Lockn’ Day 4: What a Beautiful Buzz
Lockn’ closed out Day 4 of the festival with a huge slate of bands who held nothing back as jam packed sets filled the rotating stage pleasing a crowd of 30,000 who pulled out all the stops to ensure there was enough energy to get them through Sunday.
Keller Williams woke a sleepy crowd up and got the day going, which had another nice breeze rolling in to start the day. Keller Williams Grateful Gospel featured John Kadlecik and plenty of Grateful Dead covers and traditional songs such as “Midnight Moonlight.” The Doobie Decibel System performed a rousing cover of Neil Young’s “Ohio” while Twiddle gave the crowd a nice dose of reggae-infused jam, including “Lost in the Cold” and “Frankenfoote.”
The Wailers spun the stage around and dove deep into Bob Marley’s catalog, including “Buffalo Soldier,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Exodus” to close out their set. Chris Robinson Brotherhood, featuring Circles Around the Sun guitarist/composer Neal Casal opened with “Let’s Go” and included a powerful cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” The band returned to the stage after a brief delay with bassist Phil Lesh for a bluesy set of Grateful Dead songs that found their origins in the Pigpen era. “Hard to Handle,” “St. Stephen,” and “Turn on Your Lovelight” found Robinson on vocals, but it was Gary Clark Jr.’s sit-in for “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Wang Dang Doodle” that stole the show. Hearing the voice and guitar of the next generation of blues guitarist perform two classic Grateful Dead covers was pure bliss for early era Dead fans. Gary Clark Jr. came out for his own stand alone set shortly after, opening with “Bright Lights,” Albert Collins “If Trouble was Money” and closed with “Shake,” much to the delight of the audience.
Phish closed the festival out with what on paper could be mistaken for a ‘festival set’ of standards, but in person was nothing short of a powerhouse performance. With more than 20 bands having performed over the weekend, Phish, who rebooted music festivals in America 20 years earlier at the Clifford Ball, expectations and vibes for a late Sunday throwdown were sky high. Opening with “Sample in a Jar,” the band quickly amped the crowd up with “Martian Monster,” “Axilla” > “Moma Dance,” a trio of energetic fan favorites. “Halley’s Comet,” “AC/DC Bag,” and the rare “Fuck Your Face” put smiles on faces. It was the closing pair of “Possum” and “First Tube” that truly set the festival off, with Trey doing his best Jedi pose as he rose his guitar up to the sky to close out the set.
Set two began heavy, with “Carini” and “Chalkdust Torture” but there was little exploratory jamming early on. Right after “Twist,” a 15 minute version of “Light” stood out as the jam of the night for Phish, which jumped right into “Tweezer,” which after 10 minutes headed into “No Quarter” despite Trey’s attempt to drop a “20 Years Later” on the crowd; while fitting, a “No Quarter” always wins the toss up. “2001” and “Harry Hood” wrapped up the powerhouse set, but before the closing lyrics of “Hood” were sung, “Tweezer Reprise” made an unexpected late set appearance, reviving anyone exhausted from the weekend for one last dose of dancing. The Rolling Stones “Loving Cup” capped the night, and the weekend, one that truly was a beautiful buzz.
Late night Sunday had one option – Garcia’s Forest – with DJ Jerrbrother holding down the tunes until sunrise. Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band selections were on tap all night, maintaining the crowd’s attention amid a forest of lights, wonderment and Jerry everywhere. It was the perfect cap to the fourth installment of Lockn’.