Since I didn’t win a multi-million dollar lottery, I wasn’t able to spend every weekend of the summer festival season crisscrossing the globe and enjoying live music under the hot sun during the day and the stars at night.
With that in mind, here are some of my Favorite 2013 Musical Festival Moments that I did catch:
--Paul McCartney, June 14, at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Sir Paul’s headlining set was on the minds of festivarians, media, vendors and performers – aka EVERYBODY -- and with a combination of cherished numbers from the Beatles (“Paperback Writer,” “Lady Madonna” “Let It Be”) and hits from his solo days (“Maybe I’m Amazed” and with Wings (“Band on the Run,” “Listen to What the Man Said”) he and his backing band gave an amazing, nearly three-hour performance.
--Jack Johnson, June 15, at Bonnaroo As the last-minute headliner replacement for Mumford & Sons, Johnson and his three-piece backing band, which includes ALO’s Zach Gill on keyboards, hadn’t played live for two years but sounded as mellow, charming and loose as usual. Highlights included Johnson briefly forgetting the words to opening number “You and Your Heart,” covering Mumfords’ “The Cave” during “Go On,” performing a song he wrote that morning about getting the call to be Saturday’s headliner and being joined by Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the encore, “Mudfootball.”
--Miles Davis Connections. It was an extra special treat to see two amazing guitarists and alumni of Miles Davis roster of stellar musicians -- John McLaughlin at Bonnaroo and John Scofield at All Good Music Festival & Camp Out. The former played his jaw-dropping brand of spiritually-enhanced jazz fusion with the Fourth Dimension while the latter displaying his virtuosity in the funky, bootyshakin’ act Uberjam.
--Furthur, Sept. 6-8, at Lockn’. The three shows and multiple sets were already fantastic due to each one being consistently strong. With the band’s planned 2014 hiatus, it makes the appearances extra special.
--Collaborations, Sept. 5-8, at Lockn’. Keller Williams joined the String Cheese Incident. Grace Potter and then members of Warren Haynes Band joined Gov’t Mule. Zac Brown Band united with the String Cheese Incident. Brown guested with Furthur featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir. Widespread Panic acted as backing band for John Fogerty. Trey Anastasio joined Furthur. Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Sipe guested with Col. Bruce Hampton. The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson and Jackie Greene, Bob Weir and Eric Krasno joined Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB). Members of TTB and Weir joined the Black Crowes. Derek Trucks jams with Widespread Panic. Susan Tedeschi and Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic) guested with Furthur.
At All Good, July 20, the most memorable collaborations found Bob Weir joining Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Later, Potter stopped by during Furthur’s set.
At Dark Star Jubilee, May 24-26, drummers Rob Koritz and Dino English of Dark Star Orchestra joined Mickey Hart Band, Little Feat’s Fred Tackett joined Elephant Revival, and members of Elephant Revival returned the favor by joining Tackett and Paul Barrere and the New Orleans Suspects.
--Rock n’ Soul Dance Party Superjam featuring Jim James, John Oates, Zigaboo Modeliste and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, June 15, at Bonnaroo Not only were there surprises such as Billy Idol and R. Kelly who came down after their ‘roo sets as well as Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone) but the performance featured an ecstatic, well-played blend of soul and rock classics including “Love Train,” “1999,” Sly Stone medley and “Instant Karma.”