Walk in Peace and Love: the 20th Gathering of the Vibes
13 Aug 2015

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A Story of the 20th Gathering of the Vibes

July 30th – August 2nd, 2015

Seaside Park, Bridgeport CT

Written by Alex Kratzert

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Day I

I was alone in my Volvo 240 at the security check when it began to rain. It had been predicted to rain by those bold meteorologists at the Weather Channel (right on this one!), and the rain had seemed imminent for the entire hour and a half that I spent in line. The car’s temperature gauge was high and the seacoast was calm and ran perpendicular to the long, creeping file of cars, and across the frosted caps of Long Island Sound was a dim horizon and a menacing overcast. The forecast was constant rain into the early morning, with lightning to accompany.

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I felt very alone in this time and had an ill drive, especially having not embarked on such a trip since shortly after my less-and-less recent graduation from an expensive place where I partied and talked about books. But something keeps you going along anyway, and so I continued easily through the check, past the wet canines and their units and on into my first Gathering of the Vibes, the crunch of the still-rolling, studded snow tires filtered between the many drops of rain.

Tick tack. Tick, tack.

I chose not to set up camp right away, and with little else to do in the rain but hunker down or see a show, I decided to head toward the stages. I walked down the paved coastal roads of Seaside Park that snaked throughVibes 5 034 carefully placed trees and mowed lawns and eventually along a decorated fence that curled around the main stage area. I had passed baseball fields, RVs, camp columns and seaside benches, and up ahead stood a tall Ferris wheel that opposed taller buildings of the University of Bridgeport from across the main field. Strangefolk had begun their set not long before, and the rocking sound of “Furnace” echoed all around. My canvas shoes were already soaked and brown by the time I hit the grass and there was thunder, but the lightning wasn’t too close.

The crowd was thin for the show, but it was a good one with a strong presence. They were eager for music and Strangefolk seemed inclined to provide it. The band’s sound is a smooth, clean one with the full potential to rock high and far into space, and off it went. The rain was present throughout most of the set (even after a hopeful take on “Here Comes Sunshine”), and it was in its heaviest downpour during the wild jam of “Reuben’s Place,” which sort of reminds me of the jam in “Freebird,” but even more free-flying. I remember it very clearly: as the music climbed, the raindrops seemed to follow, becoming larger, faster and more frequent. It no longer peppered the skin of my rain jacket like the studded snow tires – Tick tack. Tick, tack – but crashed softly and comfortably like a gentle gel.

Plunk.

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And as the jam climbed and the rain poured, we all stepped and raved on the soggy, puddle-ridden ground and I felt astounding chills and found it difficult not to smile and laugh. They call that, “feeling alive,” I think. A band member called out at the end of the song, “You call that rain? Bring it on!” followed by cheers from the ecstatic audience.

Plunk.

The rain ceased during the happy blue of “Neighbor” – a pinkish hue faintly saturating the clouds above – and the rest of the set carried on in the same joyful manner. The Funky Dawgz horns joined Strangefolk on the song “In Deep” before finishing the set with a triumphant “So Well,” and then the forecast told of an hour of clear skies. It was my first time seeing Strangefolk and I’ve already relived the show several times by listening to that soundboard on Archive.org – there’s something about those taper-friendly bands! After reporting to the media tent where I met and would work among the fantastic Gathering of the Vibes staff, I made my way back to camp to try and set up before the rain.

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When I returned and set up camp, I was pleased to have a dry tent (not pleased for everyone else, but spirits stayed high). My neighbor Maddy (another solo traveler) was not so lucky, who realized halfway through setting up her tent that she had brought the wrong poles. She was fortunate, though, that a stand was selling tents nearby, and after we dumped all the puddles and folded up the soaking materials, she had a cozy spot that would remain dry for the rest of the weekend. “It’s a good experience,” she put it. “It keeps you on your toes.”

Max Creek

Max Creek

A section of sky glowed yellow and orange through the grey over the city as I left for the stages, and there was about an hour before Dark Star Orchestra would be on. I caught the last twenty-or-so minutes of Max Creek, whose jams were highly energetic and alluring. Just before Dark Star Orchestra took the stage, Gordon Taylor – official Vibes MC and Radio Vibes mornings show host – introduced the band. First, he had everyone turn to a person next to them and give them a hug, and most people did. His powerful energy and enthusiasm burst from his reddening face and warm smile – an instant charm of good Vibes. You could feel the love that he had for everyone and everything there, his mind fixed on bringing the right kind of consciousness and hearing the real kind of music – the kind that comes from another place. Thus, his cheer did not falter upon his welcoming of Dark Star Orchestra to the stage.

Dark Star Orchestra

Dark Star Orchestra

The set opened with the convoluted combo of “Help on the Way,” “Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s Tower.” It was played with high energy and in the finest fashion of the Grateful Dead, and it was not difficult to move along and find the right time. The “Franklin’s Tower” was especially uplifting, and the crowd howled and swayed under a castVibes 007 of orange clouds that faded into darkness and grey out above the sound. The band then played an equally prolific and inspiriting “Jack Straw” and “Mississippi Halfstep Uptown Toodleloo,” and it all kept my stone-sober head alive, alert and full of laughter. Melvin Seals, longtime member of the Jerry Garcia Band, joined the band for the last few songs of the set, and when it was time for a set break, I checked the weather report. The forecast was rain at present, but clear skies ahead.

Things do change.

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When DSO took the stage for the second set, you could hear soundcheck in the key of E – a very happy and uplifting key as far as they go – and I was ecstatic in anticipation of a blazing peak. They began with a lively “Scarlet Begonias” before conducting the usual, seamless transition into “Fire on the Mountain,” which rocked powerfully over the vast crowd that still managed to allow room to breathe. Such space really speaks to the decency of an audience and the consciousness that they have toward one another – this was no raving sweat lodge birthed from a dark, stale frat party. It was a beautiful thing, and still with plenty of raving.

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Melvin Seals played the B-3 organ from the beginning of the set to end, and  renowned drummer, Kenwood Denard, joined the drums for “Fire on the Mountain.” The rest of the show included a fantastic “Eyes of the World” with Bob Dylan’s “Tangled up in Blue” to finish the set. They performed “Forever Young,” another Dylan song,  for the encore – a mellow tune to cap off a ripping show – and I remember hearing someone complain, “Why would they finish all of that with this?!” While I like my soaring climbs and powerful grooves as much as the next head, you can still only ask for so damn much.

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Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe had already ignited the Green Vibes Stage by the time I made it over, and most people moving toward the show did so in a rhythmic fashion. This is the kind of music that gets the feet stepping, the head Vibes 132bobbing and the knees bouncing – free flow in whatever kind of funk you feel. The set opened with ripping psychedelic guitar from virtuoso D.j. Williams before kicking into the scrunched-face funk of “New Ammo,” Karl’s sax calling lyrical bursts into the night. They also played the Cold War Kids’ famous hit, “Hang Me out to Dry” and a new tune called “When I Get Home,” which Karl had played guitar on in the studio. He had begun playing guitar a couple of years before, and he said that it was really awesome to be able to teach people his songs on guitar when in the studio; “because, guitar is not lonely – saxophone is very lonely. You know, you can play and sing and talk when you’re playing – saxophone, you’re just standing there looking at them…” As the set went on in funk fashion – including a quick, but not short version of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes – it seemed that nobody was really alone at this time, regardless of whatever detail had been weighing them down. We were united in spirit and funk and a propensity to listen (which you can do here).

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Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Day II

It took me quite a while to fall asleep that night, and it was hardly long before the beating sun and stagnant tent air brought me out of my heavy daze. It was a rude awakening, but it was a necessary thing. I might have slept for hours into the afternoon in a comfortable environment, but it would be a tired mind for that day. I’ve found many times at these things that sleep deprivation is a real go of it – a great way to see what true music can do to pick you back up. And so I ate a banana and a granola bar, drank some water and headed toward the main stage to see Twiddle’s 11 AM set.

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As I waited with a thousand others for the show, I began to think that my theory on sleep deprivation being the weird kind of fuel was only just a regular kind of bullshit, and as the temperature rose, I didn’t think that anything would be taking me very far, musical or otherwise.

Wrong on that one!

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And so I am now infatuated with this song “Beethoven and Green,” whose fluttering riffs, sweet chord progression and cheerful lyrics brought just the right kind of fuel to the groggy morning. There were genuine signs of happy Vibes all around: wide smiles and shut eyes; floating bubbles and combusting soap; high hands and swaying bodies that were all damn glad to have started the day early. The rest of the set continued in similar fashion, crossing all sorts of bounds in the musical frontier, and the show can be relived here – cheers, tapers!

Twiddle

Twiddle

I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with the band after their show and I was intrigued by something Mihali Savoulidis (guitar) had said. Ryan Dempsey (keys) had just finished saying how the band is a family and that they are essentially in a state of musical matrimony, and Mihali addressed that point. He said that as a family, “you have to be in it for the long haul…We’ve been touring for seven years – it takes a long time.” He had also mentioned his wife’s pregnancy (congrats!), further exemplifying the kind of growth you undergo on a long road of dream-chasing. And that’s it for anything, really – we are in a world of hard work, cut-throat business, small claims and neurotic fear, and it is necessary to be vigorous, but patient and open while working to create a happy life for yourself. And as is evident from this hardworking group of musicians, you won’t have to do it all alone.

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Twiddle

The rest of the day included a variety of other enticing music, with incredible performances from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Tedeschi Trucks Band (Listen – TTB). Derek Trucks remains one of the best touring guitarists on the festival lineups, and it was especially a pleasure to see him play with Gregg Allman at the close of the following set. Joined by Jaimoe in a delivery of “Southbound” by the Allman Brothers Band (written by Dickey Betts), the Gregg Allman Band played in true fashion of the original brothers’ band, something that I think Duane would have very much enjoyed. The rest of the set included “Statesboro Blues” (by Blind Willie McTell) and a fine selection of Allman Brothers tunes like, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” “Melissa,” “Midnight Rider,” and a funky take on “Whipping Post” to finish the set. I found that there was a lot of chatter in the audience during the more solemn points of the show, but there were always the ones with the right focus to listen closely.

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A short time after Gregg Allman’s set was the highly anticipated performance of the String Cheese Incident with David Grisman and Peter Rowan. It was the first appearance at Vibes for SCI, and the stage was set for a bluegrass event: Michael Travis with a simple snare and high hat combo; Jason Hann with a single hand drum; Kyle Hollingsworth with a single keyboard; Michael Kang with the five-string on low; Keith Moseley with a beautiful stand-up bass; Blaine Sprouse on the fiddle, and Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters on banjo. After Billy Nershi introduced the band, he said, “So, we’re gonna take you back to the day of Old and in the Way.” Surely, he was serious.

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SCI with David Grisman and Peter Rowan

The set included tunes like “Panama Red” (Rowan), “Old and in the Way” (Grisman) and “Lonesome Fiddle Blues” (Vassar Clements). Particularly beautiful were the renditions of “Wild Horses” (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) and “Midnight Moonlight” (Rowan), which paved the way for a “Ripple” finish. There was a bright blue moon suspended high above the water, and the crowd listened in to the echo of a really grand place in time when things seemed very bright. Looking up and around, though, you’d see that things still are.

SCI with David Grisman and Peter Rowan

SCI with David Grisman and Peter Rowan

Warmed up and eager to show the crowd what they do, the String Cheese Incident started the second set off strong with a lively “Desert Dawn,” and the rest continued with the same level of energy. The jams in “Rhythm of the Road” were particularly spectacular – after the breakdown of an epic display of wild, funky rock, Kyle’s melodic lines created the essential tone of the direction, allowing the others to trance and climb right along. After their new song “Stop Drop Roll,” they played “Sweet Spot” – a tune that stays especially high in my mind, with such a fine, fulfilling groove that never ceases to excite and inspire. Next, they turned to the psychedelic dance mediation of “Bumpin’ Reel” before “Drums,” which included Kenwood Dennard on percussion. The set circled back to “Desert Dawn” before a “Restless Wind” encore (all heard here – thanks again, tapers!), sealing the long-lasting imprint of the String Cheese Incident at Gathering of the Vibes. Surely, they’ll be back.

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SCI with David Grisman and Peter Rowan

Following this performance was one from Electron, which includes Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead/American Babies/Billy and the Kids), Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits), Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), and Vibes 067Mike Greenfield (Lotus). This all-star lineup had a very special show in mind, one which consisted of only Pink Floyd songs. This included greats like “Wish You Were Here,” “Hey You,” “Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2),” “Mother,” “Speak to Me/Breathe,” “Money,” “Brain Damage,” and “Eclipse” to finish the set before a “Comfortably Numb” encore.

Electron is the ideal group to play this sort of set. They have the skills to play the songs in the spirit of the original way, but they also have the minds and the experience to take it to a new, free place. After that was a set from Oktopus – a new project from Todd Stoops and Jason Hann that featured members of Twiddle and more – who played until five in the morning when the terrifically strange minds get their kicks.

Day III

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Kung Fu

Saturday morning started with a set from Connecticut’s own Kung Fu, which was an absolutely ripping show in every way, and to much the same effect as the Twiddle show the morning before. I had thought these time slots to be Vibes 4 033poor positions for these two bands, but they proved to be just the thing to get people off the sleeping pad and into the beautiful day. The sun shined through clumps of clouds and there was a light breeze coming in from the shore, and when the music was high and powerful, you’d forget the weight of your exhaustion and you’d find the will to move. Each of the members gave spirited displays of their own wide range of creativity, and they were also joined by drum maestro Bernard Purdie and the Funky Dawgz Brass Band for a spritely “Saturday in the Park.” In this tune (heard here) they changed the lyrics to, “…Sea-side park, Gathering of the Viiibes.”

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Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass took the main stage next and delivered an excellent performance of quick picking and soulful vocals, the audience hopping and bouncing on their toes all along the way. The rest of the afternoon consisted of many great acts – New Riders of the Purple Sage, Deep Banana Blackout, Moon Hooch and Turkuaz, among others – and Bill Kreutzmann with Billy & the Kids was particularly impressive and enjoyable. Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green joins Billy, Tom Hamilton and Aron Magner in this Grateful Dead-inspired project that finds its way to entirely unique realms of its own.

Bill Kreutzmann, Wavy Gravy and Ken Hays

Bill Kreutzmann, Wavy Gravy and Ken Hays

After some stories and banter from Ken Hays, Wavy Gravy and Gordon Taylor, the set opened with a blissful “Here Comes Sunshine,” and they nailed the transition into “Cold Rain and Snow” – a highlight of the set, for me. There was also an appearance from Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce (among many other projects) during “Dancing in the Streets.” During this tune, Tom Hamilton and Eric Krasno – both Vibes 6 008experts in their craft – dueled licks and blended funk, jazz, rock and psychedelia into a lively ride full of intricacy and elation. Aron Magner was especially impressive on his organ work, and Reed Mathis performed his incredible bass abilities with a solo during “Ramble on Rose,” in which he used an octave pedal to produce a sound like a psychedelic guitar, smooth to the walk. It was followed by a terrific piano solo from Aron, and Billy held down the drums the entire show like the rhythm devil that he is. Lastly, Warren Haynes joined the group to perform his first of many tunes of the night – an eleven-minute “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (the Beatles) that absolutely rocked and rolled. Every player was spot-on, and between the fluttering organ, speedy, dueling lines and intense rhythm, you could feel tremors of a fine night of music on the near horizon (Listen to this incredible soundboard here).

Billy & the Kids

Billy & the Kids

Railroad Earth joined Warren Haynes for the next Main Stage performance, showing what Warren and the band have been working on in recent months with the new album Ashes & Dust. It was a rocking set that included covers like the Grateful Dead’s “China Doll,” Vibes 6 091Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” and the Allman Brothers Band’s “Blue Sky” and “Spots of Time.” Wilco was next and they did their thing for two hours, being joined by Warren Haynes and Joe Russo for the encore of “California Stars” – a tune that Wilco did with Billy Bragg. With the drums all warm and Warren at the ready, the Seaside Allstars took the stage for their highly anticipated performance – a celebration of the many forms of music and a man who liked to explore them.

“Happy birthday, Jerry!”

Warren Haynes with Railroad Earth

Warren Haynes with Railroad Earth

The Seaside Allstars opened with a jam into the Grateful Dead’s “King Solomon’s Marbles,” which transitioned directly into Junior Walker’s “(I’m a) Road Runner.” The flow continued toward a wild, flawless rendition of Lee Dorsey’s “Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley,” and the environment instantly cranked to eleven. The moon was bright and lights beamed from the Vibes 5 092stage, catching glimpses of faces and limbs and space, all alive and in their proper element and manner of action.

The set was complex, technical and dynamic, and it covered a wide variety of the musical spectrum. They jammed on Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and “Paranoid Android” twice throughout the show, with Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” that was teased again during Traffic’s “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.” They also played “Dreams” by the Allman Brothers Band, and Nigel Hall of the Nth Power made an appearance for Warren’s “River’s Gonna Rise.” Eric Krasno joined the band for several songs until the end of the show, including Bob Dylan’s “Tough Mama,” Allen Toussaint’s “Get Out of my Life, Woman,” The Meters’ “Africa,” and finally, Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You for Talking to me Africa.”

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Warren Haynes & the Seaside Allstars

Woo-wee.

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This set was a collaboration of truly masterful musicians. They rocked, they funked, they climbed, they turned, theyVibes 5 091 brought it low and they jazzed it out to where you couldn’t know, until they found the peak that we all remember somehow. Joe Russo’s drums quaked in high, ferocious power, but would tread lightly and with sporadic purpose in the jazz freedom like the rain on the windshield and the still-rolling snow tires – Tick tack. Tick, tack. Branford Marsalis’ saxophone sung smooth melodies between the many weaves, bellowing sweet cries at the shining moon with a smile lit between each go. Marco Benevento’s organ delivered hot, sweeping flashes of tight tone with velocity and precision, establishing his voice as free of any hesitation, and true in effect. George Porter Jr. conducted the ride with Joe Russo, the crisp tone Vibes 5 085of his bass lines filling the feet with plenty of reasons to step and slide, all the while inviting the others to walk along into the many possibilities of space. Jackie Greene not only iced the tracks with ripping lines and substantial rhythm, but he also joined Marco Benevento on the keys when Eric Krasno made his appearance, showing the wide knowledge that Jackie Greene has of the tools that make good music happen. Eric Krasno added his jazzy voice to the mix with his lucid riffs and persistent support, proving his abilities and his proficiency to work with others in making some damn fine music. Hardly any do this as well as Warren Haynes, whose masterful understanding of sound has made him one of the most skilled, detailed and adaptable players around. I spoke to a friend of his in the photo pit who said that Warren had gotten him the passes:

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“Do you know him well?” I asked.

“I just been around the scene for a while and kind of got ‘grandfathered’ in. That’s just the kind of guy he is.”

“He seems like a good man.”

“One of the best.”

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I spent the final moments of the show by the left side of the stage, waltzing and raving in free-flowing jubilation with several familiar faces and a sea of other friendly ones. At one point, a young man and a staff member named Diana scoured through the undertows of the crowd, rapidly filling big clear bags with all sorts of litter from the ground: crushed cans, cracked Vibes 6 180cups, soggy cardboard, dying glow sticks (the damned things), toilet paper (who knows), and empty bags void of any trace – all the evidence of a flawed, fruitful life. In their haste and determination, I had thought the task to be something done out of obligation and in a hurry to get back dancing. After all, the music was right on. But I spoke to Diana the next day, and she explained that the young man was a patron and that seeing the smile on his face as he voluntarily cleaned the area inspired her to do the same. “He was just so happy,” she said. “I had been kicking trash out of my way the entire time to try and make room for dancing, but he was just fine with doing his part to make it a better place to be. And it helped everyone, you know?” She then explained that upon her decision to help this young man, she was overcome by the same happiness, the same smile, and the same drive that had gotten that bag to be half-full. “I didn’t know that really existed,” she said.

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The effect was grand and inspired many people to at least grab a piece or two and contribute to the cause. The two were only in sight for a matter of minutes, and when the show was over, the crowd called for an encore and Gordon Taylor took the microphone.

“One more!” the crowd called.

“He’s given everything he’s got, man” he said, referring to Warren Haynes. “That was a once in a lifetime thing.” He explained that that was something to be happy about and to embrace, and he had a true point. There was plenty of bliss to follow and enjoy in that long set that ran about forty-five minutes past when it was scheduled to end, and with two great shows left in the night, it was important to be Grateful. In light of the conscious mind, Gordon encouraged everyone to grab a trash bag and help clean the area. Many did, and although there was a lot of work to do, they had the right hands to do it.

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Gordon Taylor was an excellent MC for this kind of event. There was an unspoken understanding that there was a lot that needed to be done in order to do the thing right, and Gordon manifested that notion well in his words. One line that struck especially true to me was when he said (somewhere between a food drive announcement, a recycling plea or a funny story), “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Got that right!

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Ken Hays, Wavy Gravy and Gordon Taylor

The night concluded with ripping sets from Lettuce and the Nth Power, and the Nth Power rocked Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice.” Their drummer Nikki Glaspie also sang vocals at one point, and she performed beautifully. It was another fantastic night of music that would leave many tired minds for the following morning, but there was still another great day ahead.

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Day IV

Walking along the sound toward the stages on Sunday “morning” was like a new breath after a long trip. I was with my brother (who had joined me on Friday afternoon) and we could hear Band Together CT rocking out to Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” It was a moment to smile and breathe deep, to let the stomach stretch and bask in the warmth of the morning sun and the chill of the cool sea breeze. Preservation Hall Jazz Band was bringing the main stage area back to life, which was still being cleaned for litter. There were many busy hands at work, but a little help would have most certainly been welcome.

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band put on one of the best performances of the weekend (in my own opinion) and they kept the crowd awake and animated in the hot, early afternoon. Our neighbor Maddy said, “I went in thinking that I Vibes 5 143would only stay for a few tunes, and every time I went to leave, I’d turn right back.” Zappa Plays Zappa had an unlucky beginning to their set, spending forty minutes (give or take) on technical difficulties and check-one-two’s. Several of the microphones didn’t work and the monitors were all out of whack, but after reading a notice of a Terrapin Jam (a time during the set when staff members would collect donations in the audience for the Terrapin Foundation) Dweezil attempted to get things going with just bass and drums to accompany. It didn’t last long, though, since Dweezil’s ear monitor was off from the house monitors, and they had different tuning. The musicians handled it like true professionals, though, and they eventually got the opportunity to play as a full band. With X-Wing and Tie-Fighter models present, the first tune would be none other than the Star Wars theme.

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The rest of the day included sets from Earphunk, Cabinet, Weezer, John Brown’s Body, and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals to finish it all off. Gathering of the Vibes has attracted some of the most talented, free-spirited Vibes 6 020musicians that the past twenty years has had to offer, and this seems to be for a number of reasons, but mainly for the consciousness. I have heard it described as “one of the best crowds around” on many occasions, and that seemed true to me. The Huffington Post’s article about the difference between a music festival and a “Super Concert” even had this to say: “Vibes has retained its 20 year identity while not selling its soul for ticket sales, as they reach an audience of Grateful Dead brethren and their extended families of friends.” Like anywhere, though, it was not always all gravy, and we had a backpack stolen from our site on the last day. But as Maddy said, “It keeps you on your toes.” We tend to forget a lot of realities at these festivals, and the first reminder can really be a swift kick. The staff seemed well-conscious of the truth, though, and they were always hard at work to make the festival safer and more enjoyable. There was a real sense of gratitude, and good things start at that.

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Gordon Taylor asked the people, “What is gratitude? Can anyone tell me a story about gratitude?” I had to think on it and I didn’t land on anything, but my mind had been pretty blank for a while, anyway.

Festivals, man.

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But I do remember it now and I can put my mind to several instances – so there’s that. It’s damn easy to forget the good stuff, and there really is a lot of it still going on. There’s also a lot of noise, a lot of nonsense, and (as John Stewart put it on his send-off) “there’s a lot of bullshit,” too, but that has lately seemed more and more to be the point. I suppose we need the bad chatter in order to highlight the bliss of a sweet melody or the truth of a profound notion, something to keep us far from the stagnancy of sameness. Thankfully, we don’t have to sift through it all on our own, and so my brother and I left the event with high hearts and heavy heads, floating on the memory of all that fine music, the windows rolled down and the sound of the studded tires playing us right on back to our reality.

Tick tack. Tick, tack.  

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Photos by Alex Kratzert – check out the full album here.

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