It’s amazing what a few clouds can do for a field of festival goers. As the day wore on more and more clouds continued to blanket the sky, which led to more people seeing more sets from up close. The sets however on Saturday were different than advertised. Unfortunately Brandi Carlile had to cancel and of course this led to many wondering what would take her place. Now, festivals do not always go perfectly smooth, but Lockn’ rose to the occasion with the cancellation and pushed back the start times of every set and gave a few bands a lot more time to work with. While it was disappointing that she cancelled, the increased time for some of the bands was absolutely fantastic.
DJ Williams Projekt started off the day with a few choice covers including “Light My Fire” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The guitar playing by Williams was just the start of what would be a great day for the instrument. Moon Taxi played their indie rock infused set next and included some Allman Brothers style jamming. Lead singer and guitarist Trevor Terndrup had enough energy for his entire band and the crowd. Twiddle, who have had quite a year, played their first of two sets on the weekend next. Their jamming was on point throughout the set. With as much as they have been playing lately, and fairly big shows at that, it was great to hear how in synch they are with each other. Exchanging smiles to one another during their set was fun to watch. Keller Williams came out about halfway through the set to perform his own “Best Feeling” with the band, which they have been covering since 2012. It was easily the highlight of the set.
Following them were New Orleans’ own Galactic who brought all the funk the day could ever need with their set. Stanton Moore, the group’s drummer, makes your jaw drop when you focus on what he does behind the kit. Vocalist Erica Falls displayed a powerful range on the mic and kept the crowd alive. Following the funk, the rock and roll sounds of Hard Working Americans filled the field and all eyes were on Todd Snider. The front man is a throwback and was a complete entertainer through and through. The backbone of the band was Dave Schools and Duane Trucks from Widespread Panic, who held down the low end of every tune the band played. Neal Casal was a monster on guitar throughout the set and easily was one of the busiest musicians during the weekend. Ending with a riveting “Hail Hail Rock and Roll,” Todd was able to be the rock and roll preacher one more time for the increasingly bigger crowd that was coming to the stage.
You cannot have a Lockn’ without at least one original member of The Grateful Dead and this year the lone member of the band to attend and play was Phil Lesh. His band consisted of Page McConnell and Jon Fishman from Phish, Joe Russo, Anders Osborne, and The Infamous Stringdusters. The band had a hard time finding common ground during the first part of the set, but after Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks sat in for two songs and then departed, the band was firing on all cylinders. As the set ended after an amazing “Terrapin Station” everyone was ear to ear smiles on stage and a gigantic group bow took place as the stage rotated.
Tedeschi Trucks Band emerged soon after and the 12 piece band just endlessly jammed each song they played. This is not a bad thing as every musician up there can hang with the best of them. Solo after jaw dropping solo took place during their own songs as well as covers such as “The Letter,” “Within You Without You,” “Keep on Growing” and “Had to Cry Today.” One song that really stood out was an amazing cover of the Miles Davis song “Bitches Brew” that could have went another hour if they had the time.
Next up was hands down one of the best sets of the weekend and might have been number one. My Morning Jacket came to the stage with a purpose Saturday night and left after destroying Oak Ridge Farm. When a band plays an 18 song set that feels like every song could have ended the show, you know it’s been a wild set. Jim James constantly scoured the stage while the rest of the band tore through every song. They debuted a cover of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and made it sound like they have been playing it for years. They also dusted off Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and then paid tribute to both Prince and David Bowie in an ending stanza of songs that felt like a dream a super fan might put together: “Purple Rain”>”Wordless Chorus”>”Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2”> “Rebel Rebel”>”One Big Holiday.” With no encore the band gave big thumbs up to the crowd and departed the stage having dominated the festival like no other band had yet. The throngs of concert goers then went to spend the night with Lettuce, Khruangbin, or Garcia’s Forest.
Article: Bryan Lasky