with an arm propped onto a monitor). This was a man known for his wild theatrics, giving no reason for initial concern as he lied motionless on the stage. Video footage shows those surrounding him smiling and laughing at each other, waiting for his dramatic rise for the song's conclusion. But as several minutes passed with no movement, a feeling of concern was felt throughout the theatre, and it became evident that this was no joke. Several people rushed from the side stage to check on Hampton, the music abruptly stopped, and Billy Bob Thornton quickly addressed the crowd as the curtains were frantically closed.
Those closer to the stage could see the immediate medical attention being applied to Col. Bruce, as the majority of us exited the building in total shock and confusion. Multiple ambulances were on the scene within minutes, and many witnessed Hampton being taken away in a frenzy to the hospital. Within the next two hours, the news began to spread that world had lost Col. Bruce Hampton. I can honestly say that this was a wave of emotions that I'd never dreamed of experiencing. The entire evening was surreal; witnessing so many musical heroes on stage together.
Watching the Colonel get carried off stage is an image that I'll never forget. But as the tributes and memoirs have piled in this week, this ending does seem beautifully poetic in many ways. Col. Bruce left this earthly life during the closing moments of his own musical celebration. His final act was showcasing and praising one of music's brightest young stars, while surrounded by 30+ world class musicians who considered him one of their greatest influences. Hampton 70 was truly a celebration like no other; honoring one of the most unique souls to ever walk this planet. While his presence will be missed by so many, we should all take comfort in knowing that his influence will be felt across the musical spectrum far beyond our time.
Setlist: Hampton 70 - A Celebration of Col. Bruce Hampton - 05.01.17
Set: There Was A Time, Postcards From Hell, Sing About It, Feelin’ Good, Oh Pretty Woman, Shake Your Hips, She Caught The Katy, Working On A Building, Put Down That Cane, Play A Train Song, Stupid Preoccupations, When You Come Back, Rip This Joint, Compared To What, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl > Trouble Every Day, Jessica, Time Is Free, Trondossa, Smokestack Lightning > Cry Cry Cry, Basically Frightened, Fixin’ To Die, Space Is The Place, I’m So Glad
Encore: Zambi > Turn On Your Lovelight
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Go In Depth On Guitars With Rig Rundown March 22, 2017 23:06
Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
One of rock and roll's most powerful couples, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, seem to be everywhere these days, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band has easily become one of the hottest touring acts in the country. The two, along with TTB bassist Tim Lefebvre, recently sat down with Premier Guitar's John Bohlinger before their 3-show residency at the Ryman in Nashville. While this might not be a gear-heavy band, there’s plenty of soul, groove, and vibe.
Derek Trucks is not one to switch guitars. A longtime SG man, his current No. 1 is a prototype of a 2013 Gibson Dickey Betts signature custom shop SG—but with actual vintage PAF pickups. Trucks keeps a similar SG as a backup, but only plays it when he breaks a string, and then he usually switches back as soon as the string has been replaced. Susan Tedeschi’s No. 1 is a stock 1970 Stratocaster that was a gift from Derek after he inquired about what her dream guitar would be. She keeps it strung up with D’Addario (.011–.049) strings. Tim brings a pair of basses on the road with Tedeschi Trucks. Here is his custom CallowHill bass nicknamed the “asshole bass” by the late luthier Tim Cloonan. Hidden underneath the pickguard is a sopabar pickup that can be mixed in.
Watch Derek & Susan's 30-minute rig rundown with Premier Guitar here:
Watch Widespread Panic Cover Joe Cocker With Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi September 24, 2016 14:37
Widespread Panic's smokin' hot fall tour continued last night in St. Augustine, Florida, as the band kicked off the first of a highly anticipated two-night run at the beach. With uncertainty as to just how much Widespread Panic we will see in 2017, the Georgia natives are treating the Panic faithful to what feels like one of their strongest tours in recent memory. Friday night's highlight's came in the form of a cover of War's "Slippin' Into Darkness," which featured the band's tour manager Steve Lopez on shaker, the always rowdy "Chilly Water" and a massive encore of "Good Morning Little School Girl" and Joe Cocker's "High Time We Went" featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.
The Florida-based couple are no strangers to the Panic family, as they have collaborated many times over the years, and Trucks' younger brother Duane recently took on full-time duty behind the drum kit for Panic. Fortunately, video footage from "High Time We Went" has surfaced via YouTube user Fred Ramadan which can be watch in full below.
Watch Widespread Panic perform "High Time We Went" w/ Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi here:
Setlist via PanicStream.com
Widespread Panic // St. Augustine Amphitheatre // St. Augustine, FL // 9/23/16
Set 1 Hope In A Hopeless World, Glory, Worry, Cotton Was King, C Brown, 1×1, Christmas Katie > Radio Child, Tail Dragger (62 mins)
Set 2 Postcard > Impossible > Slippin’ Into Darkness*, St Louis, Rock, Proving Ground > Jack > Chilly Water > Drums > Chilly Water (75 mins)
Encore: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl**, High Time We Went** (24 mins)
Notes * w/ Steve Lopez on shaker
** w/ Derek Trucks on guitar; Susan Tedeschi on guitar and vocals
Tedeschi Trucks Band Announces Early 2017 Southern Tour Dates September 12, 2016 14:04
Looking Back On LOCKN': A Weekend In Review September 4, 2016 14:20
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'
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.
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.
Watch HD Video Footage of Widespread Panic & Tedeschi Trucks Band in Birmingham August 4, 2016 11:03
Just four months ago, Legacy Arena in Birmingham was treated to an extra special evening of music featuring Widespread Panic and Tedeschi Trucks Band. While Widespread Panic is typically known for performing two sets of music, this was a unique occasion featuring far more than "just another opening band". Tedeschi Trucks Band kicked things off with a set full of hits such as "Made Up Mind", "Bound For Glory", "Let Me Get By", and Derek and the Dominos' "Keep on Growing". The highlight of the set came when the band took "Don't Know What It Means" directly into an emphatic cover of Joe Cocker's "The Letter" to close out the set.
After a 45-minute intermission, Widespread Panic took the stage, and "Ain't Life Grand" kicked off the set. Panic continued with originals like "Weight of the World", "Better Off", "Proving Ground", "Sell Sell", "Airplane", and "Papa's Home". Drummer Duane Trucks and percussionist Sonny Ortiz provided the always entertaining "Drums" before the band busted back into "Papa's Home". Pianist JoJo Hermann led the band through a rocking take on "Blackout Blues", which ultimately led into a cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Protein Drink" > "Sewing Machine" to close out the set.
As many expected, this particular night's encore was an instant classic. Panic returned to the stage with special guest, Derek Trucks. This would be the first time Derek has performed with Panic since his younger brother, Duane Trucks, became the band's new drummer. "Gimme" kept a mellow vibe and allowed Trucks to "warm up" a bit before a rousing take on "Surprise Valley". John Bell then welcomed Susan Tedeschi back to the stage for a flawless cover of Robert Walter's "Me and the Devil Blues". Many would think that a three song encore would be enough, but the band then welcomed Alecia Chakour and Mark Rivers (Tedeschi Trucks Band) to the stage for a massive family jam on The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Forunately, Widespread Panic has shared pro shot footage of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which can be watched in full below.
Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band - Birmingham, AL - Legacy Arena at BJCC - 4/23/16
Set: Made Up Mind, Laugh About It, Keep On Growing, Bird On A Wire, Idle Wind, Sticks and Stones, Bound For Glory, I Pity The Fool, Let Me Get By, Don't Know What It Means, The Letter
Setlist: Widespread Panic - Birmingham, AL - Legacy Arena at BJCC - 4/23/16
Set: Ain't Life Grand*, Weight of the World, Honky Red, Better Off, Proving Ground > Bust It Big, Sell Sell, Airplane > JAM > Papa's Home > Drumz > Machine Gun Jam > Papa's Home > Blackout Blues > Protein Drink > Sewing Machine (103 mins)
Encore: Gimme^ > Surprize Valley^, Me and The Devil^^, You Can't Always Get What You Want^^^ (49 mins)
* JB on Tiny Gitar (mandolin) / ^ Derek Trucks on Guitar / ^^ Derek Trucks on Guitar, Susan Tedeschi on Vocals & Guitar / ^^^ Susan Tedeschi on Vocals & Guitar, Derek Trucks on Guitar, Alecia Chakour & Mark Rivers on Vocals
Watch Gregg Allman & Luther Dickinson Sit-In with Tedeschi Trucks Band in Charlotte July 25, 2016 15:03
Tedeschi Trucks Band continued it's Wheels of Soul summer tour over the weekend, bringing their world class live performance to both Atlanta and Charlotte. With both Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars currently on tour with TTB, the collaborations have come early and often this tour. Saturday night in Alpharetta saw the likes of Col. Bruce Hampton and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) join TTB for a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Spoonful," before Hampton exited and left Dickinson on stage for both "Leaving Trunk" and "Midnight in Harlem."
Shortly after, Widespread Panic (and Aquarium Rescue Unit) guitarist Jimmy Herring took to the stage and traded licks with Trucks on "I Want More." Dave Idalgo, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and Cody Dickinson (NMA) would then help TTB close out the set with "The Storm." Luther (Dickinson) would appear once more in the encore for a cover of Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends."
The epic sit-ins would continue on Sunday night at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. Gregg Allman would unite with his Allman Brothers bandmate Derek Trucks (with a little help from Dickinson) for a powerful performance of the Allman Brothers Band classic, "One Way Out." Thankfully, youtube user Josh Daniel was there to capture the magic.
Watch Tedeschi Trucks Band perform "One Way Out" with Gregg Allman & Luther Dickinson here:
Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band at Uptown Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC - 07.24.16
Set: It Ain't Easy, Don't Know What > The Letter, Something, Within You Without You > Just As Strange, One Way Out*, Color of the Blues, Keep On Growing#, That Did It, I Want More, Let Me Get By
Encore: Going Down To Mexico, Let's Go Get Stoned
* = w/ Gregg Allman and Luther Dickinson
# = w/ David Hidalgo
[Setlist via Tedeschi Trucks Band Fans Post]
Widespread Panic and Tedeschi Trucks Band Join Forces in Birmingham April 25, 2016 10:48
Photos by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
Jam veterans Widespread Panic joined forces with the ultimate modern day supergroup, Tedeschi Trucks Band, on Saturday night for a double bill like no other at Birmingham's BJCC Legacy Arena. While Widespread Panic is typically known for performing two sets of music, this was a unique occasion featuring far more than "just another opening band". Tedeschi Trucks Band kicked things off promptly at 7:30 PM, featuring tunes like "Made Up Mind", "Bound For Glory", "Let Me Get By", and Derek and the Dominos' "Keep on Growing". The highlight of the set came when the band took "Don't Know What It Means" directly into an emphatic cover of Joe Cocker's "The Letter" to close out the set.
Watch Tedeschi Trucks Band perform "Bound For Glory" here:
After a 45-minute intermission, Widespread Panic took the stage, and "Ain't Life Grand" kicked off the set. Panic continued with originals like "Weight of the World", "Better Off", "Proving Ground", "Sell Sell", "Airplane", and "Papa's Home". Drummer Duane Trucks and percussionist Sonny Ortiz provided the always entertaining "Drums" before the band busted back into "Papa's Home". Pianist JoJo Hermann led the band through a rocking take on "Blackout Blues", which ultimately led into a cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Protein Drink" > "Sewing Machine" to close out the set.
Watch Widespread Panic perform Vic Chesnutt's "Protein Drink" here":
As many expected, Saturday night's encore was an instant classic. Panic returned to the stage with special guest, Derek Trucks. This would be the first time Derek has performed with Panic since his younger brother, Duane Trucks, became the band's new drummer. "Gimme" kept a mellow vibe and allowed Trucks to "warm up" a bit before a rousing take on "Surprise Valley". John Bell then welcomed Susan Tedeschi back to the stage for a flawless cover of Robert Walter's "Me and the Devil Blues". Many would think that a three song encore would be enough, but the band then welcomed Alecia Chakour and Mark Rivers (Tedeschi Trucks Band) to the stage for a massive family jam on The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want".
The Panic faithful showed up in strong fashion on Saturday night. Expectations for a Birmingham show are always high, because this band always finds a way to exceed them. While the band plans to lighten their schedule in 2017, it's hard to imagine that Birmingham won't make it onto the list of "special occasion" shows that will surface in years to come.
Watch Widespread Panic and members of Tedeschi Trucks Band perform The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" here":
Tedeschi Trucks Band | 04.23.16 | Birmingham, AL
Made Up Mind, Laugh About It, Keep on Growing, Bird on the Wire, Idle Wind, Sticks and Stones, Bound for Glory, I Pity The Fool, Let Me Get By, Going Down to Mexico, Don't Know What It Means > The Letter
Widespread Panic | 04.23.16 | Birmingham, AL
Ain't Life Grand*, Weight of the World, Honky Red, Better Off, Proving Ground > Bust It Big, Sell Sell, Airplane > JAM > Papa's Home > Drumz > Machine Gun Jam > Papa's Home >Blackout Blues > Protein Drink > Sewing Machine (103 mins)
Encore: Gimme^ > Surprise Valley^, Me and The Devil^**, You Can't Always Get What You Want^
* JB on Tiny Guitar (mandolin)
^ Derek Trucks on Guitar / Susan Tedeschi on Vocals & Guitar
^^ Susan Tedeschi on Vocals & Guitar, Derek Trucks on Guitar, Alecia Chakour & Mark Rivers on Vocals
VIDEO: Tedeschi Trucks Band & Friends: Mad Dogs & Englishmen - Lockn' September 14, 2015 08:39
Over the weekend, many of the greatest bands from across the country came together for the 3rd Annual Lockn' Festival on Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA. Amongst the star studded lineup was the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who performed an elaborate tribute set to the late, great Joe Cocker. TTB performed a nice chunk of Cocker's live album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The band took their concept of a "super jam" to the next level, having the help of some of Cocker's original crew, including bandleader and keyboardist Leon Russell, keyboardist Chris Stainton and singers Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear. Also pitching in will be former Traffic guitarist and solo act Dave Mason (whose "Feelin' Alright" was part of the Mad Dogs set), guitarist Doyle Bramhall II and one-time Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson, who grew up with the double album. Widespread Panic's John Bell even made a cameo appearance for lead vocals on "Delta Lady." According to Trucks, the idea for the concert started a few years ago, when he reached out to Cocker to see if the twitchy, soulful Brit rocker would join the Tedeschi Trucks Band for a special set at Lockn' featuring songs from Cocker's entire career.
Watch HD footage of the Joe Cocker Tribute from Lockn' Festival: