Normally, you think of a beach resort for a destination festival. Due to what it offers onstage and off, you can add the Peach Music Festival to that list.
This year’s Peach, which took place Aug. 13-14, at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain was as much about the concerts as it was a relaxing vacation. The lineup was heavily weighted towards the originators of the jamband genre yet looked forward enough musically that the event was far from a sentimental flashback of familiar sounds.
And if the four days of live music wasn’t enough for attendees, after an uphill hike from the main stage or a trek downhill from campsites, there were opportunities to experience the options at the Montage Mountain Waterpark (lazy river, wave pool and slides) and view the scenic area by using a zip line.
While the Allman Brothers Band is no more, former members such as Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Jaimoe and Butch Trucks performed with their own bands. Despite prior health problems, Allman sounded strong during a set that included ABB and solo material as well as Haynes and Jaimoe making a guest appearance. Trucks was joined by ABB alumni Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones and Jack Pearson.
Acknowledging the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary were two sets by former Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, as part of the quartet Billy & the Kids, who was joined by ex-bandmate Bob Weir. The Kids — American Babies guitarist Tom Hamilton, Tea Leaf Green bassist Reed Mathis and the Disco Biscuits keyboardist Aron Magner – provided an influx of new blood to the Dead catalog, which led to exciting takes on “Scarlet Begonias” and “Cumberland Blues.” Bruce Hornsby and related artists Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Dark Star Orchestra and John Kadlecik offered fine contributions, too. Even Haynes nodded to the Dead by playing “Two Souls in Communion” during his collaborative set with Railroad Earth.
Weir also performed four numbers with Preservation Hall Jazz Band including “Iko Iko” and “Even So,” and joined Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel on “Eyes of the World” and “Samson and Delilah.”
Other highlights included:
–Santana impressive show ended the festival on a very high note. It included several songs by his son, Salvador, which coexisted well with his father’s Latin rock mix
–Willie Nelson being his charming self as he breezed through old hits and recent single, “It’s All Going to Pot”
–the straight up jammy rock by Hard Working Americans
— fierce set by Blues Traveler and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
–the experience offered by the Australian Pink Floyd
–Cabinet appearances on all three stages showed that it’s more than hometown heroes
–Papadosio, Beats Antique and Lotus providing variations of late night jamtronica
Part resort, part hike, part music fest, Peach had it all.