Saturday was a little wet. We woke up and made breakfast, A big pan of scrambled eggs with onions and peppers. We had cowboy coffee, home-fries and bacon. Without fighting with the damp fire wood, we were able to cook over it. We didn’t have a strict timeline today, but we needed a good meal, it was going to be long day no matter what. There was a lot of music to be had today. We made it down to the fair grounds about 1pm, right before a band called Trigger Hippy came on. We wanted to here what they had to say, because it was Joan Osbourne doing the singing. Her hit debut record was incredible and I think St Theresa is one of her best performances. They were delayed because of a little rain, but they came on as soon as they could. While they were sound-checking and warming up, Joan treated us to a soulful a capela “I Cant Stand The Rain,” When they started playing it was a great 45 min set, again abbreviated by a rain delay, but well worth it. Bands at Wanee want to play for us.
Gov’t Mule was coming on at 3:15. We have a dedication to this band. It was on line at The Ritz in Ybor City that I was first told about Wanee. It was one of the first dates between The co-founders of Conservative Hippyism. I ran out and bought tickets the next day and have vowed never to miss a Wanee since. It was Warren Haynes rendition of Sugaree during that Ybor show that made me fall for The-Curly-Blonde-Haired-Girl-with-Whom-I-Live, and that live version was played at our wedding, all 11 minutes of it. Eddie Vedder’s Longing to Belong is our official wedding song, but we danced to Mule’s Sugaree as well. Warren & Co cam on and started rocking us from word one. He had to be pulled off the stage and unplugged when the rain came, or else he would have kept playing. He played for us as long as he could while we danced in the downpour. Thats a man who loves his fans. We took the hint, and started the refugee march in the mud back to the campsite. It was a trail of cheers. It was also a good excuse for us to go get some much needed rest. We got back to camp and had to rearrange some things in the tent which had gotten wet. We made a little snack, and then called it quits, the two of us crashed for about an hour. Our Man Clint was lounging outside of the Captain’s Van under his tarp as well. A rain nap is great. When we shook it awake, Furthur had come on and we caught the last part of their day 2 show, in fact we made just time for Shakedown Street.
This show was broadcast live on Sirius XM Grateful Dead Channel. They played a long show, and we had about forty-five minutes before The Brothers came on. We checked out EOTO at the Mushroom Stage, who was good. We knew we wanted to be ready For ABB, who would be making up for a delay the night before and a few gaffed improvs. THe night cleared when they took the stage. I kid you not, the clouds disappeared and the stars came out. I asked the folks in front of me, since they had their Skymap App running, which planet was shining so bright;y to the West. It was Jupiter. Planets don’t twinkle is the rule. This ABB set was incredible. It was also being broadcast on Sirius Xm, on the Deep Tracks Channel. Jessica, with a little Watchtower interlude, The best Into the Mystic I have ever witnessed, and then Luther Dickinson came out. He’s practically and Allman Cousin, or Step-Brother. His style is waaaay grittier and stripped down, and so complimentary to The incredible soul of Haynes and manic slide of Trucks. During Walk on Gilded Splinters, in a feat I will try to explain but is impossible to do justice, They started trading. The three of them each had a solo, then they traded 16’s and for a few, then 12’s, then 8’s for a few, then like the gods of chaos, threw 4 counts seamlessly between them at least 4 times before returning completely unscathed to the harmony. Fucking amazing. And the fireworks punctuated the routine. The smuggled explosives set off in an uncontrolled, highly populated and wooded area, how tame compared to the music we just witnessed.
The set ended and an encore of Neil Young’s The Needle and The Damage Done was a perfect little comedown, and a double encore of Southbound, with a bunch of cameos (except L.D. who was setting up his own show) did the trick. I had been baptized in fire and rain again.
We decided that we had luck leaving our chairs and finding them again, so we left our chairs and went to the Mushroom After Midnight show. Remember what I said earlier about the chair tradition and culture. When we got to our chairs I saw to people just getting comfy and settling in. I apologized and asked them for our chairs, thinking they would follow the tradition and evacuate. Tough guy (with the hula-hoops) looked at me, picked up the chair, folded it and handed it to me. I kicked his hula-hoops, stepped on them and the grabbed the other chair. Not very Wanee of either of us, I admit. We found a good spot and watched the Dickinson brothers, Luther and Cody give Wanee 12 the closing salut it deserved. North Mississippi All Stars is a raw hard pounding blues band that specializes in incredible percussion (Cody) and hard roots deep riffs (Luther). It was a great way to end an incredible night of music andthe the cherry on top of the Wanee cosmic cupcake. Cody Dickinson blessed us with the electric washboard. We folded our chairs and I couldn’t put it back in the bag, that was gone. We walked back to the Peach Stage to retrieve the chairs we left, and they were gone. Since the last show was the last show, the field was dragged clean. Our chairs weren’t in the pile of discarded chairs either. A little disappointing, especially since a favorite quilt was in the back bag of one of those chairs. On the way our of the festival grounds we recognized on of the chairs next to a dumpster, it had been torn and mangled. What the heck had happened? Oh well, off to bed, build a fire and eat some marsh-mellows before bed. Thank you Wanee, it was a small sacrifice for the weekend.