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Published: 2012/07/24
by Dylan Owens

Recap: All Good Festival Day 3 & 4

Photo by Jeff Myers


All Good delivered yet again on Saturday, with a third-day lineup as good as any you may see all summer long.

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge was first up at the main stage on the day. Among the tried-and-true flat picked Americana classics performed throughout the hour was an unlikely cover of Grandmaster Flash’s 80’s classic “The Message” that Keel effortlessly made his own.

Soon after on the Dragon Stage, Marc Brownstein and his collab-happy project Conspirator played a drum and bass heavy set of livetronica that made 1:30 PM feel like more like 1:30 AM. It’s usually tough for bands of their genre to get people moving so early in the day, but thanks to the willing crowd and a powerful P.A. system, they managed.

Dark Star Orchestra didn’t do a verbatim Grateful Dead archive emulation like they are known for doing on occasion, but did provide an incredibly faithful representation of the Dead sound and experience. Their set saw them retreading tracks that proved well-represented by the end of the Dead-heavy weekend (“Bertha,” especially), but also had them claiming the exclusive version of the single “One More Saturday Night” as their parting song.

And what a Saturday night it was: the evening held arguably the best consecutive cluster of acts of the entire weekend, starting with a gargantuan two-and-a-half hour set by festival headliner The Allman Brothers. This was the set to see for most All Good-goers—a classic rock high watermark in a weekend filled with pioneers of the genre—and the show was packed with standards like “Midnight Rider,” “It’s Not My Cross To Bear,” and a flooring one-two ender/encore of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post” respectively. A sit-in by All Good artist-at-large Roosevelt Collier only sweetened what stood out as a definite festival highlight.

But at 12:30 AM, the night was far from over. Horn-heavy funk-heads Lettuce exploded onto the Crane Stage soon after the Allman Brothers wrapped up and set the tempo for a frenetic late night. With just 45 minutes to show their stuff, Lettuce’s set was tight in comparison to what one would expect from one of their headlining sets, and it worked in the band’s advantage: abbreviated jams meant more songs, lending to a consistently exciting and engaging show.

Lotus rounded off Saturday night’s excellent trio of shows in fine form as well, building off of the restless energy that Lettuce established, guiding an already glowing audience to the next hip-shaking plateau. Their two-hour set came to a close remarkably fast, leaving eager fans with satisfied smiles and the promise of a soundboard recording to look forward to until next time.


With the bittersweet last day of All Good came the disbelief typical of the end of any great music festival: the weekend was somehow already over, and in a matter of minutes, it’s back to the real world where talking to strangers is discouraged and the odds of hearing world-class live music every hour of the day suddenly plummets.

But with the bitter comes the sweet, and like the three days that preceded it, there was plenty to savor on Sunday.

After the fittingly bluesy beginning-of-the-end that was Corey Harris & The Rasta Blues Band, Devil Makes Three delivered on the buzz they’ve gathered on the festival circuit this summer. The bluegrass three-piece plucked out tales of debauchery rounded out by bassist Lucia Turino’s gorgeous harmonies that struck a chord with the audience (“Shades” lyric “And what the hell am I doing drunk in the middle of the day” seemed particularly relatable).

The unmistakable drum intro of “Samson & Delilah” signaled the fourth and final Grateful Dead alumnus had taken the Dragon Stage at All Good 2012. Mickey Hart Band played a set split between Dead covers and tracks from his intergalactic-inspired new material. Hopeful fans holding out for a surprise Furthur collaboration were disappointed, obviously, though Widespread Panic fans took heart in Dave Schools’ contribution on bass.

After opening their set with the American-songbook classic “How Mountain Girls Can Love,” Greensky Bluegrass’s Paul Hoffman praised the All Good program’s spot-on description of their sound: “In the program, it says band: Greensky Bluegrass. Music: Death metal. Here’s some Greensky Bluegrass death metal for you guys.” Don’t be surprised if drops of death metal do surface in the band’s “newgrass” pool of influence; after seeing them tear through an inspired rendition of Paul Simon’s “Gumboots” with Roosevelt Collier, it’s clear the band is capable of some serious genre melding.

Odds are, any All Good-goer who’s been to a music festival in the last ten years knew exactly what to expect from Michael Franti & Spearhead’s festival-closing set. Like much of Franti’s catalogue, his set was fun and breezy, and as packed with positivity as it was predictability. Regardless, the man can still lead quite the sing-a-long, and he proved it Sunday afternoon.

Sadly, thus ends our coverage of All Good 2012. Were you at the festival? Tell us your favorite moment in the comments section.


There are 9 comments associated with this post

Jim July 24, 2012, 13:04:32

For the Allman’s show, Liz Reed, was not played. You guys might have confused it with either Hot’lanta, or Les Brers In ‘A’ Minor. It was definitely the highlight show of the weekend, though. Both the Galactic and Yonder shows were a close second. Both very good. The Larry Keel, G. Love & Jerry Joseph sets were enjoyable. The Flaming Lips set was a fun start but fairly unremarkable at best, once the initial euphoria wore off. And, Rubblebucket would actually have to pay me to ever want to see them again. Awful!

KS July 24, 2012, 13:45:27

An incredible festival – again! Galactic, Lotus, Phil and the Allman’s were definitely my favorite high points of a festival full of great music and beautiful people….truly All Good! The only thing I missed was some Umphrey’s :) I preferred Marvin’s Mountaintop as a venue, but Legend Valley was a suitable alternative. I’ll definitely head back next year.

Michael Strong July 24, 2012, 13:33:02

For me, the surprise highlight was the “Reunion” set by The Bridge from Baltimore. This band has been a staple of the All Good Artists list for at least 6 years, but broke up at the beginning of 2012. Kudos to Tim Walther for persuading them to reunite one more time. Their performance truly was a musical gem!

Bob July 24, 2012, 15:23:15

Jim, according to the allman website it was in memory of… 1. Don’t Want You No More >
2. It’s Not My Cross To Bear
3. Trouble No More
4. I Walk On Gilded Splinters
5. Who’s Been Talking
6. Midnight Rider
7. Hot ‘Lanta
8. Rocking Horse
9. Blind Willie McTell
10. One Way Out (with Roosevelt Collier, lap steel guitar)
11. Leave My Blues at Home
12. Worried Down With The Blues
13. Statesboro Blues
14. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed Encore
15. Whipping Post

Sean Cronin July 24, 2012, 15:30:54

All Good was All Great! Liz Reed most definitely was the last song of the set before the encore^^^ they also played Hot Lanta during the set. i was pretty spun, but you will not convince me otherwise….Just about everyone killed it. Classic lineup with all the right peeps in the right spots. Personal fans outside of headliners: Galactic late night, always a great time, Railroad Earth, GSBG should have had Franti’s spot, Yonder probably took the cake though as the most energetic. Can’t wait for next year!!!!

rusty July 24, 2012, 16:15:53

all good was a great weekend as always!
My highlight shows of the weekend that were not mentioned above, well, because they were on Friday was Elephant Revivals set and the woods brothers. ER is well established in CO but finally making there move on the national circuit. I had never seen the woods brothers and was smiling the whole set. Beautiful music from three great musicians.
Lowpoint of the weekend- trying to find a porta potty to shit in (gross all weekend) and the snafu which was the microchip wristbands. Other than that fantastic weekend. Thanks All Good!

Rodney July 24, 2012, 20:22:33

I would like to start off by saying thank you. This festival is a tradition for my brother and I. We go every year. It’s a way for us to have our time together. I live In York, PA and he lives in Galion OH. 403 miles away. With lifes busy rat race we don’t get to see each other often. The music was simply awesome. Yonderrrrrrr Mountain is all I can say. I didn’t see one band that was bad. Even with leaving the Mountain, it was the shit..! So” if you ever get confused just listen to the music play” Peace

brotherbill July 25, 2012, 00:42:53

Yonder made the case for a headlining spot. Phil’s ramble was sweet as was the delicate and refined Railroad Earth set. Larry Keel, Galactic, Dark Star and Wood Brothers definite highlights. Maybe next year Dave Schools will return!

Greg D. July 31, 2012, 05:39:57

It was my first Allgood experience, and I enjoyed the hell outta it! I had a moment during Lesh’s set, was that a tear? Naaaah, ha. Galactic brought the house down with You Don’t Know and Heart of Steel Friday night, Bob Weir was enjoyable aside from belligerent naked dude losing his mind in the middle, Allman Brothera and Haynes had me walking on my face for the rest of Saturday night along with Lotus’ epic ender. Soja put on a jammin afternoon set that ser the groove for the later shows. Mickey Hart was good until spaced on us, and Franti ended with a necessary Long Ridw Home to send us on our merry sun-burnt way. Thank you All Good for the memories!

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