The 2017 Lockn’ Festival began at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia on Thursday. Attendees arrived to find a much different layout than in years past including the main stage now located near where the secondary Blue Ridge Bowl stage was previously. Musically, the truncated schedule featured sets from three stalwarts of the jam scene: Umphrey’s McGee, The String Cheese Incident and the Disco Biscuits.
A welcoming ceremony featuring the Mount Zion First African Baptist Choir signaled the start of the event near 7 p.m. Charlottesville’s own Kendall Street Company was the first full band to take the new main stage. The youngsters showed off their brand of Southern rock over the course of a quick set before the stage rotated to reveal Umphrey’s McGee. UM’s first of two sets started with the instrumental “Goonvile” intro followed by “40’s Theme.” The highlight of the six-piece’s night came next in the form of a well-jammed “Mantis” > “Draconian” > “Mantis” and “Dump City” sequence. Umphrey’s ended their opening set with “The Floor” after which the stage rotated for the first of two The String Cheese Incident performances.
While SCI’s Bill Nershi was “on the disabled list” last weekend in Oregon, the band was in full force at Lockn’. Nershi led the group through “Restless Wind” to begin the set ahead of “Betray The Dark” and the more recent “Get Tight.” Cheese’s first set ended with a “Texas” > “Colliding” sequence. The stage then rotated once more as UM opened their second and final set with “You Got The Wrong Guy” > “Miss Tinkle’s Overture.” Umphrey’s took “Plunger” deep ahead of the emotional “Hajimemashite” and the more dance-friendly “Conduit.” Talking Heads’ “Making Flippy Floppy” was the only cover UM played at Lockn’ and the band said farewell to Lockn’ with an intense “Remind Me” closer.
When the Main Stage rotated for one final time on Thursday, the members of The String Cheese Incident were standing next to each other at the front of the stage. Nershi made a speech about standing in solidarity with the Charlottesville community after the violence that broke out two weekends prior. The band then took their places and lit into “Shine.” Next, SCI welcomed UM’s Brendan Bayliss, Joel Cummins and Andy Farag for a cover of “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers Band dedicated to Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks. From there, Cheese ended their Lockn ’17 visit with recent fare “My One & Only,” “Hi Ho No Show” and “Colorado Bluebird Sky.”
Jamtronica act the Disco Biscuits made their Lockn’ debut with a late night performance on the Relix Stage. Bassist Marc Brownstein was in particularly fine form as the quartet worked through a two-hour set that included a “Hope” opener, the end of “Save The Robots” and a particularly on-point “Spraypaint.” The Biscuits also fit in a “Story Of The World” sequence that featured an inverted “Crickets” and an original debuted last year, “The Champions.” For the finale, the Disco Biscuits ended the lengthy set with “Magellan.”
Lockn’ continues with a full slate on Friday including sets from Jim James, Gov’t Mule with Ann Wilson, Bob Weir with Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and more.
Watch SCI and members of UM perform “Jessica” thanks to Jordan Gibrick:
Umphrey’s McGee (via The Bort)
Set One: Goonville > 40’s Theme, Mantis > Draconian > Mantis, Dump City, The Floor
Set Two: You Got The Wrong Guy > Miss Tinkle’s Overture, Plunger > Hajimemashite, Conduit, Making Flippy Floppy, Remind Me
The String Cheese Incident
Set One: Restless Wind, Betray The Dark, Get Tight, Texas > Colliding
Set Two: Shine, Jessica (w/ Joel Cummins, Andy Farag & Brendan Bayliss), My One & Only, Hi Ho No Show, Colorado Bluebird Sky
Set: Hope-> Save the Robots (ending)-> Strobelights & Martinis-> Gangster-> Spraypaint Victory, Story of the World-> Crickets (inverted)-> The Champions-> Story of the World, Magellan