Peach Music Festival Artist Spotlight: “Let It All Hang Down” with the “After Midnight” Acts
Last week Peach HQ officially announced the artists playing late-night sets, and we here at Sensible Reason couldn’t be happier. Four of the five are seasoned Peach veterans: last year the groovy and musically diverse electro-jams of Lotus and Dopapod both packed the Mushroom Stage with happily dancing fans, DC jazz staple Ron Holloway dazzled listeners with his sax skills as a special guest with a variety of acts, and Cabinet, who had appeared at Peach in previous years as well, satisfied hardcore local fans and Cabinet newbies alike with two sets of their signature bluegrass fusion over the course of the weekend. The fifth late-night act, Big Gigantic, arguably represents the festival’s farthest departure from its instrument-centered jam roots yet, and as the duo is currently one of the musical behemoths of the EDM scene, they will surely gather a tremendous crowd.
The following three acts deserve particular mention, each for a different reason. The first is Dopapod. Last year, the four original members played a bright and energetic sunset set, warming the crowd up for the Allman Brothers Band and Lotus’ subsequent late-night appearance. Despite the fact that their set partially overlapped with that of Bob Weir & RatDog, Dopapod brought a considerable gathering of music lovers to the Mushroom Stage. Improv was the name of their game that night, and the set included extended jams on many of their tunes, including an out-of-this-world version of “Bubble Brain,” a track off the band’s most recent album that plays like an orchestral suite. It suffices to say, these guys brought their “A” game to last year’s Peach. But you don’t have to take it from me. The fact that Peach HQ not only asked the quartet back, but also decided to give them a coveted late-night set is itself a testament to the spot-on performance they put on last year. This year the band will come with their newest addition, drummer Scotty Zwang (formerly of Sonic Spank), who officially joined the band last winter after Neal “Fro” Evans left the group citing personal reasons. Since Zwang’s entry, the band has continually one-upped itself, pushing its former boundaries while impressing audiences and steadily gaining followers. The foursome will no doubt pull out all the stops as they grace the Mushroom Stage for their first-ever Peach late-night set. If you haven’t yet, give them a listen– high quality soundboard recordings of a number of the band’s shows over the last year or so are available here. You can watch their performance of “Bubble Brain” at Peach 2013 below.
The second late-night artist you should check out will play on the intimate Grove Stage. The eponymous leader of the Ron Holloway Band put on stellar performances with a number of acts last year at the Peach, including an appearance with Gov’t Mule as part of a saxophone trio including Karl Denson and Bill Evans. Over the course of his expansive career, he’s played with the Derek Trucks Band and the Susan Tedeschi Band, he toured with the Allman Brothers Band to fill in for Warren Haynes during an illness, and he’s performed with the Warren Haynes Band since its debut in 2010. And, let’s be honest, you have to be at least a little interested in the solo work of someone who has worked with so many top-notch musicians. I mean, the man regularly performed with Dizzy Gillespie for years. Dizzy liked Holloway’s playing enough to keep coming back for more… I think it’s a safe bet that you will want more too. His solo work is old-school jazz at its core – it’s sexy, swanky, and sure to get you grooving at the Grove. Check out some of Ron Holloway Band’s tracks here. Watch a video of Holloway, Denson, and Evans’ sax trio during Gov’t Mule’s set at Peach 2013 below.
The third and final “After Midnight” artist in the spotlight today will perform the last late-night performance of the weekend, and it’s no surprise given how successfully Lotus filled the very same time slot last year. Despite the fact that the Allman Brothers Band played beyond their own scheduled set time and into Lotus’ allotted time, a swarm of people gathered as the band took to the Mushroom Stage. The energy ran high throughout as the band played a tight set weaving together classics, fan favorites, and new tracks alike. The quintet also welcomed to the stage Dopapod keyboardist Eli Winderman, who brought his sexy signature space funk to the beloved old-school number “Bubonic Tonic.” The guest appearance led to a beyond-funky jam in which Winderman, Luke Miller on his keys and the vocoder, and Jesse Miller on his bass played off of one another in a lively instrumental conversation. Lotus has brought a number of talented guests onto the stage to perform with them in recent years, and the list of gifted musicians performing at this year’s Peach on Saturday is long indeed. I am curious to see whether it will happen and with whom. The band has just released their newest album Gilded Age, the rock-and-roll focus of which brings the band back to their stripped-down instrumental origins. The album yet again reveals the band’s ability to push its boundaries while holding fast to its roots, this time venturing deeper into the world of indie and alt-rock. You can check out some of the tracks or order the album here. Check out Lotus performing “Bubonic Tonic” with special guest Eli Winderman of Dopapod at Peach 2013 below.
If you want to catch all five of the late-night acts, you’ll save money by purchasing a four-day festival pass, which you can find here. Keep up to date with Sensible Reason for news on set times and more in the upcoming weeks!