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Wrapping Up at Wanee

  04/22/11 01:54, by , Categories: Music News, Festivals and Events, BFMN Exclusive, Jim Messer, Bands, Review , Tags: allman brothers, bfmn exclusive, jim messer, spirit of the suwannee, wanee festival

Click Here for Part One of Jim’s Review from Wanee

Review and Photos by Jim Messer

Saturday at the Wanee Festival started with some heavy rain. Being a giant wuss, I stayed in the safety of dry areas, primarily my car. The rain blew away and what was left was a steamy, hot Florida April day. I headed off to the Peach stage to listen to Taj Mahal. As I walked up, the music started and blues kicked in. Once I got to the photo pit entrance, I got the for-real blues. I walked up and showed my credentials; the guard apologized profusely and said that due to “issues,” I could only go in through the front gate.  To do this, I would have to walk through a few thousand people that had paid over $200 and had been waiting patiently to see Taj Mahal. So, I didn’t shoot, but I did get to sit and listen to Taj Mahal. His brand of blues is absolutely tremendous.

Click through for more and CLICK HERE for photos!

I stuck around the Peach stage ready to listen to the next band.  If I had to walk through the crowd, I didn’t want to do it when it was going full-bore. As I walked up, the friendly security guard from before grabbed me and said that everything was cleared up. We were back to our entrance. Hooray!

When the line-up for Wanee was announced, I was stunned to see Ween on the list. While Ween does some great jams, they take some odd steps to get there. They started their set with fairly tame song, called Pork Egg Roll & Cheese. As a big Ween fan, I can tell you, that’s a pretty mild [edited by popular demand] song by their standards. It didn’t take long for them to get to My Own Bare Hands. Feel free to hunt down the lyrics for that. I really enjoyed kicking back and watching the crowd react to them. There was a lot of confusion, which is exactly what you expect at a Ween show. To go ahead and completely confused the crowd, they threw out Mister Richard Smoker. Gene Ween’s falsetto voice floated through the crowd and delivered a smack to many folks. They finished their set with some songs that allowed them to reach this crowd - when they jam, they do kick back and jam. They pushed it forward and won over many in the crowd.

Next up on the Peach stage was the Tedeschi Trucks Band. This married couple really knows how to play off of each other. Derek Trucks constantly complimented Susan Tedeschi’s growl. Their band was formed from both of their side projects to allow them to spend some more time together. Derek is a legend in Florida; his mastery of the playing slide guitar is stunning.

I took off to the Mushroom stage to catch Tea Leaf Green. Another band that I hadn’t heard of, they were certainly one of the jewels to catch at Wanee. I wasn’t sure what to think, but I was extremely impressed. One of the problems with trying to write a review for a jam band is that it’s tough to figure out song names. This was the case here. They did, however, bring a ton of fusion - the heavy, slamming bass and wicked keyboards had me tapping my foot. They were, by far, one of the most expressive bands that played. They truly love what they do and they love to work it for the crowd. I will be checking them out some more.

We got back to the Peach stage in time to catch the Steve Miller Band, took our place in the pit ready to shoot and out of the corner of my eye, I saw trouble. From the back came word that we weren’t able to shoot up front; we would be allowed to shoot from the soundboard, over 100 yards away. We decided to shoot from the crowd, like we shot Robert Plant. A few minutes later, a security guard told us that if we were up close and were using cameras with detachable lenses, we would have our credentials pulled. I’m not a fan of creating trouble, so I stepped back and watched for a few. Miller kicked off with his song Jet Airliner. He was incredibly tight, musically on and played well. From Abracadabra to The Joker, they covered all of their hits from the past 40 years.

I wanted to catch Mike Gordon over on the Mushroom stage, so I ran over and set up. I had heard of Gordon from his work with Phish and was interested to see what he would do with his band. As a big fan of the bass, I had really looked forward to them. To say he played well would be an understatement - he absolutely rocked it. Generally the bass plays second fiddle to a guitar or a singer, but Gordon was able to make it the centerpiece.  I listened to his full set and enjoyed all of it.

My time at Wanee had come to an end. I missed another set from the Allman Brothers Band and Galactic. Yet again, the Allman Brothers pulled off an incredible festival. Each year it grows and grows, brings new guests and fills the jam scene with music to enjoy. I want to thank you all for reading my review and checking out my pictures. I look forward to covering the East Coast music scene. Check right here on BareFoot MusicNews to see what we’ve got going on. Thanks!

NOW CLICK HERE for Jim’s Photos from Saturday

And don’t miss Jim’s REVIEW and PHOTOS from FRIDAY at the WANEE!

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