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Takeaways From The Peach Music Festival


The Peach Music Festival concluded a couple days ago, and it was one hell of a time. Classic American music at a waterpark, matched with unbeatable weather, is certainly a recipe for success. Performances by Bob Weir, Gregg Allman, Billy Kreutzmann, Santana, Warren Haynes, and other seasoned veterans gave the Peach a legendary feel. Papadosio, The Werks, Lotus, Dopapod and Twiddle represented for the new school, proving that they have yet to peak.

With loads of moments to remember, here’s what we took away from the weekend. We’ll follow up later this week with some videos of our favorite performances.

Waterslides are rejuvinating

There are few things that can beat water-sliding while listening to Allman Brothers tunes, and on Saturday afternoon we had an absolute ball. As Butch Trucks invited Jamoe, Marc Quiñones, and Oteil Burbridge, we were given some pretty awesome versions of “Jessica,” “Blue Sky,” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” on an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. It was a unique experience that left us feeling completely blessed.

Santana brings tears

Santana’s sermon during a cover of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” was the closest thing to church that I’ll see all year. Carlos reminded us that we are significant, meaningful, and capable of making a chance in this world. He brought tears to the face of many, or at least mine, during his festival-closing set.

Papadosio gets better every years

The last time I saw Papadosio was AURA 2014, and they were impressive. I had seen them maybe a dozen times in the two years before that, each performance marking improvement. This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing them since my first Dosio show, and they have improved tremendously over that time. The marriage between electronic and organic sounds is of the utmost quality. Papadosio is truly an exciting band to watch in a genre that can get a little stale.

Legends are still kickin’

Gregg Allman, Jaimoe, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann, Santana…

The list of talented musicians goes on, but these are certified legends at this point. To be frank, they won’t be playing quality music forever, and every opportunity to see these guys is a privilege and an honor.

While the Allman Brothers aren’t playing shows under that name any more, the love is still there. Jaimoe and Oteil joined Butch Trucks and Warren joined Gregg for a couple of mini-ABB reunions, which will have to do until the band gets back together for real.

The extended Grateful Dead is deep

I had never heard the Bob Weir song “Even So” before he played it with Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Sunday afternoon. The slow, jazzy tune was executed perfectly with Pres Hall, and it was the best introduction to a fresh Bobby track that I could have ever asked for.

No car camping really blows

You know what’s way worse than seeing Santana? Lugging all of your camping gear up and down ski slopes in anticipation of seeing Santana. The 3+ hour pack-up meant missing Keller’s Grateful Gospel. I thought this was suppose to be a long strange trip, sir, not a long sweaty one.

Covers rock

Much of the music played at Peach Music Festival was not played by the band that originally wrote the songs. Sure, members were here and there to provide a sense of authenticity, but generally speaking there were a ton of covers played at the festival. Dark Star Orchestra delivered a phenomenal “Terrapin Station” > “Morning Dew” on night one, while JRAD took on “Uncle John’s Band” for a wild ride on day two.

Lotus tackled the Zelda theme and The Werks played a solid “Eminence Front” by The Who. Australian Pink Floyd provided a full set of classic Floyd late-night on Friday, and Keller Williams took everyone to church on Sunday with his Grateful Gospel performance.

People still make a lot of noise for Bob Weir

The Bobby & Billy & The Kids set provoked a super-raucous crowd reaction. It was a high point for the festival: Saturday night and a couple GD members to deliver a great set of music. Of course, Aron Magner, Tom Hamilton, and Reed Mathis helped out immensely too, and the five-piece band mowed through “Feel Like A Stranger,” “New Minglewood Blues,” “Cassidy,” “Estimated Prophet,” “Stella Blue,” “Help On The Way,” “Slipknot!,” “Sugar Magnolia” and “Brokedown Palace.”

…And sing along with him too

That “Brokedown Palace,” by the way, was the sing-along moment of the festival. Fresh off the Fare Thee Well performances, the song has turned into the anthem of the year for Dead fans, and the participation was off the hook for that song in particular.

Lotus @ Peachfest 2015 = funky rainy dance party

Lotus’ late-night throw-down was epic. For starters, it was on the Mushroom Stage which is surrounded by a wave pool and a water park. It was also drizzling along with their playing; so when they started really getting it, the rain would increase; as the jam came to a close, so did the rain. It all concluded with an epic “Flower Sermon” jam and the rain ceased, literally, as soon as they hit the last notes of their set.

It’s too early for this nonsense…

I don’t know why I can’t get behind the “CARL!” chant, but it’s just not that funny to me? Especially not at 3am, or 6am, or 8am, or even 10am for that matter. Am I old? There were older men than me chanting “CARL!” too. I just don’t get it. Someone told me I wasn’t “fucked up enough” to understand it; maybe that’s the case…

Twiddle is blowing up

There were a lot of Twiddle shirts on Montage Mountain this weekend. I’ve heard so much about this band since moving to NYC last year, and now I know why; they fucking shred. Mihali Savoulidis is a beast of a guitarist who really knows how to bring a crowd to ecstasy. Judging by Twiddle’s constant buzz, I’d say they’re on the steady incline to headlining some pretty large shows themselves.


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