HLS @ All Good ’10: A Comprehensive Report

With the cancellation of our coveted Rothbury Music Festival, Mad Mike and I needed to fill a painful void in our summer. With an impressive lineup, beautiful scenery, and somewhat close location, the 2010 All Good Music Festival & Camp Out felt like a perfect fit. Finally after fully recovering and easing back into normality at home I was finally able to sit down and review the highlights.

My camera gave out on me early on—while still waiting in line—so thanks to Andrew R. Bender (@ Hidden Track) and Kerry Barbato (@ Setlist.com) for the great pictures I stole.

Thursday July 8th, 2010

After a Walmart stop for a few last minute supplies, Mad Mike and I hit the road around 5AM Thursday morning. After 6 hours of crossing Ohio and winding through West Virginia backwoods we hit the infamous music festival line around 11:15AM with still about 6 miles until the main gate. With stop and go traffic down dusty gravel roads the anticipation to set up camp grew. After nearly 2 hours we finally checked in through the main gate and were directed to a parking spot.

The clusterfuck that was the parking situation placed us at the bottom of a hill on a fire lane with no where to camp. Taking initiative Mike and I hiked all our gear to the top of the hill for an amazing campsite close to the porta-johns and water, complete with an amazing view overlooking the hills of Marvin’s Mountaintop. After setting up the tent we retreated under the shade canopy from the blistering mid-day heat to converse with the neighbors, swapping festival stories from Rothbury and Wakarusa.

As the sun finally set and temperatures began to slightly decline, we grilled some dinner and prepared for the night’s music.

Dark Star Orchestra

We made our way up to the stages to catch Thursday Throwdown headliner Dark Star Orchestra. With the recent departure of John Kadelick to Furthur, I was interested to see how Jeff Mattson performed with the legendary cover band. Mike and I set up camp on the huge grassy hill that forms a natural amphitheatre for the 2 stages nestled at the bottom and waited for the show.

Dark Star opened with “Scarlet Begonias” -> “Fire On The Mountain” -> “Feel Like A Stranger” which really felt like it put the festivities into full swing. The glow sticks came out as fans danced while DSO powered through classics such as “I Know You Rider”, “China Cat Sunflower”, “St. Stephen”, and “Eyes Of The World”, proving the recent line-up change had little effect on them.

As Dark Star finished off their impressive three hour set with “Not Fade Away” and “Morning Dew”, we began to meander back to the campsite for some much needed rest after a long day in the oppressive heat with an even bigger tomorrow looming hours away.

Set: Scarlet Begonias -> Fire on the Mountain, Feel Like a Stranger, Loose Lucy, Blow Away, Cumberland Blues, Cassidy, China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider -> Eyes of the World -> Drums -> Space -> St Stephen -> William Tell Bridge -> The Eleven -> Not Fade Away, Morning Dew

Friday July 9th, 2010

After being brutally awaken by the searing heat of the tent cooking in the morning sun we made the trek to the main gate for ice. While people with 3-day passes were still filing into campsites, the sprawling fields on the Mountaintop began to completely fill up.

Greensky Bluegrass

As Greensky Bluegrass hit the Grassroots Stage we were excited to find out we could hear the show from back at our campsite. Relaxing and still waking up we cooked breakfast and listened to the energizing bluegrass float over the field from nearly 100 yards away. As they continued we watched the hill near the Grassroots Stage fill with fans while we continued to enjoy the music as well as shade from our canopy compound. Here is a nice video someone caught from the hill near the Grassroots Stage.

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

Next to hit the Grassroots Stage was Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad with their reggae infused dub jam. After sleeping through them at Rothbury ’09 it was a great treat to catch their set from the comfort of our own campsite as we planned out the long day ahead. Their steady reggae beat and groovy, funky guitar solos attracted quite a large crowd on the hill. As Giant Panda GDS played one feel good tune after another it was hard not to start grooving in your lawn chair while getting excited for the slew of amazing acts later in the day.

Tea Leaf Green

We made our way to the main stage for Tea Leaf Green’s early afternoon set. TLG opened with a energized “Incandescent Devil” that had the whole hill moving. As they played into “Ride Together” Trevor Garrod’s crooning vocals and infectious keyboards kept everyone going as ominous rain clouds intruded on the Mountaintop. Half way through their set the sky opened up with a light but refreshing drizzle that no one seemed to mind after the sweltering heat of Thursday. Jennifer Hartswick, known for her work with Trey Anastasio, joined the guys on trumpet for an impressive rendition of “Georgia P” before they finally rounded out their set with the classic “The Garden (Pt. 3)” as the drizzle strengthened.

Set: Incandescent Devil, Ride Together, Without A Broom, My Bastard Brother, Can’t Get High > Georgie P, Jackson Hole, The Garden (Part III)

The Pimps Of Joytime

Opting to brave the rain and chill on the hill, Mad Mike and I stuck around for Brooklyn-based funk group The Pimps Of Joytime. What originally seemed like old school funk transformed into a mosaic of samples, electro-funk bass grooves, and DJ scratches for a truly unique funk-fusion. One of the most enjoyable aspects of festivals for me is discovering new favorite bands, and it was apparent I just did. Their original sound–aka Janxta Funk–had everyone dancing up and down the hill regardless that the weather was taking a turn for the worse. After their short but impressive set Mike and I made our way back to the campsite to close up and protect everything from the intensifying weather.

By the time we got back to our campsite the weather had really kicked up with gusting winds and a steady rain. We retreated to our makeshift compound of shade canopies and tapestries to stay dry. At times we jumped up to catch the canopy from blowing over or to fix knots the wind had untied. After nearly 3 hours the rain slowed to a mist and everything calmed down just in time to head back to the stages for a personal favorite.

Umphrey’s McGee

We arrived and made our way into the crowd during the impressive Booth Love opening which immediately had everyone dancing. We finally settled in front of sound stage near the end of an epic “Bridgeless”. Up next was a fiery jam of “Made To Measure” which gave way into the blistering “Miss Tinkle’s Overture” that received a raucous cheer from the crowd. Playing through fan favorite “Walletsworth” and the reggae-esque “Turn & Dub” kept everyone grooving regardless of the fact the rain had started back up. To finish off their set an amazing “Divisons” -> “I’m On Fire” -> “Divisions” jam left me wanting more, and from what I could tell everyone around us as well. Check out the Springsteen cover “I’m On Fire” below.

Set: Booth Love -> Bridgeless, Made To Measure -> Miss Tinkle’s Overture, Walletsworth, It’s About That Time, Turn & Dub -> Divisions -> I’m On Fire -> Divisions

As we head back to the campsite to fuel up on food and water for the long stretch of Furthur -> Bassnectar -> Lotus the rain subsided again as the sun peeked out just enough to see it set behind the West Virginia hills.

Furthur

After catching the amazing performance The Dead put on at Rothbury last year were didn’t feel too pressed for time to get to Furthur’s 4 hour slot. We ended up making our way up into the crowd mid-way through their first set just in time to catch my personal favorite “Brown-Eyed Woman”. Kadelick proved a perfect fit with an awesome solo that meshed flawlessly with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. To finish of their first set a the groovy “Big Railroad Blues” had everyone dancing as the band members all exchanged smiles during an impressive keyboard solo by Chimenti.

During the set break foreshadowing of just how awesome the late-night acts would be was displayed as the crew prepped Bassnectar’s lighting setup on the second stage.

The second set kicked off with a lengthy “Uncle John’s Band” in which everyone on the Mountaintop chimed in for “God damn! Well I declare! / Have you seen the light?” which really started the party. “Celebration” -> “Sugar Magnolia” kept things going as the rain started back up and Furthur played their original “Colors Of The Rain”. Up next was one of the biggest highlights of the weekend as they played fan favorite “Terrapin Station” which proved yet again Kadelick was the man for the job. As if to out-do Dark Star Orchestra’s covers the night before, Furthur launched into the same, yet impressive “Scarlet Begonias” -> “Fire On That Mountain”. Personally I would have enjoyed no crossover and have hear classics like “Shakedown Street” or “Throwing Stones” but I can’t complain. After an energetic “Sunshine Daydream” fireworks accompanied the first few minutes of fan favorite “Ripple” as the show came to a close.

Set 1: After Midnight -> Estimated Prophet -> Just A Little Light, Tennessee Jed, Must Have Been The Rose, Looks Like Rain, Brown-Eyed Woman, Big Railroad Blues
Set 2: Uncle John’s Band, Celebration -> Sugar Magnolia -> So Many Roads, Colors Of The Rain -> Terrapin Station, Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain, Attics Of My Life, Sunshine Daydream
Encore: Cumberland Blues, Ripple

Bassnectar (Late Night)

There was a struggle between Furthur fans to get out and Bassnectar fans to get in as Bassnectar took the stage. As soon as the first beat dropped you had no choice, you were enjoying this show. As Lorin dropped beat after beat glow sticks rained down from the hill. The cool night air was blocked by the bouncing mass of bodies. Mad Mike and I were front and center maybe 20 people back in the middle of it all. In the middle of the set an area cleared for a fire performer and just as Bassnectar dropped the beat she finished and the crowd instantly swallowed up the opening. No amount of words, pictures, or videos can effectively describe how crazy this show was, you simply had to be there. Here are 2 videos that do a decent job of summing up the experience. If you don’t feel like watching them all, jump to 7:45 in the second video for the a classic Bassnectar finish.

Note: The video times are wrong, Bassnectar played from 1:30-2:45.

Lotus (Late Night)

Forced to retreat to the hill for a break after Bassnectar Mike and I sprawled out on the cold grass enjoying the cool night breeze as Lotus took the main stage.

Lotus ramped things right back up with a furious “Bellwether” as just as many glow sticks were still being thrown around. Still recuperating from the work out that was the Bassnectar show, Mad Mike and I enjoyed classics like “Behind Midwest Storefronts”, “Spiritualize”, and “Sunrain”. As they jammed from “Sunrain” to “Crazy Train” and right back to “Sunrain” Mike and I finally gathered the energy to head back down in front as we knew the show couldn’t be fully enjoyed from the hill. Just as we made our way through the crowd “Tip of the Tongue” made us forget just how long we had been standing as we enjoyed the thick bass grooves. Rounding out their set my dreams came true as they played a lengthy “Wax” with solos from nearly every member as a smoking dragon concocted from glowsticks made it’s way through the crowd once again. Answering the cheers of the crowd, Lotus encored with “Golden Ghost” and the night came to an end.

Set: Blacklight Sunflare, Bellwether, Lead Pipe, Behind Midwest Storefronts, Spiritualize, Sunrain -> Crazy Train -> Sunrain, Tip Of The Tongue, Dowrn, Wax
Encore: Golden Ghost

By the time we had made our way back to the campsite and re-hydrated the sun had just started to come up as we laid down for some much needed rest.

Saturday July 10th, 2010

After sleeping off the long day before I unfortunately missed most of The Brew on the Grassroots Stage with their early slot of 10AM. After some much needed breakfast and water I braved the porta-johns before they became too hot and disgusting in the afternoon sun.

Rubblebucket

Thanks again to our prime campsite location we were able to enjoy Rubblebucket’s 11AM set on the Grassroots Stage. Their unique sound and mixture of keyboards, guitars, bass, and horns drew quite a crowd to the hillside. Though unfamiliar with them before, their sound was addicting and definitely helped them stick out as a new band to check out after returning home.

Still exhausted from the night before we relaxed in the shade and opted to hang out until mid-afternoon sets on the main stage.

Railroad Earth

As Railroad Earth took the stage around 4PM we again camped out on the hill soaking up the sun, enjoying the refreshing breeze. Railroad Earth’s unique blend of bluegrass and rock captivated the hillside which was surprisingly full for a mid-day act. As they played through classics like “Mighty River” and “Elko” even more fans trickled in to hang out on the hill side. To wrap up their set they played a personal favorite of mine “Hard Livin'”–video below.

Set: Head, Cold Water, The Forecast, Mighty River, Elko, Mourning Flies, Hard Livin’

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

After a jam for the Rex Foundation, Parliament Funkadelic took the main stage with George Clinton for some good ole funk. Ripping through classics like “Give Up The Funk” and “Flash Light” everyone, standing or sitting, was swaying to the beat. As they capped off their set with a never-ending version of “Atomic Dog”, Mad Mike and I made our way back down into the crowd.

Perpetual Groove

P-Groove took the second stage just as the sun subsided behind some clouds and finally the main stage. A re-energized crowd, now in the shade, began grooving as they started things off with the great “Three Weeks”. Next they busted out an awesome cover of “Praise You” before jamming straight into “Gibbles”. Unfortunately, due to only a 40 minute set, as they concluded the jam with “Praise You” their time was all ready up. Though in their short 40 minutes they drew an impressive crowd and put on a great show, complete with a streaker and all.

Set: Jam -> MIA Tease, Three Weeks, Praise You -> Gibbles -> Praise You

The New Mastersounds

After resting up at the campsite for the lengthy stretch of night shows we made our way back up to the stages to catch the end of The New Mastersounds. An impressive funk/jazz fusion group from the UK, the whole crowd was dancing as we walked up. I had been looking forward to these guys and they definitely lived up to expectations. Finishing off their set with the upbeat “Make Me Proud” and frantic “San Frantico” there wasn’t a single body not moving to the contagious keyboards and guitar licks. Definitely won’t miss any of these guys next time. Below is a video of them performing “Make Me Proud” live; though not at All Good, definitely worth a listen.

Widespread Panic

As The New Mastersounds ended, Saturday’s headliner Widespread Panic took the main stage and ripped right into “Heroes” followed by an impressive “Tallboy” jam that had everyone singing along. Powering through other live staples like “True To My Nature”, “Sleeping Man”, and “Dyin’ Man” the regret from missing them at Rothbury ’08 washed away with each guitar and keyboard solo. As the first set drew to a close, slide-guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks joined them on stage for the calming “Gimme” before finishing off the set with an out of control “Henry Parsons Died”.

As more and more people crammed onto the hill between sets literally hundreds of Chinese lanterns were dispersed through the crowd. As more and more were lit and released the sky turned into quite a site. Just as the last few lanterns disappeared out of site, the Panic returned for set 2.

Ramping things right back up they kicked things off with the ominous bass line and howling guitar of “Imitation Leather Shoes”. Amidst a very lengthy “Driving Song” -> “Tie Your Shoes” -> “May Your Glass Be Filled”-and-back-again jam, Widespread nestled an impressive drum and percussion solo that captivated the entire crowd. After pulling back out of “Driving Song” they pulled out the classic “Travelin’ Man”. Returning for an encore, Widespread delivered blistering jams of “Protein Drink” and “Sewing Machine” with the whole thing capped with fireworks yet again.

Set 1: Heroes, Tallboy, C. Brown, True To My Nature, Sleeping Man, Gradle, Dyin’ Man, Second Skin, Gimme, Henry Parsons Died
Set 2: Imitation Leather Shoes, Bust It Big, Saint Ex, Driving Song -> Tie Your Shoes -> May Your Glass Be Filled -> Drums -> Jam -> Tie Your Shoes -> Driving Song, Travelin’ Man, You Should Be Glad
Encore: Protein Drink, Sewing Machine

Garage A Trois (Late Night)

Mad Mike retreated to the campsite for some much needed rest as I decided to fly solo and catch the rest of the nights festivities. After hydrating I looked to the hill to relax and catch Stanton Moore’s side project Garage A Trois on the second stage. Their experimental jazz funk metal fusion proved for a unique and exciting late night set. Though I only knew a few of their songs, Mike Dillon’s energetic saxaphone and Stanton’s furious drum fills were enough to keep anyone’s attention. Most impressive was their cover of “No Quarter”; Stanton’s dedication to John Bonham was received with an uproar from the crowd.

Yonder Mountain String Band (Late Night)

As Yonder Mountain String Band took the main stage for the nights final show you could tell they were just as excited as the crowd. They asked if we were ready for a good old fashioned hoe-down, which is exactly what ensued. As their rock and bluegrass fusion blasted from the speakers you couldn’t help but to move.

After swaying on the hill for half the set I had to move into the crowd for protection from the frigid mountain air. As mandolin, bass, banjo, and guitar traded solo after solo the whole crowd kept moving long into the night as they played classics like “40 Miles From Denver”, “Rag Doll”, “Pockets”, and “Southbound”. Nearing the end of their set they performed an impressive Traffic Jam -> After Midnight -> Traffic Jam that seemed to give everyone a second wind. After a few more songs, Yonder returned for an encore of “Out of The Blue” and a mean cover of “Crazy Train” (check it out below).

Though I was all ready a Yonder fan, the impressive late night set with great lighting felt like I had experience them again for the first time. As I walked back to the campsite I knew I just witnessed one of the highlights of the entire weekend.

Set: Raleigh and Spencer, Lord Only Knows, Idaho, Rag Doll, Mental Breakdown, 40 Miles from Denver, Fingerprint, No Expectations, Pockets, Hit Parade of Love, Country Boy Rock & Roll, Kentucky Mandolin, Mother’s Only Son, Southbound, Loved You Enough, If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler -> Traffic Jam -> After Midnight -> Traffic Jam -> My Sisters And Brothers, If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler
Encore: Out of the Blue, Crazy Train

Sunday July 11th, 2010

Awaking yet again to a tent hot and muggy from the sun Mad Mike and I began deconstructing the campsite and preparing for the journey home. While we originally planned to stay until Sunday night, after packing the car we decided to head out early.

Unfortunately, I’m sure we missed great sets by Keller & The Keels, The Heavy Pets, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, SOJA, and Keller & The Added Bonus but the real world was calling with work and class looming the next morning.

As we slowly pulled out of the Mountaintop and hit the road back to Ohio we came to a conclusion. Was it Rothbury? No. Was it still fucking awesome? Hell yes.

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