With cloud coverage gone, it was a bright and early Sunday for most of the festival. While some began to breakdown their campsites so they could leave once Phish was done, many found their way over to the Blue Ridge Stage for Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel featuring John Kadlecik. Keller is always fun to watch and the beginning of his set was nothing but laughs, with him asking fat little ten pound baby Jesus for forgiveness for repeating Grateful Dead songs played already during the weekend and making them into gospel numbers. With that the band tore through “Eyes of the World”…and many others much to the crowd’s delight. After their set a wedding took place at the love sign to a sizeable crowd leaving the gospel set and going to the main stage.
The Dharma Initiative strung together an impressive set to start the day and were followed by The Doobie Decibel System who started off their set with great renditions of The Beatles’ “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” right into CSNY’s “Ohio.” The group as always was led by Jason Crosby and Roger McNamee who were joined for this show by Jay Lane, Pete Sears, and Dan Lebowitz. It was a fun set that kept the crowd moving, despite taking a beating from the weather the last few days.
Twiddle were up for their second go around next and provided a completely different set from the previous day. Focusing again on various forms of jamming in their songs, the band showed that they are more than ready to continue to move up in the ranks of the music world. With an introduction via the speakers by Bob Marley, The Wailers came on stage and gave Lockn’ all the reggae it could need. Their entire set was composed of some of Marley’s biggest tunes, which the crowd soaked up.
The next couple of hours were dedicated to psychedelic rock and roll via The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Playing their own set first with no guests, the group covered material from all of their albums. Chris is one of the best front men in rock music, but what is great about the band is he is not the only focus here. Neal Casal’s guitar work was on full display here, going back and forth with Adam MacDougall, who was on keys, to constantly bring each song to its full potential. Following their own set there was a slight break and the band came back out with Phil Lesh in tow and the band ripped through The Grateful Dead’s customary Sunday song “Samson and Delilah” before bringing out Gary Clark Jr. for “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Wang Dang Doodle.” Clark went back and forth with Casal and during his time on stage and Lesh couldn’t have had a bigger smile on his face. After the guest appearance the band went back to work finishing up with the string of “St. Stephen”>”The Wheel”> and “Turn on Your Lovelight.” The entire set was fantastic and a major highlight of Lockn’s Sunday lineup.
Gary Clark Jr. then had his own set that saw the great guitarist show off his own material with ripping solos in every song. His latest album, which is fantastic, didn’t get much love during the set, but no one seemed to mind in the crowd and enjoyed what the Austin guitarist did with his time on stage. It was then time for a slight break in the action before Phish. The whole field was buzzing wondering what the Vermont quartet would do. The band might have come with a slight chip on their shoulder because the newspaper that was distributed on sight each day by Relix had the headline “Victory Dance” to describe My Morning Jacket’s Saturday night set. Coming out with a high energy “Sample in a Jar” and going into a “Martian Monster”>“Axilla” combo had the large crowd going wild.
The rest of the first set was solid, but the second set took off with “Carini” and never slowed down or stopped. The jam coming out of “Light” was tremendous and might have been the high water mark for the set. A short romp through “Tweezer” spilled into the first cover of the night “No Quarter” and then led into “Also Sprach Zarathustra” aka “2001.” Finishing off the show with a beautiful by the books take on “Loving Cup” had everyone walking away from the stage singing back to their campsites or to Garcia’s Forest which was having an all-night dance party to various Jerry Garcia songs.
Lockn’ was one of the easiest festivals to enjoy despite the constant heat due to the music mainly being on one stage. The staff was second to none and could be seen handing out waters to festival goers throughout the whole weekend to make sure no one was stricken with heat stroke. With so many festivals every weekend now, Peter Shapiro and David Frey definitely have a great thing going that they improve upon every year. I expect next year to be no different. The countdown to Lockn’ 2017 is on.
Article: Bryan Lasky