Wanee Festival – Friday, April 20, 2012

I woke up and hung with my camp family while some people trekked up to the Peach Stage for Bruce Hornsby.  Even in camp I could hear Bruce playing a soulful tribute to Levon Helm with “The Night They Drove ‘Ole Dixie Down” and “Ride That Train”.  It gave me the chills and I wasn’t near the stage.  My friends told me it blew them away.

I do finally motivate around 1:30 to go see Buddy Guy.  On a hot afternoon, the sun beams down on the field and my notes go something like this:  playing with one had, keyboardist explosion, deep southern groove, Buddy is BAD.

Yes, Buddy is bad singing “Nobody Loves Me but my Guitar,” and then he stops and banters with the crowd.  “Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Ya’ll brought me here to sing the blues, we will not disappoint!”  He goes into “Hoochie Coochie Man” and then stops again to scream at the crowd.  “I was in India, and even they didn’t f*ck up the words like yall have.”  Yep, Buddy Guy is a character – but can belt the blues like nobody’s business.

Then he does this bit where he leans on the speaker, turns the guitar around and sings this song where he plays a lick with his belly – or more to the point – his man parts.  Uh huh.  Seriously.

Then I move over to the mushroom stage to hear Mickey Hart’s new band that I had been hearing really great things about.  I wanted to hear it for myself.  The crowd goes wild on the first song, Not Fade Away, and the female singer, Crystal Monee Hall, brings a nice feminine voice to the mix.  Dave Schools (Widespread Panic) is on base and then we go into some of Mickey’s new songs from his latest album, Mysterium Tremendum.  I can honestly say this was the set that blew me away with new sounds, great jams and hard hitting percussion and bass.  Some new music that really blew me away with its experimental groovy danceable jams.  The third song began sounding reminiscent of early Pink Floyd with a bit of space and drums mixed in.  The jams were hot and new and fresh.  I can’t wait to see them again.

SET LIST:  Not Fade Away >, Let There Be Light, Time Never Ends > Who Stole The Show?, Starlight Starbright, Cut The Deck > Bertha >, Supersonic > jam >, Fire on the Mountain

photo by: Shelly Smith

I then move back to the Peach Stage to see Tedeschi Trucks Band.  If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge Derek Trucks fan.  No, I was not disappointed at this set.  They are greeted by a loving crowd.  Tedeschi sings the first note of the first song and the audience is captivated.  The sun beams down on the field, Susan Tedeschi banters with Derek Trucks’ guitar.  The horn section is tight and sharp.

A few songs from Trucks’ old band, Derek Trucks Band were dusted off with “I Know” with Matt Mattson singing.  It was a strong rendition, with a B3 keys explosion from Kofi Burbridge, and a just a tiny bit of shredding from Derek Trucks.

“Love Has Something Else to Say” was changed up a bit, there was a sick trumpet groove by DeShawn Ross, Oteil Burbridge, bass, was squirming in the background, hitting the sickest bass groove.

I then found some food while they played “Midnight in Harlem.”  Derek noodled for a bit while I was on the ticket line, and then they began the song. Derek and Kofi start off the song sultry and soft.  It is a beautiful song, Susan sings it perfectly – there is no one else out there with her type of voice.  It was chillingly beautiful.  And it was silent during Trucks’ solo.  A field of 20,000 people, silent.  He shreds that guitar to a silent crowd.  Wow.

The second DTB song was Majoun, with its soft and dreamy bantering flute and guitar also kept me swaying in the crowd.  Full set list below:

Don’t Let Me Slide, I Know, Love Has Something Else To Say, Midnight In Harlem, Down Don’t Bother Me / Band intros, Lord Protect My Child, Nobody’s Free, That Did It, Mahjoun > bass > drums, Darlin’ Be Home Soon >, Bound For Glory

I needed a break after that one; needed some food, more drink, and a rest back at camp.  On the way back to the site I heard Bonerama from the Mushroom stage.  A little bit later I heard Furthur begin to play. I sat in a chair at camp (home), and listened to both bands play.

After a bit of down time, we all went to see Furthur.  The field was packed, there were more people than I had ever seen before (this is my fourth Wanee). I’ve read numbers of 20,000 people, but I haven’t heard it confirmed.  Definitely 15,000 though.  Lots of people for a small festival like Wanee.  The sun sets above the crowd, and the band seemed to be having fun; soaking up the Florida sun, and checking out this newfangled thing called Wanee.  They played a few tribute songs for Levon.  However, it was really just a preview of the off-the-charts show we’d be treated to on Saturday.

Set List: Not Fade Away, Brown Eyed Woman, Alligator > Ripple, My Brother Esau, Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Eyes of The World > Caution (do not stop on the tracks) > King Solomon’s Marbles, Unbroken Chain > Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Turn On Your Lovelight. E: Touch of Grey

After the bluesy Furthur show, we stopped at camp, which is right on the other side of the Mushroom Stage’s hammock hill, where the sound is still pristine.  Unbeknownst to me (perhaps I didn’t read the program well enough) Dumpstaphunk does two hours of P-Funk.

photo by: Ian Rawn

Ivan Neville, Tony Hall, Nick Daniels and the rest of the Dumpsta crew – horns and all, blasted “Take Your Dead Ass Home”, into the Wanee airs.  We may not have known that the Mothership was coming to the show, but it did indeed arrive, and landed on top of the Mushroom Stage.  For me, and about 10,000 other people, funk is a staple, and Dumpsta brought it all oozing down all over us.  Whoa boy.  A hot, hot set!

Special Favorites: Flashlight, Do That Stuff, Mothership Connection, Gamin’ on Ya

We grab our chairs and head down to see the Allman Brothers Band. The headliners of this magical festival.  The ones we’re here to see.  The frenzy of shredding southern guitars late into the southern night.   Respectful of Levon Helm’s passing, with Blind Willie McTell and The Weight.  And it was.  Off The Hook.

This pretty much sums it up:

Setlist: Don’t Want You No More > It’s Not My Cross To Bear, Midnight Rider, Blue Sky, Worried Down With The Blues, Egypt, Stand Back, It Makes No Difference, Blind Willie McTell, The Weight > It Makes No Difference, Dreams, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. E: No One To Run With

Stay tuned for Saturday’s recap of my music schizophrenia in full force with: Gov’t Mule, Furthur, Allman Brothers, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, North Mississippi Allstars.

Here are some videos to give you a flavor:


One thought on “Wanee Festival – Friday, April 20, 2012

  1. I went to college about an hour from Suwannee… one of my favorite places on earth. I wasn’t able to make it to Wanne this year, but I’m glad to see you had a good time. Great articles and pics!

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