Friday, September 2, 2016

Ten Takeaways from the 2016 LOCKN' Festival

Photo by @jtolg
My Morning Jacket Crushed It
The best set of the weekend belonged to My Morning Jacket.  It was all about love, sweet love.  That Steam Engine was maybe the best thing I have ever heard.  All that set was lacking was a cover of "Love TKO" by Teddy Pendergrass.  Next time, Yim Yames, next time.

My Love for Ween was Rekindled!
To the surprise of Ween fans nowhere, Ween's Thursday headlining slot quickly went deep and dark.  The elemental notes coming out of Deaner's guitar that night were the work of a master.  Friday's set contained even more Ween songs.  Behold...the Boognish.

Phish Was Disappointing
The king of jambands was not a personal highlight of the Lockn' festival.  I loved every minute of My Morning Jacket and Ween, but Phish just didn't hit me in the same way.  Phish could have sprinkled their sets with more weird songs like Weigh, Guy Forget, Glide, Manteca, Mock Song, Lengthwise, Fikus, et cetera.  Phish might have also been better off conforming to the standard festival formula of one long set that starts immediately after the previous band.

Is Vulfpeck Some Kind of Joke...Band?
I only saw Vulfpeck's Thursday set but it was awful, right?  Two thumbs down.  I will say, that upon the 10th listen, it does start to be less awful.  Wait, why do I keep listening to their stupid set!!!???

Twiddle Rhymes with Did Ill
OK I get it.  You sound like a jamband heavily influenced by Phish who also likes to throw in the occasional reggae groove into every single one of your songs.  Your lyrics are uplifting in a way that should be more ironic than it is.  You've got a cool looking guitar (not a Languedoc) and a cool hat and Page hangs out in your trailor (note: trailer is spelled trailer).  Mr. Twiddle, you've been around for ten years so none of these observations are new, I'm sure.  Yeah I'd probably go see you guys again if you came through town on tour, but I might also double dip and go see Vulfpeck too.  That's your competition right now.

JRAD is the Best Thing Going in the Grateful Dead World
Aside from whatever Phil Lesh continues to do, which is bound to be good, JRAD is the best thing happening in Grateful Dead music right now.  Maybe Brown-Eyed Women doesn't always need to go Type II, but I'll take that over a manlike sexpot playing generic blues licks in a nostalgia act or a post John K DSO.  The way that JRAD toys with these songs through fearless full band improvisation is what makes it so endlessly entertaining.

Bringing Water, Food and a Pop-Up Shower Saved The Day
Our campsite was literally a mile walk to the stage.  No joke.  It was probably almost a half-mile to the nearest porta-potty and still farther to the closest water spigot.  Not exactly convenient.  Friday was the hottest day I have ever spent entirely outside.  The mission that day was to stay alive.  My drink of choice was a Coors Light - on ice!  Fortunately we had plenty of water and food and I had brought a pop-up shower for, well, showering by virtue of a DIY pump sprayer.  The shower proved to have at least 1 other important use.
Photo by Vickey Higgins Goff
Some People Can Dance For Hours In the Hot Sun and Still Rage Late Night (Not Me)
The intense heat crippled my interest in making more than one trip per day back and forth to the stage.  This meant that I missed a lot of the bands that played before Ween on Friday, including Turkuaz and Charles Bradley, but energy had to be conserved.  On Saturday I finally made it down for the whole day of music and found a shady spot to take it all in.  There, from the comfort of a low-profile chair, I could witness crazies dancing in the mid-day sun for hours on end.  My apologies to those mofos if they were still on their feet for MMJ. I had saved my energy so I could let loose a little bit by the end of the day on Saturday.

How You Feeling Out There?
Thanks for asking Michael Franti, I mean Galactic.  If you really want to know...I feel like I have a dangerously high core body temperature and an altered mental state or behavior.  I've been sweating excessively for days, have flushed skin, a rapid heart rate, a headache, and I feel kind of dizzy, as if I'm car sick but I haven't been in a car for over 48 hours.  It's 3:30 in the afternoon in August in Virginia and the heat index is above one hundred degrees.  If you really want me to get up and dance right now then you don't have my best interest at heart.  I feel bad for you Galactic for even being on that stage.  It's the best I can do to put my hands together.  I suppose I could make some noise.

That's Only Nine
Go listen to 12 Golden Country Greats.  Actually there is a ten.  I made a LOCKN' music mix for listening at the campsite and for some reason it called for vintage rhythm and blues and soul, such as the Staple Singers, Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint and more.  So it's had an unexpected impact on my future music listening.  Hitting the record stores tomorrow to search out more of this.

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