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POV: Lockn’ - Interlocken Music Festival

05:01 PM Tuesday 9/10/13 |   |

Roving Pollstar contributing photographer John Davisson shares his impressions of the first Interlocken Music Festival.  Now called  “Lockn’,” the festival featured Furthur, Widespread Panic, Zac Brown Band and others, combining artists for unique performances.

  • The Black Crowes

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 8, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The inaugural Lockn’ Festival wrapped up this weekend, attracting 25,000 jamband fans to the Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Va., for a 4-day smorgasbord of music and fun. David Frey and Peter Shapiro created the festival to present artists in unique combinations, a staple in the jamband scene. The music was presented in consecutive sets on 2 adjacent stages so nobody missed anything.

CID Entertainment offered VIP and Super VIP packages (both sold out); with the latter fans received admission to special late-night performances that included Furthur, Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff, Indecision, Jeff Sipe Trio, and Terrapin Family Band. Additional unannounced performances happened late-night in the triangle area of the campgrounds for people who were not VIP. For diehard Deadheads, the Super VIP ticket was definitely the way to go, although everybody got plenty of Grateful Dead music over the weekend.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I missed the first day of the festival, but I heard that there were long waits to get into the campgrounds so I missed out on some frustrations. Grace Potter sang with Gov’t Mule and String Cheese Incident played two sets to get the party started.

On Friday, I arrived in time to catch Jimmy Cliff’s set. In addition to his well-known songs “The Harder They Come” and “Many Rivers to Cross,” he covered “Wild World” (Cat Stevens), “I Can See Clearly Now” (Johnny Nash), and played “Come Into My Life” for the first time ever. String Cheese Incident played next, bringing some jamgrass to the afternoon crowd. They also covered “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody),” a Talking Heads tune and personal favorite of mine.

  • Jimmy Cliff

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 6, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

  • Jimmy Cliff

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 6, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The weather was fairly mild and fans had plenty of energy for dancing, hula-hooping and other activities. Some fans took advantage of the fine weather to do other activities such as trail-riding and yoga sessions.

Furthur played their first of four (official) shows in the evening with a set that included Dead favorites such as “Jack Straw,” and “Shakedown Street.”

Next up was a unique pairing of String Cheese Incident and the Zac Brown Band, dubbed the Zac Brown Incident (although many fans referred to it as Zac and Cheese). The set was a mix of Colorado bluegrass such as “Sometimes a River” and Zac Brown songs, including “Jump Right In,” plus covers of Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion” and an encore of “Could You Be Loved.” The pairing worked great with plenty of jamming from the bands and a wonderful vibe.

  • Zac Brown Incident

    Zac Brown Band + String Cheese Incident at Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 6, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

Furthur closed the night’s official itinerary with Grateful Dead classics such as “Tennessee Jed,” and “Dark Star,” and a cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” Brown joined them for 4 songs, including Zac’s “Free.”

  • Furthur

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 6, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The first act I caught on Saturday was the Punch Brothers with some energetic bluegrass from Chris Thile & Co. They had an interesting bluegrass cover of Radiohead’s “Kid A.”

  • Punch Brothers

    Day No. 3 at the Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 7, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The Black Crowes followed them with a set that rocked harder than I remember from recent tours. Guitarist Jackie Greene added some fast and heavy guitar jamming to the band and helped keep the energy level high during their set. The band included plenty of their hits such as “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels” as well as covers of Traffic’s “Medicated Goo” and the Rolling Stones’ “Jumping Jack Flash”

  • The Black Crowes

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 7, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The Trey Anastasio Band, a last –minute addition to the line-up after Neil Young and Crazy Horse canceled, played the evening set. Like many Widespread Panic fans, I was at the adjacent stage holding down a primo spot and listening to Trey. It was still easy to enjoy the set and the crowd was really pumped up, cheering the music during a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” Trey also covered the Gorillaz song “Clint Eastwood,” an interesting choice for Trey, albeit one he plays regularly.

  • Trey Anastasio

    Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 7, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The Widespread Panic Lockn’ set was an interesting pairing that had John Fogerty sitting in on 7 songs at the end of the 19-song set. Six of the songs were Creedence Clearwater Revival staples, with the new John Fogerty song “Mystic Highway” rounding out the pairing. Fogerty seemed to enjoy the experience immensely and his enthusiasm had an infectious effect on Panic; John and Jimmy Herring especially enjoyed jamming together and when Fogerty jammed next to Dave Schools, Dave was all smiles.

Furthur again ended the night, this time with the Workingman’s Dead album. When they started “Casey Jones,”  Anastasio joined them for 6 songs.

Sunday started off a little warmer than the previous days, but not too warm to stop the jams. My day began with some nice music from Col. Bruce Hampton & friends.

Tedeschi Trucks Band was next and they always play amazing sets, but this one was special because Bob Weir, Eric Krasno and Chris Robinson joined in for the final two songs – covers of Sly & The Family Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher” and “Sing a Simple Song.”

The Black Crowes played next, this time a little mellower set than the first day, until Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks came out for a cover of “Let’s Go Get Stoned” followed by “Turn On Your Lovelight” that also featured Bob Weir.  

  • The Black Crowes

    With guests Susan Tedeschi and Bob Weir at Lockn’ Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 8, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

Widespread Panic played a set next with Derek Trucks sitting in on the last three songs. With Furthur closing out another night, Jimmy Herring sat in for a song and Susan Tedeschi came out for several numbers. It was a wonderful way to close the weekend.

  • Widespread Panic

    The final day of the Lockn’Music Festival, Arrington, Va.
    September 8, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The promoters said the festival was a success and they plan to hold Lockn’ again next year. Speculation on next year’s acts is already beginning, with Neil Young & Crazy Horse making up the date as a major guess (I would love to catch 4 sets by Neil Young). It will probably be a lot of jambands (I can’t imagine Katy Perry or Bruno Mars would be there). Considering how much fun the fans and artists had this year, I plan to go again next year.


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