Wanee 2012 | Florida | Review | Photos

Words by: Scott Horowitz | Images by Jeffrey Dupuis

Wanee Music Festival :: 04.19.12-04.21.12 :: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park:: Live Oak, FL

Big photo gallery below review!

Wanee 2012 by Jeffrey Dupuis
Timicua Indians lived in awe of live oaks. These great trees were honored as the doublet of the world tree, cosmic tree, or the tree of life. As a sacred tree, the live oak was thought to hold within its branches not only the secrets of creation and life on this earth but also a promise of immortality. Sleeping, dancing, and living amongst live oak trees – i.e. the experiences within the majestic realm of the Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park - are personal, transformational, and uniquely diverse for each festivalgoer. The following are highlights of one man's weekend.

Thursday

-Ray Manzarek's solo piano composition (written to the memory of Jim Morrison).

-Conspirator performing "Scarlet Begonias > Fire (Hendrix).”

-Meeting John and Tom, a father and son who traveled from Germany to attend Wanee - Apparently Dead Heads are easier to find in America than in Germany.

Friday

Mickey Hart by Jeffrey Dupuis
-Bruce Hornsby dedicating "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down" to Levon Helm, who passed away the day before.

-Mickey Hart's band using electronics to pursue the ancient tribal source and to sample John F. Kennedy soundbites.

-Seeing Phil Lesh stand side stage, perpetually smiling, watching Oteil Burbridge play bass with the Tedeschi Trucks Band - a set highlighted by Susan Tedeschi's guitar solo on "That Did It," and a "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" tease during "Bound for Glory".

-Furthur performing for nearly three hours straight while standing in the hot North Florida sunshine. "Alligator" was a scenically appropriate choice and "Unbroken Chain > Death Don't Have No Mercy," with Levon Helm on everybody's mind, was emotional, to say the least.

Furthur Setlist: Not Fade Away, Brown Eyed Woman, Alligator > Ripple, My Brother Esau, Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Eyes of The World > Caution (do not stop on the tracks) > King Solomon's Marbles, Unbroken Chain > Death Don't Have No Mercy, Turn On Your Lovelight. E: Touch of Grey

Gregg Allman by Jeffrey Dupuis
-Gregg Allman giving his absolute all on vocals for "Ain't My Cross To Bear" before the Allman Brothers Band performed "Blue Sky" for the first time ever in Wanee history. "It Makes No Difference" and "The Weight" were performed while pictures of Levon Helm were displayed on the screen behind the band. During "The Weight", Lemar Guillary, who went without a solo earlier in Tedeschi Trucks Band's set, captured the spotlight with a soulful trombone solo.

Allman Brothers Band Setlist: Don't Want You No More > It's Not My Cross To Bear, Midnight Rider, Blue Sky, Worried Down With The Blues, Egypt, Stand Back, It Makes No Difference, Blind Willie McTell, The Weight > It Makes No Difference, Dreams, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. E: No One To Run With

Saturday

Wanee 2012 by Jeffrey Dupuis
-A torrential downpour of rain cutting Gov't Mule's version of Levon Helm's "The Shape I'm In" was, at first, a disappointment. However, the result of this was a healthy crowd at the Mushroom Stage, where Charles Bradley knocked it out of the park. His onslaught of "I Love You"s in between songs, and soulful take on Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was the bright spot on an otherwise cloudy day.

-As Furthur took the stage, I got to have a personal chat with Derek Trucks, which was very enlightening. Furthur's determination on Saturday was undeniable as they tore apart America's greatest songbook with ragers like "Shakedown Street" and "Help On The Way > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower" before ensuring everybody land softly with pinnacle Garcia ballads "Wharf Rat" and "Stella Blue".

Furthur Setlist: Playin' In The Band > China Cat Sunflower > Estimated Prophet > Ramble On Rose, Bird Song, Sugar Magnolia > Playin In The Band Reprise, Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower, Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One, Shakedown Street > Viola Lee Blues > Bertha > Viola Lee Blues > Stella Blue > I Know You Rider. E: US Blues

Allman Brothers Band by Jeffrey Dupuis
-Luther Dickinson, who would close the festival with the North Mississippi Allstars, sitting in at the Allman Brothers’ set on "Gilded Splinters" and Jimmy Hall taking vocal and harmonica duties on "She Caught The Katy" and "Statesboro Blues" were the guest highlights of the night. "The Sky is Crying" was nice to hear after having dealt with trying to stay dry most of the afternoon. Bruce Katz playing keys both nights on stage left, filling in for Greg Allman who was absent for most of the weekend's music, was a pleasure. However, Gregg reemerged for the final night's encore and sat on a folded chair next to Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. The Trio performed a captivating rendition of "Needle and The Damage Done". To witness this song being sung by Gregg Allman, who was visibly in pain after bending over to pick up a fallen sheet of lyrics, was not only a highlight of my weekend, but easily one of the highlights of my life. A rambunctious crowd near 20,000 was brought to silence and then to tears.

Allman Brothers Band Setlist: Jessica, Come and Go Blues, Walk On Gilded Splinters, The Sky Is Crying, Hot 'Lanta > All Along The Watchtower > Hot 'Lanta > Rocking Horse, She Caught The Katy, Statesboro Blues, Into The Mystic, You Don't Love Me, Mountain Jam > Smokestack Lightnin' > Mountain Jam. E: Needle and The Damage Done, Southbound

Until Next Year…

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[Published on: 4/27/12]

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