Wanee Fest 2005
I'm no professional reviewer but here goes...The Wanee Fest was too cool...the lineup, unbelievable for a fan...the Allman Brothers Band, right on and explosive. I've seen them twice in the last couple of years, once Sunday night at the Fox in '04.
I'm not going to review each song...you can see the setlist. Having just seen Gov't Mule minutes earlier, blistering the stage and then seeing Warren Haynes wailing to Trouble No More, having PERFECTED the dual lead guitar thing with Derek is an awesome experience. I say perfected because last fall at the Fox, at least Sunday night, it appeared to me that Warren deferred to Derek alot on slide and most of the lead work. Not so this weekend, if you weren't seeing it I dare say you would be hard pressed to hear the switching that those two do anymore. Warren can play slide...and this coming from a Derek Trucks fan.
You throw in camping at Spirit of the Suwanee, with all the COOL people that show up there, just icing on the cake...oh wait, that's what you'll be doing the next night also, same lineup, different setlists.
Desdemona, with Ron Holloway on Sax at the end of the line next to Oteil and then Gov't Mule guys joining for The Same Thing...Danny Lewis sitting to Gregg's left, Matt Abts taking Butch's seat...just sitting down and having at the drum kit, no adjustments, just go. One rocking song sticks out...Stand Back, unbelievable.
Saturday night, find myself standing next to people I remember from last night's show. ABB opens with Mountain Jam, then The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down...I'd heard this one on the Fox Instant Live CD's I bought...someone later said they thought they'd heard a lyric mishap on that one...I didn't notice. Warren can sing Good Morning Little School Girl, (hear that song on Derek Trucks Band, Out of the Madness.) John Popper is cool, he showed up on multiple bands stages this night. Ron Holloway again, this time on 'Liz Reed...very nice addition.
I'm doing my best here to not just gush over the dual guitar...my favorite part of the ABB, oh but wait, there's the percussion...one of my campsite neighbors said he ran into Jaimoe out in the crowd during another band...is that cool or what. Just when you are taking in all that, Gregg reminds you that his voice is still vibrant and almost spine tingling as he brings the song back around.
You're getting much more at this venue then parking in a lot and walking into a coliseum, much more. I met a father/son from Queens and many more from out of the area that had come to Live Oak specifically for this weekend.
I had never seen Gov't Mule before, but I managed to pry myself away from them on Saturday night long enough to catch some of the Derek Trucks Band, whom I've seen a bunch...you see they have at least two stages here. That one was a tough decision to have to make, I will go see Gov't Mule again, that's for sure.
This is as much a review of the venue as the ABB. If you ever get a chance, go to Spirit of the Suwanee, they have alot of weekend 'fests like this...with any luck this lineup will be at Wanee Fest '06.
Added: Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Reviewer: Don Fenton