Come One, Come All (To 10KLF)
Ozomatli up next, and fans have come to expect a high-energy show full of dancing, drumming and amazing vocals. One fan drove from Ohio and Ozomatli were her number one priority saying that, "Yeah, I may see a few more bands, but Ozomatli is where it’s at for me." After some technical difficulties, Ozo immediately had the field jumping to "Dos Cosas Ciertas." The show was full of style changes letting every member take the lead at some point. Justin Poree fronted many of the early tracks full of hip-hop vocals and bouncing bass lines. But the harmonies of Raul Pacheco and Asdru Sierra finished out the set in a way that only they can. Ozo played with a deep sense of unity and a shared energy and brought it to the crowd exiting the stage in the usual fashion and coming right out into the mix for a drum and horns jam. They left the fans with a feeling of excitement for the upcoming festivities.
The main bowl was already mostly full by the time Umphrey’s McGee started the opening set on the Mainstage. They played their usual brand of exploratory rock, electronica, and at many times on the edge of some serious metal. Building up slowly, they set out through a very funky and moving "Wappy Sprayberry," featuring Drummer Kris Myers laying out the electronica through "Spires" and into the very lucid and dreamy, "Blue Echo" before pouring out the good reggae vibes with the classic tune, "FF." The middle of the set was packed with the harder and darker songs "Mulche’s Odyssey" and "Pay The Snucka," which included one of the best guitar solos of the day by Jake Cinninger. Following that, keys player Joel Cummins led the band through "Ringo." The tail end featured many dueling riffs between Cinninger and guitarist Brendan Bayliss, especially on "1348" from their latest album Mantis. Cinninger and Bayliss were tight, often playing face to face. The well-rounded Umphrey’s set impressed many of Saturday’s fans who came specifically for Dave Matthews.
Dave Matthews made his 10KLF debut with "Shake Me like a Monkey," which has developed quickly from a new album track into a live favorite. The album version doesn’t do justice as the end of the song live sees Dave’s singing increase to another level of intensity, and the addition of trumpeter, Rashawn Ross, gives a sparkle to this new gem. A playful ten-minute intro led into the crowd favorite "Seek Up." Dave was letting loose with his vocals when three quarters of the way through "Jimi Thing" he erupted into a scat solo before ending the song. Punctuating the set was a cover of the Talking Heads’ "Burning Down The House," which saw some of the most body moving of the night. Sing-along classics filled the end of the set with "Ants Marching, and "Pantala Naga Pampa>Rapunzel" before DMB electrified the crowd with a ripping twenty minute "Two Step." Carter Beauford’s raw power was felt during a ten- minute drum solo, but solo sounds too tame, maybe. He is a machine. Rejoining Carter, DMB ascended to another peak and finished the set with power. Another new song, "You and Me," started the encore, but a "Stairway to Heaven" intro led the band into perennial fave, "All Along The Watchtower," appropriate for the state we’re in and the author of the song. But, the kicker was when midway through the tune Dave busted out the lyrics to the Zeppelin masterpiece, "and as we wind on down the road," it was an insane segue that gave one final surge of power to the audience before letting Boyd Tinsley take it on home to finish "Watchtower. "
After a brief stop to see what the Umphrey’s crew was up to with the N. Indiana All-Stars, this tired photographer fell asleep in the beautiful wooded campgrounds to the soothing sounds of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.
I hearken the masses, come to the north woods, festival sites do not get more picturesque and serene than at the Soo Pass Ranch. Bring your good vibes and your dancing shoes and let your cares and worries melt away. 10,000 Lakes Festival has a notoriously laid-back atmosphere, plenty of fun and partying to be had and a very strong sense of community. If you haven’t yet made the annual pilgrimage, save the dates next year and add to the vitality, spirit and energy of this wonderful festival.