It was like the circus… Filled with gypsies… And they all liked to dance… Alot.
It was overcast. I thought to myself, wow, I’m glad the sun is not out. It was a hot, sunny, sweltering few days and I was pleased for the clouds. We needed a break from the sun.
After dealing with “The Incident”, I took my last spigot shower of the festival, ate delicious blueberry pancakes from our new camp family and we all rolled in to hear the Nate Wilson Group from the Port City Music Hall. Um, wow. He shredded his guitar. There were five guys up there, and they just crushed it. It was great energy, great music, tight jams and it just went DOWN in that barn. I will see them again to relive the experience, because, truth be told, I think I needed another cup of coffee. It was Day 3, after all, and I was feeling very fuzzy by this point.
Moonalice was next, and had to leave Nate Wilson early to catch their set. (Music Schizophrenia Mode in full force.) By the time I got there, Barry Sless and Pete Sears were SHREDDING the heck out of Cold Rain & Snow. Oh wow, it was on. The main field wasn’t packed so I got myself up to the rail and had a great time. I watched the crowd around me, and everyone had such wide smiles, dancing along, havin’ just as much fun as I was. John Molo on drums was just sick, Barry Sless goes nuts on the pedal steel, and then Roger “Chubby Wombat Moonalice” McNamee tells us that they finished their encore early and we’re treated to more. Oh yeah, that was fun. Always a fun time with Moonalice. Afterwards, I got my free posters, Chubby and I chatted for a bit and he signed them for me. I love this band for their incredible music, the talent on stage and their friendliness.
Then Max Creek comes on the other stage. I haven’t seen these guys in about 100 years, I grew up with them playing all around Connecticut in the 80s. Fabulous time, fabulous music, love them.
But, as my music schizophrenia continues, I ran out and caught The Alchemystics.
And, holy hell. I have no words. I walked into the Port City Music Hall and it was going wild in there. The place was packed, jamming reggae jam crazy dance party was going on. I caught the last two songs and the encore. It was out of control, great beats, high high energy…. they literally blew my head off. I was dumbfounded. My friend asked me what I thought of them, and I had no words. I could not speak. I was processing the crazy hip-hop reggae rage that just went down and I couldn’t speak. Wow. The Alchemystics. Yeah, these guys are on my radar up near The New Mastersounds, who I saw at Mountain Jam. Phewwwwwww.
Finally, a chance to breathe. Zappa Plays Zappa comes on the stage and by this point I’m in need of a sit-down. I sit on my chair and think, “Ah, I can relax now, and listen to this band play finally.” I’ve never seen Zappa Plays Zappa, but I do know who Dweezil is and had a girl-crush on him years ago. Now here he is, shirtless, on stage, playing great great music. Unfortunately for me, I was pulled away from the music for the rest of the set by my buddy. So, I still haven’t truly heard them play. I will catch them when they come to NYC for sure.
Crowd: What I forgot to mention was how cool the vibe and the crowd were. We had Aliens, and crazy monsters dancing, fire twirler beauties, and fire lanterns launched into the evening sky. We had lobster rolls (which I never had but heard was amazing), and local beloved vendors like Wormtown Trading. There was a ferris wheel. There were children playing. There were smiling strangers. Click below for more with DTST and Furthur.
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band. Um. They rocked. Susan wailed. Derek shredded. Tyler Greenwell and JJ Johnson smack those drums like a metronome, going insane at exactly the right parts. Oteil kept the beats low and funky on the bass, Kofi’s keys screamed gloriously, Nigel and Mike on background vocals added depth to the musical fireworks going on up there. The sun peaked through as Susan sang and I got goosebumps. I was bopping around from way up front to back to side to side of the field. I want to dance and sway and I want to stare at Derek when he shreds his guitar. By now you know my love of this band… at Nateva, they didn’t disappoint.
Furthur Finally. Oh lord, this is the end now. Bobby comes on stage and tells us to all take a moment and look at the yellow brush strokes on the sky. Yep, the small amount of sun we saw with Derek Trucks was now setting and the sky was picturesque. The crowd probably doubled, it was the most packed of the whole weekend, for this show.
Setlist: Celebration, Samson and Delilah, Mississippi Half Step, Cold Rain and Snow, Ramble on Rose, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Cumberland Blues, Casey Jones Set 2: St. Stephen, Jack Straw, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Eyes of the World, Days Between, Help on the Way, Slipknot!, Franklin’s Tower, GDTRFB>Bid You Good night>Donor Rap E: U.S. Blues
Highlights: The Second Set started and ended with a bang (literally and figuratively) when they threw out Dear Mr. Fantasy with John K. singin’. Oh yeah, then into Eyes. I danced so hard I was a bit grateful when Bobby brought out Days so I could go grab more water and hit the last of the food vendors. I had just finished paying for my food when I heard the first strums of Help.
I kinda went a little lost at this point, food in my hand, wanting to be way in the crowd with my buddies for my fave of all Dead tunes. Somehow, some way I got through the crowd right before they slid into Slipknot! and I danced hard. I floated away with those fire lanterns and I believe I twirled. I spun like I did when I was 19. It was fun, it was great… I can’t get the smile off my face as I write this. Everyone sang I Bid You Goodnight, and of course they ended with U. S. Blues before the fireworks came. The fireworks, as lovely as they were, could’ve been timed better – they went on for a while before the “big finale”, and to me, it wasn’t that big of a finale. The music of Sunday was the Finale… and I floated back to camp, music shine all over me, completely satiated.
Thanks Nateva! A great first run, hope to see ya next year!