Slideshow: All Good Music Festival
In the end, it's all good.
I started to wonder after a while if people really say, "It's all good," that much and I never noticed or if because we were at All Good Music Festival we were more prone to using the phrase.
One thing is certain: there were the friendliest and most wholesome vibes all weekend. The main thing All Good advertises is that they have no overlapping sets, which allows you to obviously to see all the music. The downside to this is if you don't care for the line up you are forced to watch it, I thought while watching a bluegrass band for longer than I normally would desire. But by Sunday I had realized that by making everyone watch the same stage together actually was a beautiful thing. Having only one stage actually creates one heart for the entire festival. It was unlike any other big festival I've ever been to -- where you can have the option to go to different stages and your group of friends split up. Instead, All Good is one community that all hangs out on the same hill together and dances to the same music together.
My favorite acts of Thursday were Papadosio and Beats Antique. Papadosio pulled out some old favorites they used to play back when I first saw them three summers ago. Yonder Mountain String Band wowed me once again. It's almost hard to believe they don't have any percussion because their sound is so layered and in-sync with one another. Beats Antique's performance is always one of my favorites to see live because of their oh-so enchanting belly dancer, Zoe Jakes. Their heavy drumbeats and a deep stare in the eyes from Zoe send chills through your body.
Friday nights acts were all slightly delayed due to rain. Dark Star Orchestra played a rare acoustic set as promised and left me wanting to see them again for a full plugged-in set. Friday night was my first time seeing Primus and I still really don't know what to think. They mix so many genres and styles that it is almost confusing at times. Then to close out the show Friday was an anticipated set from STS9. After both of their sets at Wakarusa had been rained out earlier this summer, I was ecstatic to finally get a full show from them.
Saturday night I was awoken in my hammock by rain. It rained all morning allowing me to get well rested for the big night ahead.
Finally the sky cleared and the sun set just as Furthur took the stage. This is what everyone had been waiting for- the closest thing you can get to a Grateful Dead show. The entire festival swayed together with all their light up toys and joined in singing classics like Uncle John's Band, Dark Star and Scarlet Begonias. The Grateful Dead used to perform at Legend Valley (then called Buckeye Lake) so the energy was real and heartfelt.
After Furthur was a short set from the Werks, which in my opinion did not fit in the schedule. It wasn't loud enough and everyone lost focus except the true Werks fans front row. Then at the end of their set, Pretty Lights lasers were turned on and beamed higher into the sky than anything I have ever seen.
Last summer when I saw Pretty Lights at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago I remember saying to a friend, if he is going to call himself Pretty Lights, I think we should be able to see the lasers from the back.
Saturday night was the premiere of his new light set and I will give him his name, finally. The show was a mixture of heavy bass, some hip-hop beats and a lot of slowed down electro-sounds from his new album.
My one critique for Pretty Lights is this: when you have the opportunity to close out the show after Grateful Dead members, you thank them and recognize what a beautiful convergence is happening in the music scene when your electronic music is being played at the same festival that Furthur's at. You don't tell them to "Keep it classy, All Good and get high to my music." I'm starting to think maybe all the Internet forums accusing him of a drug problem are true. Either way, Pretty Lights gets credit for making me an electronic music fan three years ago and will always be my favorite to watch.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this festival was life-changing for me. The experience can easily be life changing for anyone and was unlike any other music festival I have attended. Everyone was truly happy. And a few precious moments of bliss are what makes it all worth it in the end. It was a beautiful weekend without stress and the reoccurring theme that it's all good.