Furthur, Primus and the Rhythm Devils Share Positive Vibes
The Mighty Primus – photo by Chris Paul
As on Friday, the sunny comfortable weather continued for the remainder of the Gathering of the Vibes, which celebrated its 15th Anniversary over the weekend. The festival which first came together in 1996 to mark the one year anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death has long continued its ties to Garcia and his legacy. The Rex Foundation was on hand, a gallery of Garcia’s art was on site and numerous groups referenced the guitar player both directly and with their music.
Friday saw Furthur take the stage, and other than an early vocal stumble by Bob Weir, the group was in top form, delivering two strong sets that focused on Garcia compositions. The second set offered a particularly poignant segued run from “Wharf Rat” into “He’s Gone,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “The Wheel” and then “Standing On The Moon.” The next day saw Weir and Phil Lesh’s longtime bandmates Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann bring their Rhythm Devils project to the Vibes, which also represented Keller Williams’ final show with the group for the foreseeable future (although guitarist Davy Knowles continues to stand out). This performance opened with Williams on vocals for “Cold Rain and Snow” and concluded at dusk with a collection of fire dancers whose efforts were complemented by the band. The Rhythm Devils were followed by a Primus and the trio which is just starting to gig out with the new line-up featuring Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Jay Lane delivered a muscular performance (drummer Lane has now appeared on the Gathering main stage as a member of three bands: Primus, RatDog and Claypool’s Flying Frog Brigade). Other notable moments included Zach Deputy’s segues from his own compositions into music from The Little Mermaid and the Super Mario Brothers video game, Assembly of Dust with Jason Crosby filling out the sound on keys, Galactic with special guests Cyril Neville and Corey Henry along with a well-received, energetic festival-closing set from Damian Marley & NAS.
“A collection of videos from the Vibes”: has been posted to The Loop, while one of our readers has offered up a Top 5 list from the fest.