Wakarusa Music Festival Part II: Getting in "Ass Deep"

Day 2 Words & Images by: SuperDee

Friday, June 17th at Wakarusa was the perfect festival day. Clear blue sky above, non-muddy ground below, and a lineup of my favorite bands to go see all day. It was gonna take some fast walkin' to see everything I wanted to see and even still had to sacrifice some sets in order to catch others. That is the sign of a great festival; judge the festival not by what you saw but what you had to miss to see what you saw.

The daytime musical adventures included visits with the "sun-soaked funk" of the Bay Area's ALO (where the "good vibes" crew was in full effect), into the very real and down to earth alt-country rock of Son Volt. Son Volt was one of the many bands on the lineup adding to the multi-layered texture of this festival. Another is Calexico, the next band on the list for the day, whose musicians are from Germany and Arizona (what a combo!) and whose sound is a real melting pot of Tex-Mex and jazz with great vocals.

Dan Lebowitz :: ALO

Zach Gill :: ALO


Son volt

Moonshine Still's David Shore
Now was time for some fast walkin' to see Moonshine Still into Perpetual Groove into Umphrey's McGee. Was this day especially designed for me, or what? Great to see Moonshine Still play "Barely Alive," then 30 minutes later "Three Weeks" by PGroove and 30 minutes later "Wife Soup" by Umphrey's. I saw the entire Perpetual Groove set and it was fantastic. The tent was brimming with fans new and old and everyone was kicking their heels up and loving every moment. Back to the big stage for Umphrey's McGee where they rocked a straight set with a lot of songs off of Anchor Drops.

Perpetual Groove

Umphrey's McGee's Brendan Bayliss

The Umph Attack!

Next up was the North Mississippi Allstars for the sunset and what would be the sickest jam of the festival yet. Luther Dickinson was truly an inspiration and invited Jake from Umphrey's and Rose Hill Drive drummer Nate Barnes to sit in for a little rocking. Then RHD guitarist Daniel Sproul was invited up to show his stuff although he seemed a bit timid at first. He had a second shot when the band became Daniel on guitar, Kris Myers (Umphreys) on drums, Cody Dickinson on washboard, and Chris Chew on bass with Luther sitting on the side, smiling. Rock'n'roll!!!

The North Mississippi All-Stars

Nighttime at Wakarusa began with a visit over to Ozomatli and I feel like I finally had my Ozomatli "experience." They are really amazing performers and they've got some moves that makes you want to shake it like you've never shook it before! From there it was a quick stop over to see String cheese Incident before the Conspirator set was getting underway at the Campground Stage. Conspirator - the side project of Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits - kicked the nighttime party into high gear. Their drummer du jour was Kris Myers and Jake Cinninger was guest guitarist for most of set - a de ja vous of Jam Cruise and the Great American Music Hall. My darling Brock Butler from Perpetual Groove was invited on to do the guitar duties for the end of the set. Wakarusa was lucky to have such a sweet show!



Tea Leaf Green
Wakarusa late night was fun but not frantic like some other late night situations at other festivals. On the way back to the Revival Tent where Particle was playing, we walked by the DJ tent where one of the MCs from Ozomatli was freestyling and we got some dope beats to boogie down to for a bit. After Particling for a bit, it was time to walk-arusa back to the Campground Stage for Tea Leaf Green. They were killing it and played some old faves like "Freedom" and "Panspermic Deevolution" where you could spot some hometown Bay Area peeps throughout the crowd shouting out on cue. The night capped off with some Hairy Apes BMX (with a stage dive from Mike Dillon) and the sky was beginning to brighten.

It was a beautiful day and night at Wakarusa and now I've got to get my act together for another full day of music! Today we've got Rose Hill Drive, Gov't Mule, Wilco, Matisyahu and more... oh my!

Be sure to "Continue Reading" for some Pre-Fest Thursday highlights!

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