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Posts Tagged ‘Brett Haas’

Thank you Cloud 9 Adeventures and MSC Crusies!!

Thank you Cloud 9 Adventures and MSC Cruises!!

There are music festivals and then there is Jam Cruise!!  A musical festival on a cruise ship that travels international seas for 5 to 6 days.  I said it last year and I will say it again now.  IT IS THE GREATEST MUSICAL ADVENTURE anyone can take.

Last year, I was at a complete loss for words.  It was my Virgin Cruise and I was awestruck by the magnitude of what I had just experienced.  Considering this was my second year, I thought the hype would be just a bit dimmer, I figured I would be a little less anxious and calm.  Nope!

Even now, while I could burst at the seams ATTEMPTING to explain these EPIC musical journeys, I find it so hard figuring out where to start. It’s all so unbelievable.  I could tackle these articles by day, or perhaps by subject regarding the atmosphere, the music or the people and so much more. I could write a five page article just on the relationship cultivations that took place this year.  There is just so much!!! And the fact that I only slept about 10-12 hours over the span of 5 days gives me an arsenal of memories to pull from.

Jam Cruise 9 Website Banner

Jam Cruise 9 Website Banner

Last year Tinyrager.com didn’t exist as it’s own site.  I wrote for other sites but mainly for my own personal cataloging of memories and would just save the documents on my computer.  So, after last year’s Jam Cruise, I began writing out my adventure and I never made it past the Sail Away Party.

My life took off before I could finish my personal Jam Cruise manifesto.  But I did make an attempt and the end result was all the glorious details about the embarkation line to the ship, the embarkation process, what happened when I explored the boat stumbling across the various venues and checking into my room with the gift bags and what not.  I wrote about everything I could remember up until the Sail Away Party….and then I stopped.

This year, I am going to continue where I left off at the Sail Away Party with a few backtracking steps.  There is no need for me to re-write the exact same information about the boat for this article. If you would like to know about all the things listed above then CLICK HERE!  The article is totally relevant to this one and worth the read and would help cement your mind if you are still debating on getting on the boat.  Jam Cruise staff actually found it last year and blasted it over their page a few times due to the comprehensive nature of the article.  So, enjoy that! It’s got great pictures too!

Now, let’s get this party started!!!

Hello Pretty Ship!! (Photo by Murray)

Hello Pretty Ship (Photo by Murray)

~ Boarding & Pre-Sail Away ~

Within MINUTES, sooooo much can happen to you on Jam Cruise.  This year, I boarded the boat in what felt like 15 minutes but was really a little over/under an hour.  As we get our room keys and begin the walk into the ship, I gaze to my right and Bob Weir is standing next to me. He pulled himself from the line and leans against the wall looking dazed, confused and very skinny. Had he been standing by us the whole time and we been too excited to notice?  He didn’t have an entourage and he looked so frail I guess it’s possible.  As my friends and I realized the magnitude of this moment, we all said “Hello Bob!” and he flashed us a forced smile.  I couldn’t tell if he was happy or sad but I knew how we felt! FREAKING STOKED!!!

A few more feet through the line and we were shuffled into the section where you get your boarding pictures taken. You could purchase the pictures for $30 if you wanted, but whoa that is a lot.  However, in the group behind us, Steve Kimock jumped into the picture.  Now THAT is a $30 moment worth purchasing!!  And there you had another group of people whose minds were just blown and we hadn’t even made it on the boat yet.  Sadly, my hunt for these pictures has come to a dead end. They are gone once you leave the ship.

Before all hell broke loose :) (Photo By Murray)
The NYC Krewe + some before all hell broke loose 🙂 (Photo By Murray)

I was in line with two of my best friends from NYC and we were in different rooms. Once we boarded the boat we separated so I could take my luggage to my room and unpack as fast as possible as not to miss a moment.  I was wearing my Big Sam’s Funky Nation tee-shirt, READY for the Sail Away Party. READY to see my main man Big Sam.  As I step into the mirrored elevator with my luggage, I was covered by this giant shadow of a man who had followed behind me.  And as I turn around, I am embraced by none other than Big Sam. Having reached out to me after he saw one of my reviews of his show, he flashed a smile that melted me as I got a huge hug! What a super duper dude! I will have TONS to say about him later in these articles.

(Photo by Jeffery Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffery Dupuis)

Last year I was in the Singles Program.  The layout of my room this year was exactly like last year except that I was now with two friends I had met on my virgin cruise: Aaron and Victoria, a super cute Jam Cruise couple who completely enhanced my journey. Thank you both for being such wonderful roommates.    I entered an empty room and unpacked as fast as I could. When I walked out of my room, I just didn’t know which way to turn. There were SO many people I wanted to see who I hadn’t seen since last year’s journey and whose relationship was cultivated through Facebook over the year as we waited patiently to all be together again.  There was so much I wanted to do all in one moment but I knew where I needed to be.    This year, I had a krewe from NYC on the boat and one of them was a virgin, my dear sweet friend Jessica.  I wanted to see their room and be with her.  I just wanted to watch her take it all in because that must have been what I was like last year with my jaw on the ground.

Jam Cruise is over but we know that time will last forever. From the minute I walked into 10242 there was nothing but LOVE. Jessica who I’vereally never met treated me (and everyone) like I was a saint or angel or something. We constructed the door decor (bonding) and the RAGE was on ! Off to Eric’s to gather the troops and start the search for the bottom of the tequilla bottle. A short time later we were off to the pool deck to find the angel Karen has been talking about: Hillary! ~ Murray Ballz

~ Door Décor Competition ~

Sharon & Said's Decor!!  (Photo by Richmand Images)

Sharon & Said's Decor!! (Photo by Richmand Images)

As I entered their room, the faces looking at me were already more shiny and sparkly then when we had left in line.  The Jam Cruise blood was flowing through their veins. Their room was bigger with a balcony.  It’s always good for SOMEONE in your rage krewe to have a balcony! They had taken out all the makings for their door décor and were attempting to assemble it.  Their concept was beautiful.  Using pictures of multiple artists and groups that inspired them, along with artists that couldn’t make it on the boat as well as pictures of allllllll our friends and families who couldn’t make it on the boat, we were to create a collage covering the door and then we placed a mirror in the middle.  On the mirror’s top it read: “We are all on board together.”  On the mirror’s bottom: “And so are you!” So, that when you look into the mirror, everyone is together, connected somehow on board together.  I loved it!

A typical hallway on Jam Cruise (Photo by Chad Smith)

A typical hallway on Jam Cruise (Photo by Chad Smith)

(Photo by Murray)

(Photo by Murray)

We spent a few hours cutting pictures, tapping things.  The rest of our NY posse rolling through the room to say Hi and get the best hugs in the world.  This also began the utilization of the deck for party breaks which, as time passed, began making it hard for us to focus and use tape correctly HAHAHA!!  The mirror began messing with my head; Rob couldn’t roll a piece of tape to save his life! It was awesome! Oh, you should have seen it.

During this time, the magic of the boat presented itself to us with the introduction of Rob and Jess’s neighbors.  When we ran out of tape, they came right in for the rescue. When we needed writing done for the mirror, they were right there with a solution and Maker’s Mark on the rocks. No matter what you want, you get what you NEED on Jam Cruise! From masking tape to enlightenment.

Putting "our" door decor!! (Photo by Murray)

Putting "our" door decor!! (Photo by Murray)

The final product was perfect. A door COVERED with people and musicians we love that couldn’t be on the boat with us, yet they were, even if it was only in this small way.  Throughout the week, any number of our NYC posse could be found sitting on the floor starting at our door. Staring at our loved ones, staring at Jerry and Janis.  Personally, I was found passed out with my hand on the picture of myself and my boyfriend on the first night and was guided back to bed for what would be the only night I would sleep in my cabin!!!

And in terms of what door enhanced my JC experience the most??   Door number #9211.  This door was covered in 3D pictures from last year’s Jam Cruise.  There were numerous 3D glasses attached to the wall by string so you could see the pictures.  It just got cooler every time I saw it. And at one point, I didn’t even NEED the glasses to see it in 3D.  So, anyway, TINYRAGER award to Room #9211 for making us go OUT of our way at least 2 times a day to check out your door!

Forum Party/ Sharon's Birthday Rage! (Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Forum Party/ Sharon's Birthday Rage! (Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Once we finished the door we  realized that we missed the forum party on the pool deck.  They had gathered to give Sharon R. a proper Happy Birthday.  I am so sorry I missed this Sharon!  Love you! And now…it was time for the Sail Away Party!!!

Jam Cruise Day One Schedule!!

Jam Cruise Day One Schedule!!

~ Big Sam’s Funky Nation / Sail Away Party ~ Pool Deck ~

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

The wonderful Julie McCoy (Photo by Chad Smith)

The wonderful Julie McCoy (Photo by Chad Smith)

The Sail Away Party is phenomenal and truly defines the rest of the voyage.  Julie McCoy, the ship’s activities coordinator/manager/queen bee, comes on to the stage.  Free champagne is distributed amongst the cruisers lining the pool deck and The Captain and Julie McCoy toast us off on our journey.  Then the horns blow and you now know…the party has OFFICIALLY begun. As well, Sweet Water Brewery gives out free beer at during this set, wonderful news for the alcohol drinkers, if you like their flavors!

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

I walked to the front row with my friends, toasted, and then stepped away for a moment alone. I was alone on the top level of the Pool deck last year for the beginning of Trombone Shorty’s Sail Away Party and I wanted to be in the similar location and just be alone, connecting with the ship, for a few moments.  If you read my post from last year, you know the turmoil I was in before I boarded this magical vessel that changed my world.  So, I walked up to my sacred spot, snapped a picture of the amazing sight I was staring at and took one giant breath. Upon exhaling that breath came SO MANY tears, I almost collapsed.  The flood gates opened upon the realization that I was back. I was back in this music world; this musical WONDERLAND that completely CHANGED MY LIFE! And this year was going to be SO different than last year.

~ Big Sam Sail Away Party~ Raging Audience Shot from Stage ~

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

After letting the tears flow for 2 songs, I gathered myself, with the help of a few people around me, and went back down to the front row, puffy faced and all smiles.  For those of you who don’t know much about the boat or who are not large into the music scene, the front row is where it’s at.  I was greeted into the front row where all the best people reside in most musical scenes, let alone Jam Cruise. But I suppose I need to talk about music here at some point right?  Wasn’t this a music festival on a ship?

THE FUNKY NATION:

Big Sam– Trombone
Danny Abel – Guitar
Eric Vogel – Bass
Drummer Boy Milk Williams – Drums
Da Phessah Drew Baham – Vocal/Trumpet

Not so great mobile pic of the View from my "alone" spot (Photo by TinyRager)

Not so great mobile pic of the View from my "alone" spot (Photo by TinyRager)

I have seen Big Sam numerous times throughout the year. I was worried that his Sail Away party would be the same formulaic shows that I had seen him perform over the year.  But that wasn’t the case.  Where there was a similar flow to it all, Big Sam covered some great songs, added some new dance moves…they just brought us a new show and the audience ate it right up.

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

During the fourth song, the ship’s debarking horn blew, the pool deck erupted with cheers and we started moving.   Immediately, the heavy hitters started joining the party.  If nothing else, Jam Cruise is about the various musical combination of artists you can find  performing on the boat. You NEVER know who is going to sit in with whom.  In this case, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) joined Big Sam for “Gonna Get Funked Up Tonight” and Fred Wesley (JB Horns) followed for “See Me Dance”.

~ Big Sam Sail Away Party~ Top of Pool Deck Perspective ~

Now, The Funky Nation is know for their ability to rage cover songs as well as create new edgy music. Throughout the set he blew some heat into Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy”, The Black Crowes/Otis Redding‘s “Hard To Handle”  and their final song of the set was a mash up of Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You” and Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Religion”.  This moment was special for me because when the song first came out, Josh and I literally blasted that Cee Lo Green song for a month straight every morning while getting ready for work.  The song is hilarious and the video is even more so.  In this moment, I looked around the pool deck and saw people kinda staring blankly.  Except for a few people, they didn’t recognize the song.  The entire set lived up to it’s expectations.  It was high energy, full of flare and raging rock funk.

Set List:

01. Intro
02. ?? (jam/instrumental)
03. Feelin’
04. King of the Party
05. ?? (instrumental)
06. Gonna Get Funked Up Tonight
07. See Me Dance
08. Big Ole Booty
09. Hard to Handle
10. Do Watcha Wanna > Everybody Needs Someone to Love > You Are My Sunshine tease > ??
11. Dance Floor
12. Up In Here >
13. jam >
14. ?? >
15. Crazy > Get Low >
16. band intros/banter >
17. Fuck You > Bad Romance tease

Download Big Sam’s Funky Nation Set

At this point we had half an hour until any music started. Being that this was the first night, I can’t believe they had lulls but this year’s scheduling seemed to be staggered differently so whatever. Gave us time to debate!  The options were:

1) Bob Weir‘s Scaring The Children on the Pool Deck (9:30pm-11:30pm)

2) Greensky Bluegrass in the Zebra Bar (9:15pm-10:45pm)

3) Robert Randolph and the Family Band in Teatro Carlos Felice (9pm-11pm)

Already, my heart was racing with the fact that I knew I would be missing things I didn’t want to miss.  This year, I knew I would be spending a significant amount of time the first few days cultivating relationships and so I made a point to schedule the music I loved but also plan to hang out where a large percentage of my Jamily might be.

Most of the performers have two sets over the course of the week so I was ok with missing things here and there and catching them later.  In general, the inner turmoil for me over what music to see is the most stress I feel on that ship.

Carlos Felice Theater! (Photo by TinyRager)

Carlos Felice Theater! (Photo by TinyRager)

I took off for Robert Randolph and the Family Band, riding on a cloud.  When I got there, the theater greeted me with all its purple and gold majesty.  This is my favorite venue on the ship. Again, you can learn about the ship from last year’s posts.  But I will tell ya that the purple and gold colors are beautiful and remind me of my college, there are two levels to rage on, the elevated steps in front of the stage are perfect for our drinks, extra costume accessories like boas, hats and what not.  The stairs are also rounded and this allows for a much larger front row throwdown.

I got to the theater and no one was really even in there and the roadies were still setting up.  Speaking of cultivating relationships, I met a lovely twin set named Cindy and Mindy, who inevitably raged the front row with the best of us the whole cruise. Rage on ragers. Big hugs to you both!

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)
(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

~ Robert Randolph and the  Family Band ~ Theatro Carlo Felice ~

Robert Randolph – Pedal Steel, Guitar and Vocals

The Family Band:

Danyel Morgan – Bass and Vocals
Marcus Randolph – Drummer
Adam Smirnoff – Rhythm Guitar
Lenesha Randolph -Vocals
Brett Haas – Keyboards and Guitar

Special Geusts:

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Big Sam – Trombone
Ivan Neville – Keys
Taylor Hicks -Vocals & Harmonica

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)
(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

As I sat there, making new friends, old ones started arriving.  Said and Sharon’s smiling face made their way to our side of the theater. (Thanks to Said for the RR&TFB set-list below).  Then one by one the Jamily krewe gathered until we were 25+ deep on the left side of the stage. Oh, how I just want to talk about all these lovely people, not the music. It’s insane.  But that is not the purpose of this so…

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Having seen Robert Randolph and the Family Band a few times this year and being disappointed in the performances, I was PRAYING that he would kick it back to his roots and focus on older songs, perhaps melt our faces without playing Lady Gaga tunes to fill time.  Perhaps give us some great covers; perhaps show us some great collaborations.  And that is exactly what they did.

Blasting off his set with “Ted’s Jam,” he shot me right back to ten years ago when I first found Robert and Danyel at Star Hill in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The newest addition to the clan, Lenesha Randolph, was on stage, backing up her brother.  I am still weary on her talent.  I won’t say anymore regarding that topic.

“The March” is one of my all time favorites Robert debuted years ago.  I was right up front with my musical posse and when Robert got off his seat and started dancing for us, we all knew the dance and joined along.  He asked us to teach those around us but he was doing a fine job wiggling his body for us….mmmmmm. And Danyel‘s bass thumped away. I am absolutely IN LOVE with Danyel and his voice.   Always have been!

A re-worked “Thriller” cover saw Eric Krasno and Big Sam join the stage and over the remainder of the set Ivan Neville and American Idol’s Taylor Hicks, yup Taylor Hicks, also joined the stage.


“Tears of Joy” brought the blues to an otherwise raging set and my faith in Robert Randolph and his family, however swaying it may have been hours earlier, was restored and his #1 fan was back on top, in the front row, loosing her mind!

Set List:

01. Ted’s Jam
02. ?
03. ?
04. The March
05. ?
06. If I Had My Way
07. Deliver Me
08. I Miss My Girlfriend (Her Name is Molly)
09. Thriller Jam
10. I Need More Love
11. Voodoo Chile
12. Tears of Joy
13. Traveling Shoes

Download Robert Randolph and the Family Band Theater Set

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

As soon as set ended, I hightailed it to the Pool Deck to check out the remainder of Bob Weir‘s Scaring The Children.  I ended up on the upper deck looking down at the sea of Dead heads who were staring doe-eyed at Bobby and Co. The wind was blowing warmly over my body as I realized we were so far from land now I couldn’t see lights.

I gave Bobby as much time as I could before wanting to leave.  Personally, I thought it sounded pretty slow and that is not a bad thing, I just needed something more to move to.  I wish I could recall the song that was playing.  Even though it was tough for me to look at Bobby, as all I could imagine was the scene from Indiana Jones where the guy takes the sip from the wrong chalice and his skin melts off,  it appeared that he was giving the people what they wanted.  Smiles abounded on the faces below me and I just knew that Jerry was smiling down upon the ship.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

So, after Robert Randolph‘s set, we were faced with more difficult choices.

1) Pimps of Joytime in the Zebra Bar (11:00pm-1:00am)

2) Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on the Pool Deck (12:30am-3:00am)

  • Sadly, I can not find a link for this set. If anyone finds one, please pass it along to me.

3) Anders Osborne with Stanton Moore and Carl Dufrene in the Teatro Carlos Felice (11:45pm-1:15am)

Having just seen Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe numerous time over the past year and just a few days earlier as the Phish After Party on New Years Eve, I decided to skip KDTU on the Pool Deck and focus on the Anders Osborne set.

Performing on same stage as Robert Randolph, the Anders set was going to take a little time to prepare as they transferred over the equipment.  I used this time to gather my thoughts, fill up my water bottle and grab a bite to eat. I don’t want to go into the food just yet…too stressful.

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

~ Anders Osborne with Stanton Moore and Carl Dufrene ~ Teatro Carlo Felice ~

(Photo by Dave Vann)

(Photo by Dave Vann)

I had missed Anders Osbourne the few times he made his way through NYC the past year and having seen him in the past, I KNEW he would rip up whatever stage he was on with his rouge, wild, rockin’ New Orleans vibe.  That is exactly what I was looking for at this time in the evening.

His back up band was a force to be reckoned with.  Joining  the stage this set was:

Anders Osbourne – Guitar and Vocals
Robert Walter – B3 Organ
Carl Dufrene – Bass
Stanton Moore -Drums

Special Guests:

Scott Metzger – Guitar
Will Bernard – Guitar
Skerik – Saxaphone

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

This set was complete fire!!!  I mean absolutely out of control, rock-laced guitar shredding jams, backed by outrageous solos by Skerik and added guitar layers by way of Scott Metzger and Will Bernard.  At the time, it was my favorite set of the night and in hindsight, it is in my top five sets of the week.  The inclusion of Skerik‘s hyper-driven saxophone layered upon Anders songs was, well……take a look at this….seriously.

Set List:

1. Tuning
2. Love Is Taking Its Toll
3. Echoes Of My Sins
4. Darkness At The Bottom
5. Burning On The Inside
6. Got Your Heart
7. Me Donkey Want Water

Download Anders Osborne Theater Set

(Photo by Dave Vann)

(Photo by Dave Vann)

And here we were back having to make decisions!!

1) Papadosio in the Zebra Bar (1:45am-3:15am)

Set List:
1. Utopiate
2. Unparalyzer
3. Magreenery
4. Bionic Man
5. All I Knew
6. Method Of Control
7. Cue
8. Polygons
9. Eyes Have Eyes

2) Stockholm Syndrome in the Teatro Carlos Felice (2:00am-4:00am)

3) Nutritious in the Disco (2:00am-6:00am)

4) AND THE LAST CHOICE!!!!  The Jam Room: Hosted by Tony Hall (12:00am – 6:00am)

Now we come to the greatest and grandest part of the Jam Cruise experience. THE JAM ROOM!! Each night, a different musician (generally a guitar player, keys player or bass player) hosts The Jam Room.  The Jam Room is a entertainment space located in the rear of the ship where these musicians play host to who ever wants to join them on stage.  Sometimes, there are pre-arranged gatherings or sometimes a musician just jumps up for a song and adds to the insanity.  Always, there are free jams, group rages and it’s all off the cuff improvisational jamming.

~ The Jam Room with Host Tony Hall ~

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Tonight’s Jam Room host was Tony Hall, New Orlean’s Dumpstaphunk bass player. Tony is one of the most charismatic musicians around.  He is always invested in engaging with his audiences, making faces, pulling girls on stage, dancing with the audience.  He is one of my favorites in that aspect.

Sadly there is not a lot of footage from the Jam Room to show you.  Many Cruisers had already gone to bed to save their strength while others were raging so hard they couldn’t manipulate a camera or video device to save their life.  But I can tell you that it was a RIPPING good Jam Room.

It was an epic moment lost on the winds of the ocean and remembered only by those that were present… ~ Ananda Atmore

Tony Hall was backed by many of his bands mates from Dumpstaphunk to include:

Ivan Neville – Keys
Nick Daniels III – Bass
Raymond Weber – Drums
Ian Neville – Guitar

Other Guests:

Big Sam – Trombone
Nigel Hall (Lettuce/SCFJ)- Keys
Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule/Stockholm Syndrome) – Keys
Eric Krasno (Lettuce) – Guitar
Adam Deitch (Lettuce) – Drums
Ron Johnson (SCFJ) – Bass
Zach Deputy – Guitar
Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys) – Pedal Steel Guitar

There was so much happening on stage there is no way to recall it all.  One of the last songs played in the jam room that night was Jimi Hendrix‘s “Hey Joe”. The Lee BoysRoosevelt Collier jumped up on stage and confused the hell out of us as he was only a passenger on the ship thus year!  SO FUN when things like that happen.  You know it’s a good time when other musicians pay to get on board.

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Tonight would be the only night that I came back to my room to sleep.  The theme one must know and get to embrace on Jam Cruise is: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” It appeared that everyone had taken that creed to heart as I wondered around the pool deck wondering where everyone was.  Where were the late night jam sessions and/or drum circles on the pool decks?  Where was Brock Butler playing his acoustic guitar to the people watching the sunrise.I am sure that they were somewhere, I just never stumbled upon them. It was destiny, however, because after raging the Unofficial Pre-Jam Cruise party at the Days Inn Bahia Cabana Beach Resort the night prior, I was exhausted.  I decided to watch the sunrise with my NYC crew and hear how our virgin cruiser Jessica B. had enjoyed her first night.

As I looked over the balcony, lost in the wake of the ship, my friends and I smiled at each other.  We watched the wake of the ship hit the tip of the horizon and we knew there was no turning back. We were together on this epic musical journey and there were so many adventures to be had.  I took myself to bed around 7am but not before touching the faces of all our family and friends that lined the door decor, wishing they were with us.  Sleep was needed as we had a full day at sea tomorrow.  I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us when we final rose again.

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www.gatheringofthevibes.comGathering of the Vibes Music Festival: Friday (07.30.10)

Day I Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.29.10)

The Cosmic Casbah...

The Cosmic Casbah...

Jesus, my spoiled ass forgot what a hot tent feels like in the morning when the sun finally seeks you out.  MY GOODNESS!!  But considering the stormy conditions we had to endure at last year’s Vibes, the sun was completely welcoming.

VIP Perk #1: You have sectioned camping in the section of the park that has the most tree canopy coverage.  The general camping is located in mainly open fields and parking lots.

The Casbah...

The Casbah...

Quote of the morning: *With a mischievous look** “Are you trying to tempting me with a good time??”

We woke up to a gorgeous day.  We spent the morning relaxing, waking up slowly with our friends at the Cosmic Casbah.  We were greeted with friends of ours who were only just now passing out, a table full of breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, muffins and fruit, and music.  I crashed onto the mats with my plate of food, listening to the music, letting it breath life into me to start my day.

We knew that for breakfast we were being dished some New Orleans ROCK by way of  The Radiators so we hit the field pretty early, only missing Billy Simons Band on the Green Vibes stage. You know, it’s almost impossible to catch all the music at a festival if you are solo but with a running crew it takes that much more time to settle.

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

Eat me!VIP Perk #2: During this time, we utilized the free food in the VIP tent where they had wonderful selection of snacks and beverages to sustain us ALL DAY.  At $6-$10 for a single meal or $4 for a water in general vending, these 24-hour snacks of fruit, pretzels, chips and salsa, candies, sodas, water, juices, milk, coffees and teas were BEYOND welcoming, sustaining and economical.  It’s possible to spend $60 on water before even considering food at a festival.  And that is just the 24-hour spread. From 11am-3pm you are offered a buffet of hot meats, salads, pastas, and desserts to chose from.  And generally, if you are starving and want another half of a turkey wrap, you could easily ask for one.  We made our rounds of good mornings and set up shop by the Karma Wash. It was time to focus on the music.

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

The Radiators

Dave Malone – guitar, vocals
Ed Volker – keyboards, vocals
Camile Baudoin – guitar
Reggie Scanlan – bass
Frank Bua Jr. – drums

I danced into the field listening to The Radiators.  Their bluesy-rocky vibe catching my feet and ears completely off guard.  Being a huge fan of New Orleans Funk, I knew anything coming from NOLA would be better then good.  I was excited to hear some NOLA ROCK from the band considered the #1 Rock band on the NOLA scene!!!  They didn’t disappoint.

They came out blasting with rock -n-roll.  For all you Phish heads out there, Phish opened for this band back in the 90’s.  So did Widespread Panic.  Where as both of those bands have now reached high commercial success, The Radiators have always been a deeply respective, yet decisively underground group on the scene.

Ragers!

Ragers!

An unavoidable NOLA signature, their funk layer was evident in the music immediately, coming from Ed Volker on keys.  There was also that grungy swamp rock layer by way of Camile Baudoin on guitar.  It was rough and rugged.  The keys sounded almost out of tune but on purpose reminiscent of Professor Longhair in sound, not style.  They were a tight group, the guitar players really made some hot sounds with their axes, with twang here, rock there, and smooth swamp grunge in the middle.  It was fun music to dance too, sway too, but really it was something to slither too.

Setlist: I Like It Like That, Lets Radiate, Hard Rock Kid >, Lost Highway, Sitting on Top of the World, Crazy Mona, River Run, Soul on Fire, The Death Of The Blues, Junco Partner, You Ain’t Going Nowhere, Rosie

Download: The Radiators @ Gathering of the Vibes (07.30.10)

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

 

Kung Fu

Dave Livolsi – Bass
Kris Jensen – Sax
Todd Stoops – Keyboards
Tim Palmieri – Guitar
Adrian Tramontano – Drums

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

 

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Todd Stoops @ GOTV 2010

 

We needed to charge our phones so headed over towards the Green Vibe stage and that is where I heard the  funky, odd sounding keys reminiscent of Alan Evans.  But maybe a bit too much guitar.  It was not as solid as it could be.  It sounded choppy at times.  Definitely took some getting used too. So, since they confused me, yet, intrigued me…of course, I had to check them out.

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

When I approached the stage, I recognized Kris Jensen right away from Dickey Betts.  His horn brought a delicious element to an otherwise decent band.  I wasn’t a big fan of Todd Stoops singing, or any of the singing really, but he knew his way around that keyboard.   Tim Palmieri looked familiar as well and I realized later he has played with numerous artists I knew.  He was great.  Ultimately, the band itself was comprised of some talented musicians who tore up their solos but sometimes they fell off the page when they were playing as a group.  The following video will show you what I mean…not bad their at the end, huh?

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Jackie Greene

Jackie Greene – Guitar
Nathan Dale – Sax
Jeremy Plog – Keyboards
John Hofer – Guitar

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

I was soooo ready to get down to Jackie Greene‘s set that when I heard him start during the Kung Fu set, I took off running.  Jackie Greene is a wonderful artist who has an old soul sound and a yung sexy body 😉  Young and talented, open and warm, HOT!!!  A rocker, a funker, a jammer, a rager on top of being a keys player, songwriter and a guitarist., electric, acoustic, loungy, rock, whatever…he does it all.

I made it front row for Jackie Greene where I ran into a few of my favorite Jam Cruisers.  He came out rocking right off the bat.  The second song was a new rock tune, Medicine. And I love a good harmonica. He slowed it down with a beautiful Shaken. Jut an upbeat rock vibe from Jackie all the way through.  Perfect set for that perfect sunny afternoon.

Another Tiny Rager!

Another Tiny Rager!

He blew me away.  Tight, on point, smooth and simple.  Jackie Greene isn’t someone who needs lights and fluff.  He is just talent.  He had the whole field dancing and I noticed that the ladies were ogling over him as much as I was.  I try not to but sometimes, just DAYUM! Animal was just sexy and finally I was enjoying a singer for the first time that day.  And finally, inviting drummer John Molo (Phil & Friends) to the stage,  showing love to Jerry, he raged the hell out of his encore covering Scarlet Begonias, one of my favorite Jerry songs that houses one of my favorite Grateful Dead lyrics:

Once in a while you get shown the light/In the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Setlist: I’m So Gone, Medicine, Farewell, So Long, Goodbye, A Moment of Temporary Color, Gone Wanderin’, Shakey Ground, Animal, Spooky Tina, Shaken, Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right, Hollywood ->, Tomorrow Never Knows >, Taxman ->, Tomorrow Never Knows, Scarlet Begonias *, Like A Ball And Chain

Download: Jackie Greene Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

MacPodz

Nick Ayers – Percussion, Flute and Vox
Brennan Andes – Bass and Vox
Jesse Clayton – Keys
Griffin Bastian – Drums
Ross Huff – Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vox

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

Surrounded by creativity!

Surrounded by creativity!

Another cell phone charger exchange. We wanted to make sure that we could always get in touch with Issac so Jay and I would alternate charging our phones making sure one of us had a functioning one at all times.  Where I generally might have left my phone to die in my tent since I was actually camping and not in a house, this couldn’t be the case this festival.  I, of course, ended up using it much more by having it on my person.  Alas, I am addicted to technology 🙂 Because of this, I also was able to check out the side stage performances and here we were with The Macpodz.

Just like Kung Fu, I was drawn towards the stage because of what I heard coming from the keyboardist, Jesse Clayton. Sounded GOOD! Their image immediately stood out to me, not that it matters but it was like a warped frat house up there. I enjoyed the trumpet as well.  Other then that, meh! Nothing would hae sounded good to me at time, knowing who was coming on the Main stage next.

Steve Kimock Crazy Engine

Steve Kimock – Guitars
John Morgan Kimock – Drums
Bernie Worrell – Keys
Bobby Vega – bass

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

One of my favorite sets of the day.  When is Steve Kimock not good?  When does he never just sound so perfect and beautiful and full of rage at the same time making you dance to PRETTY music.  And here we had the debut of a NEW CRAZY ENGINE!

Such a signature sound with Kimock, that guitar. So light, airy, happy, funky and jammy.  He always has such lovely melodies throughout his music. His songs engage different emotions with every measure.  I love him.  The addition of keyboard legend, Bernie Worrell was a treat for all of us.  He threw in Row Row Row Your Boat, The Star- Spangled Banner and all kinds of silly licks from nostalgic tunes throughout his solos.

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Bobby Vega bassed us out on Funky B4 Five, a lovely melodic jam where a fun response comes from the crowd at the end of the chorus.  Everything is Everything brought out a rapping Chris Burger (Alphabet Soup, Band of Brotherz) who began with the band introductions. Bernie funked out the keys and it was just a funk fest in the field.  Closing with Parliament Funkadelic‘s Red Hot Mama, the guitar just sounded so hot and Bernie Worrell was in his element.  John Kimock never stood out to me during this set but I do know he is a wonderful fresh drummer who I hope hits our scene with a tornado like force one of these days.

Setlist: A New Africa, Five B4 Funk, Crazy Engine, Everything is Everything, Red Hot Mama

Download: Steve Kimock Crazy Engine Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

We again made our way to the Silver Lining booth where we were charging our phones with our friend, Thud.  Once again, a decent sounding song caught my ear.  Quinn Sullivan was playing but I didn’t have time to stop and pay attention.  I had a 15 year old to check in with and feed and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were up next on stage.

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones – Vocals

THE DAP-KINGS are:
Homer Steinweiss – Drums
Binky Griptite – Guitar
Boogaloo Valez – Congas
Dave Guy – Trumpet
Tommy TNT Brenneck – Guitar
Bosco Mann – Bass
Neal Sugarman – Tenor
Ian Jendrickson – Smith – Baritone

There are certain bands where words never do it justice, and sometimes, they don’t even do themselves justice, because they are just THAT good.  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have consistently performed, blowing the ears and minds of millions of people with every performance. This performance was no exception.   Just stop the program.  Just end it all right here.  No one can touch this woman.  She is FIRE.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones didn’t join the stage immediately.  First, the stage just filled with DAPPER looking men and their instruments.   The first song consisted of the horns blasting, the funk machine igniting and it was POPPIN’.   After the first few songs, Sharon Jones joined the stage and well…I just really don’t know how to describe her.  She is like a bolt of lightning.  Her pores OOZE soul.  Her dance moves are spirited and it was as if the music inside her was controlling her like a puppet with strings.  Her eyes closing and opening as the passion in the music gained momentum.  She kicked her shoes off at one point and just brought down the house with every single word and note.  Just watch this woman perform.

Check out this video of The Vibes performance:

Check out the video for the title track from the 2007 album “100 Days, 100 Nights.” in it’s entirety.


Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Robert Randolph – Pedal Steel, Guitar
Danyel Morgan – Bass
Marcus Randolph – drums
Adam Smirnoff – Guitar
Lenesha Randolph – Backup Vocals
Brett Haas – Keyboardist

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

THANK GOD!!!!  I was not sure what to expect from this set.  I had seen Robert Randolph a few weeks earlier in New York City and had witnessed one of the worst Randolph performances I had ever seen.  I almost cried because my heart hurt from thinking such bad thoughts of the show.  It wasn’t because he didn’t play his songs well but because his new songs are just not of the caliber of AWESOMENESS that they were in his early years.

My Tribe had to be up front for this performance and so we were, dead center.  As I approached the front row, it looked as if Robert had found his roots again.  Where a tie had been worn at the previous show, Robert was now wearing a liberating bandanna with a long tail.  Where the white guy behind the mic were doing most of the singing at the previous show, Robert was now throwing us the licks and doin’ the spittin’ on the mic.  Where as Robert was on his guitar most of the time at the previous show, today, he gave an amazing chance to a few lucky guys in the audience and stuck mainly to his pedal steel where his fingers knew no boundaries. His energy was contagious…

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

He brought the stage to fire with an old song right out of the hatch: Ted’s Jam, one of my top three favorite Randolph’s tunes. With this song, it just escalated into one of my favorite, hottest Robert Randolph performances.  I could write pages about it but I will write about my favorite memory of the set.

Towards the end of the set, Robert Randolph said he needed some help from and audience member to rage a song.  The first guy got on stage and immediately proved he had no chops. This happened with 2 other men before Frederick Aidan Pagnani from Freddy and the Yeti’s jumped on stage to Robert’s delight.  Once he started playing, this 19 year old (we found that out talking to him in the VIP then) held his own against Robert Randolph and The Family Band.  Check it out:

Setlist: Ted’s Jam, Back to Wall, Travel Shoes, Them Bones, Untitled, I’m Not Listening, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Deliver Me, If I Had My Way, E, It Don’t Matter

Download: Robert Randolph [and the Family Band] Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Furthur

Phil Lesh – Bass
Bob Weir – Guitar
Jeff Chimenti – Keyboards
John Kadlecik – Guitar
Joe Russo – Drums
Jeff Pearson – Vocals
Sunshine Becker – Vocals

The headliner for the evening was Furthur.  Just like the Randolph set, here was another group that I was hoping was going do a better then job then I had seen them last.  If you might recall, there was giant whirlwind chatter about the Furthur show, specifically Bob Weir’s performance, at Nokia Theatre in Times Square last Wednesday. What a difference.

“Seal your face right off your head

Between Dark Star Orchestra and Furthur, it was arguable who had performed a better set.  Both nights were magical recreations of some tightly played nostalgic tunes.  Where as Dark Star seemed to be more of stand out performance by Jeff Mattson, Furthur’s performance felt like more of a cohesive group effort and Bobby was on point.  The set list contained a plethora of sing along tunes and provided platforms for intense jams during the 4 hours slot.

There was a gorgeous glow worm that was walked through the 15,000 person audience which  I was able to catch on film!

Now, here is the song in it’s entirety with the appearance of the glow worm 🙂

Furthur @ GOTV 2010

Furthur @ GOTV 2010 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Set I: The Golden Road, Jack Straw, Ramble On Rose, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Friend of The Devil, Estimated Prophet> , Eyes of The World>, Not Fade Away,

Set II: Playing In The Band, Althea, Wharf Rat>, He’s Gone>, Scarlet Begonias>, The Wheel, Standing On The Moon, Help On The Way>, Slipknot!>, Franklin’s Tower, crowd/donor rap/tuning,

Encore: Terrapin Station Suite

Download: Furthur Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

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Move on to: Day III Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.31.10)

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