Hmmm....well all true that is certainly not how I would boil down my peach experience
Fourth year in a row...thought it was my fifth but I think I'm losing count. 😜 The vibe of this festival is one of the best in my opinion. Magical shining people everywhere. You sure do have to work hard and arrive early to get a good set up (in the trees on less sloped, less rocky land) but so well worth it. They continuously put out one of the best lines ups of the year every year...the water park is a huge plus and a hydrating salvation. Yoga in the mornings to work out all that muscle soreness. I also splurge for a massage from the healing tent on most days...some talented intuitive individuals in there.
Our first rain free weekend which made things so much easier...cleaner
I generally make my own breakfast/lunch. My favourite vendor is Asian Sensation....their dumplings and spicy Korean chicken bowl are superb.
Thursday night we kicked things off with Aqueous (surpassed my expectations...great set...I'd seen them before...appear to be gaining depth and are on the rise). This was followed by Billy effin Strings....he just rips on that acoustic. I hope he maintains the stamina and lifestyle to entertain us into old age. Caught a set of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong...they're great fun, lots of energy...I eventually get bored but good. Opted not to catch their late night set that night but mostly to pace myself. String Cheese!!! They came out swinging. Thursday was their first of three sets that weekend and every single one was a festival highlight. They just have a little bit of everything that I love.
Friday yoga, followed by Infamous Stringdusters (solid, enjoyable set....hard to top seeing them at Nelson Ledges and dancing in the soft sand). Unfortunately missed Cory Wong (opted not to climb another hill and back as I wanted to see Blues Traveler). Blues Traveler was fun but I think I enjoyed them more the last time I saw them at vibes. Nevertheless their hits get everyone moving. Moe.....heard so many people expressing indifference towards moe. I don't get it. To me they are still a straight up delightful rock/jam band and I enjoy them every time. Seeing them in a bar is my preference but that's true for most bands. Two more magical sets of String Cheese, followed by the Allman Betts Band. I thought they sounded great! Both the allman covers and originals. Just happy to see that music kept alive.
Didn't make it to Saturday yoga...in large thanks to the brahs who decided to plug in and amplify music throughout the hills at like 4 or 5 in the morning or whatever it was. If you're going to do that (and please don't) at least be good...or even mediocre. It was terrible. I heard they got busted by cops on the following night. While I wouldn't wish that on anyone and don't know what they were taken down for, I was pleased this charade was a one time performance. Ended up being a late start by the time I got into the music. I was disappointed to miss both Ghost Light and Stephen Marley....but there was a heavy night in store. Lettuce>Greensky Bluegrass>double dose of TAB> followed by JRAD. I couldn't have been more blissed out. TAB was a definite festival topper for me. We had anywhere from a half dozen to 20 Canadians clustered at any one time and I got a huge kick out of watching people get sucked into, energetically lifted, or just plain out puzzled by our 'infectious' swirling energy. I believe we were excellent ambassadors. There's always a few Americans that want to come home with us lol. JRAD's set was also a tonne of fun despite missing their master conductor. I was choked to hear of that very shortly before they were to go on, but congrats to the Russo family.
Sunday we packed down....wavered back and forth because it is the last thing you feel like doing on day 4....almost stayed another night but was really glad to have a clean bed, shower and hotel to go to at the end of the night. As a result of the pack down and slow moving haze we were in we missed Yonder which was a shame. Caught the end of the Inaugural Guitar pull and had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Stanley Jordan. What a tasteful talented player. Next up was Marcus King Band. This is my third time seeing him this year and he was cookin' as usual. Truly one of the greatest vocalists of all time in my opinion. I ended up missing most of Warren and Grace but really needed a massage and a swim to straighten things out. Made it back in time for good ole' Phil and Friends including Warren, Scofield, Graeme Lesh, Holly Bowling and John Molo. Once they got warmed up they put on a great show. Scofield is still a monster. An absolute privilege to still be able to see Phil do his thing and play with such improvisational mastery at his age.
I had the best company one could ever ask for and reflected on that many many times throughout the weekend and how delicate life is and how lucky I have been. Heart is full of love and I always have renewed hope about this messed up world when I immerse myself in this freaky free flowing crowd.
And....back to reality...aches and pains and things to do, but never the same. I just try and carry a little bit of that magic through the rat race until next time.
Just finished a little six night run and it was fabulous. Special mention goes to the monster Fenway set and both Mohegan Sun shows. Great times with good friends, which is a lot of what Phish is about.
Oh, and Toronto was the very definition of great times with good friends.
Just received this email from Bradm's mother Lois today:
"We brought his ashes back when he died and until yesterday (Sunday) the urn was in my bedroom closet. To back track, when his Dad died in 2002, Ken was on our condo's Board of Directors and in his honour, a white magnolia bush was planted on our condo property. Steve and I decided to put Brad's ashes around the base of what has become a BIG tree. Yesterday here was a bit cloudy and even though there is a walking a path close to the tree no gardening staff were on duty. We took a spade, loosened the earth and put the ashes around the tree. As you may gather the McFarlane's are not outwardly religious.
Steve and Brad were both Monty Python fans and Steve said a few words as did I. We came back up to the condo and Steven found a video of John Cleese giving a eulogy at Python's Graham Chapman's death ( I think it was his) singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life If you haven't seen it, check out YouTube. It was hilarious and we figured Brad would approve............Lois"
Caught JRAD at Cleveland's Masonic Temple this past weekend. Lucky enough to be second from the rail and right in their glorious pocket. Russo just blows my mind every time and it was such a pleasure to watch him do his other-worldly thing from up close. An incredible setlist and an interesting venue. Couldn't help but wonder what kind of shit went down there in the past. Many launch-pad moments into the ether. These guys don't let up. Can't wait to see them again this summer at Peach!
Playing in the Band
I Know you Rider
I Need a Miracle
Eyes of the World
The Other One
Dancin' in the Streets
Look Out Cleveland (The Band)
One More Saturday Night
This is Doug (from The John Henry's) and his psychedelic rock project that he has been rehearsing for literally years, and their first gig will be at Ottawa's awesomest bar, Irene's on Saturday, March 30th. Tix are available online.
This has a high likelihood of being amazing, but no guarantees. You've been warned, both ways. Seriously though, 85% chance of it being amazing.