Review & Photos | Peach Music Festival 2013 | Scranton

Saturday, August 17

Fresh off his artist-at-large tenure at Vibes, talented veteran saxophonist Bill Evans started the day off with a frenzy, Floodwood brought bluegrass energy to the Main Stage, Karl Denson demonstrated why he is one of the brass greats, Giant Panda Guerilla Squad raged the reggae rhythms and Lotus, about to drop a hip-hop album, owned the late night slot, as usual.

Highlights:

Cabinet :: 2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. :: Mushroom Stage

Scranton’s own bangin’ bluegrass outfit of Pappy Biondo (banjo/vocals), Mickey Coviello (guitar), JP Biondo (mandolin/vocals), Todd Kopec (fiddle), Dylan Skursky (bass) and Jami Novak (drums) performed in front of a rambunctious crowd of loyal revelers. Anyone who has seen them live or heard their 2012 studio effort, Leap, can attest to the quality musicianship of this band. With a relentless touring schedule, Cabinet has seen a meteoric rise over the past year and the amount of ardent fans in attendance further proved that. Fresh off a surprise late night set, it is safe to say that these boys can be mentioned in the same breath as their bluegrass brethren Yonder Mountain and Railroad Earth. Although fan favorites “Heavy Rain” and “Doors” were performed previously in the weekend, there was plenty of energy in this set that included the hootin’ and hollerin’ fun of “Hit It On The Head” and “Susquehanna Breakdown.” Vocals are handled by the brothers Biondo with JP tackling 60% of those chores and Pappy 40%. Highlights included the banjo pickin' of Pappy who again further proved his prowess on the instrument, JP’s crisp and clean vocals with superior nuance and feeling and Kopec’s ability to fill with his fiddle at the most opportune times and completely take over the proceedings with authority. Jazz great Ron Holloway added another layer with his tenor saxophone for half the set and it created an even richer and fuller sound.

Set List: Hit It On The Head, RRR, Old Farmer's Mill, Mr. Spaceman*, Shady Grove*, Susquehanna Breakdown*, The Dove*, E.M.D*

*w/ Ron Holloway

RatDog :: 7:15 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. :: Peach Stage

Although not the official headliner, it’s safe to say that most eyes and ears were ready in anticipation for Weir’s engagement at the Peach Festival. With his recent health challenges in fresh memory, one held a little trepidation as to the outcome, but Bobby delivered. With his cohorts in RatDog: Jay Lane (drums), Robin Sylvester (bass), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), Rob Wasserman (bass) and Steve Kimock (guitar), the band shared an exquisite and professional showcase. The set started with a lengthy jam that eventually led into “Bird Song.” RatDog's set was low-key and jazzy with an occasional outburst of vocal energy from Weir. During “Jack Straw," Weir strutted down stage to accentuate the guitar crescendo in the middle of the tune and it was one of those rare moments where it felt familiar. It may not be Brendan Byrne 1987, but the moment demonstrated that he hadn’t lost his powerful touch and has many more years of touring to come. Other highlights included “Days Between” which marked only the 13th occasion that RatDog has covered the Garcia/Hunter-penned piece. The second verse of “Dark Star” surprised many as it was aborted the previous night to allow Grace Potter to take the stage. “The Other One” proved to be the highlight on this night due to pure energy and moxie alone. Steve Kimock, who has joined RatDog for this festival, showed off masterful guitar work. Kimock is an exemplary addition to this incarnation and adds the proper tone throughout. Although Weir had flubbed a few lyrics Friday night, that was nothing new and on Saturday he was on point and mistake free. To the fans delight, their hero delivered an impeccable performance.

Set List: Jam > Bird Song > Jack Straw > West L.A. Fadeaway > Cassidy > Dark Star > Even So > October Queen > The Deep End > The Other One, Days Between > Two Djinn > Not Fade Away

Dopapod :: 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. :: Peach Stage

Dopapod is Eli Winderman (keys), Neal “Fro” Evans (drums), Rob Compa (guitar) and Chuck Jones (bass). The first thing one probably notices at a show by this electrifying jam outfit is the wizardry on the Moog synth by Winderman. Seemingly effortless, he rolls up and down the scales with grace while punching the right notes to fill the appropriate spaces with magic. As seen during his sit-in with Lotus the previous night, and with Turkuaz at Disc Jam earlier this summer, Winderman’s uber talent makes any music collaboration sound sweeter. Rob Compa is a mad man on the axe, very proficient at knowing when to noodle, when to explore new worlds and when to kick back settle in and improvise. Dopapod is a quickly-ascending band that has busted out in the last year with YouTube videos garnering hundreds of thousands views. The high-energy performance was marked with a “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” tease during “Roid Rage” and a tease of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad’s “Mr. Cop” during “New James.” However, the most impressive work came during “Trapper Keeper" - their well-known, meticulously tight and groovy funk tune. Check out their Redivider record.

Set List: Black and White, Like A Ball, Roid Rage, Bubble Brain, Give It A Name, New James, Hey Zeus!, Weird Charlie > Trapper Keeper


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