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Hide in the shade,
And talk about yesterday and today.
LOCKN' Festival : Day Three
Oak Ridge Farm : Arrington, Virginia : August 27, 2016
Keller Williams Grateful Grass
Day three was off to the races. At 11 a.m. Keller WIlliams and Grateful Grass kicked things off at the Blue Ridge Bowl.
This year Keller WIlliams brought the Infamous Stringdusters with him for some incredible takes on Grateful Dead
classics. Midway through the set, the band treated fans with a remarkable mashup of “They Love Each Other” and
“Cumberland Mine” followed later in the set by bluegrass treatment of the disco era “Shakedown Street.” The sun
was hot again, but not as hot as the day before. People seemed to be getting acclimated. We would see more of the
Stringdusters later in the evening.
Over at the main venue D.J. Williams of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe kicked things off with his solo project: DJ
Williams Projekt. His band was joined by Samantha Reed for a funkified version of The Doors’ “Light My Fire” as well
as a slick rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Samantha Reed would also be a repeat offender with Grateful Gospel
to start off day four. Moon Taxi would take the stage and bare the hottest heat of the day with a rousing performance
followed by Twiddle, who invited Keller Williams to the stage for a collaboration on the song “Best Feeling” which,
tends to be the go-to guest Keller song. It’s always great to hear other bands take on this Keller classic.
We were brought back to the funk with Galactic next. One thing is guaranteed with Galactic: There will always be
guests. Four years ago they brought Trombone Shorty along with them and this year they invited Erica Falls and the
legendary harmonica player from War, Lee Oskar to the stage. We were all thinking, 'War, huh, yeah, What is it good
for? Absolutely nothing.' But we were eventually offered a stellar renditions of War’s “Slippin’ Into Darkness.” Later on
in the set Galactic treated fans with an upbeat version of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” filled with horns and sung
by the lovely Erica Falls.
Hard Working Americans
As the sun tracked across the sky for the third time, the bands kept playing. Neal Casal of Circles Around The Sun
joined the Hard Working Americans, featuring Todd Snyder, as well as Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools and Duane
Trucks. The set explored a wide range of southern rock, blues, and folk. They ended their set with a powerful cover of
“School Days” by Chuck Berry... man, was it high energy.
Phil And Friends
There was a welcome break to the music as things were finalized for Phil Lesh and Friends. Phil supposedly had
some travel issues that slowed things down and was blessed with a few technical difficulties, but who hasn’t been to
a Grateful Dead related show where there are a couple hiccups. That said, this show was incredible. Phil was joined
by nine other individuals including The Stringdusters, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell of Phish, as well as Anders
Osborne and Joe Russo. This show had everything and the audience were able to experience a drummer showcase
that was only thought to exist in dreams. Fishman and Russo really held a tight rhythm section together and
complimented each other incredibly. I thought that FIshman came out on stage dressed like Billy Kreutzmann from the
previous year with his red hat and shades. These are the kinds of clashes of talent that LOCKN has been known for.
As the set progressed Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks joined Phil for “Mr. Charlie” and a striking “Sugaree.”
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The Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Tedeschi Trucks Band are LOCKN' lifers. They have performed in each year’s lineup and they never disappoint.
It is really hard to explain the pure power that this band is capable of without experiencing it for yourself; tapes never
seem to do them justice. Being that this was the fourth year in a row for the power blues band, they seemed to have
fun shaking it up a bit. Nine of fourteen tracks were covers that displayed their incredible ability to transition from
genres like blues to soul and R&B. Mike Mattson also displayed his vocal prowess throughout the show. The set
included renditions of The Beatles’ “Within You Without You,” “Color of the Blues” by George Jones, and
“Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis.
My Morning Jacket
After another short pause in the action, My Morning Jacket took the stage and hit the fans with a triumphant
presentation of their work opening with “Victory Dance,” including what I like to think of as Darth Vader's chest piece.
Jim James and all of his incredible hair rushed around the stage singing through angelic falsettos combined with
Carl Broemel shredding guitar work. The show traversed through mellow moments dominated by periods of epicness.
Mid-show Jim James and Carl Broemel squared off on guitar and saxophone under an explosive disco ball that cast
thousands of beams of light out into the audience during a version of “Steam Engine.” Next on the setlist was a cover
of “What the World Needs Now,” an ever relevant public service announcement considering all of the recent deaths in
popular culture (Bowie, Wilder, and Prince among others) and the violence that has infiltrated the concert scene
earlier this year. The band would also cover Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Love” before careening towards the end
with covers of “Purple Rain” by Prince, and “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, while finishing with fan favorite
“One Big Holiday.”
Some fans slowly filed out of the main venue while others rushed their way over to the Blue Ridge Bowl for the
funkiest band on the planet, Lettuce. We weren’t left with just funk however. This was a psychedelic, improvisational
funky dance fest. Drummer Adam Deitch and guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff posted leading up to their set that
this would be the most psychedelic set they have ever performed... and it truly was. Lots of people believe that they
opened up to the crowd on this night because they were sharing the bill with Phish, but I think it was because they
had a late night slot. If you really want to see what happened with Lettuce, you can get a taste by searching for their
performance of Phyllis. When the sun goes down anything goes.