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Monday, August 25

Review and Photos: The Peach Music Festival - August 14th-17, 2014 - Scranton, PA

The sun was nearly vanquished from the sky as Tedeschi Trucks Band graced the main stage Friday night with beautifully constructed music, as the lights from the stage began to pierce farther and farther into the falling darkness. A cool breeze tell tale of the coming fall weather wafted off the Montage mountain-side as the green grass quaked underfoot. The piercingly beautiful voice of Susan Tedeschi accented by the guitar licks of Derek Trucks, cut through the air as strong as the light show, but just as peacefully and organically as the wind flowing through the trees. 
The music and the crowd at the Peach Music Festival, was just as beautiful as the location itself. The Peach Music Festival, located in Scranton, PA on the Montage Mountain Resort was running like a well oiled machine the entire weekend. The three gorgeous stages descending in size from, the Peach Stage, The Mushroom Stage, and the Grove Stage were amazingly well set up and nestled into the perfect locations.  
My personal favorite location at the festival, the Mushroom Stage was located in the heart of the water park at Montage Mountain. The stage is flanked to the right by a gigantic wave pool and a crazy water half-pipe ride. Up above, zip liners flew over the lazy river, which wound its way to the left away from the Mushroom Stage and over to the water slides, volleyball court, and food trucks en route to the Peach Stage. Concert goers overlooked the Mushroom Stage from an amazing hill which in the winter time is a ski trail dubbed “Limited”. To reach the Mushroom Stage from the Peach Stage, festival goers wind their way through food vendors, into a enchantingly multi -colored light filled and crazily decorated forest path way that wormed its way up to the water park area. Once you reach the water park area, festival goers traverse next to the lazy river, which was available to use for all attendees and through vendors selling wire wraps, hand made clothing, stickers, carved wood items, leather wraps and nearly any kind of art form you could imagine. The combination of an active water park, beautiful fall weather, and gorgeous mountain location made this an absolutely unbeatable location to see a show. 
Friday night after Tedeschi Trucks solid performance and the preceeding “Dead Set” performance (consisting of Joe Russo, Jeff Chimenti, Scott Metzger, Tom Hamilton and more) , Trey Anastasio Band took the stage, and succinctly burned down the house with an amazingly stacked set list.
The show opened strong and flowed like water in the mountain streams from there on out.  “Sometime After Sunset” opened up the show and was followed by “Flying Machine” , “Money, Love and Change”, “Frost” and an beautifully excuted cover of “Ooh Child” (Originally by The Five Stairsteps). The set took of on one foot with the Phish song “Sand” which rocketed into “Spin”. The pace slowed down a bit for “Valentine” and was picked right up with the heating succession of “Magilla> Architect > Shine” with “Traveler” to close out the rocking set. Trey Anastasio Band took the stage with full force storm hurricane energy for their two song encore of “Push on Till The Day” grooving and slaying its way into a stand out cover of “Black Dog” (Originally by Led Zeppelin).
Saturday night the cool weather set in, as the stage heated up with Gov’t Mule starting off the evening right led by Warren Haynes. The set list was heavy and hard rock filled and opened up with “World Boss>Brokedown on the Brazzos > Tributary Jam> Banks of the Deep End>Time To Confess> Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood>Done Got Wise”  Warren Haynes raw and raspy voice shone especially in “Railroad Boy” as the set shredded its way through “Stoop So Low”.  A very special guest Karl Denson joined Gov’t Mule for “Sco- Mule” and brought the already amazing set to the next level. The show closed out with an appropriate version of “Bring on the Music” as the crowd braced themselves for the following acts of Trey Anastasio Band and The Allman Brothers to come. 
Trey Anastasio Band took the stage to deliver a “Phishy” set to warm the crowd up for the headlining Allman Brothers performance that was to follow. The TAB show opened up with the staple “Cayman Review” which moved nicely into the rarely seen “Pigtail”. Trey and the band were getting in the groove as the “Night Speaks To A Woman” shredded into an uplifting and euphoric version of “Alaska” that got the crowd grooving and dancing. The energy levels of the bands performance sky-rocketed for “Burlap Sack and Pumps” that everyone at the festival will be talking about long after they returned home. The pace slowed up a little for “Drifting” and fell right back into the already deeply carved groove for “Gotta Jibboo>Tuesday> Plasma>Bounce”. Just when the show couldn't get any better, the band dropped into the intro for the (Gorillaz Cover) “Clint Eastwood” and the crowd went bubbling over the top with energy. Trey jumped up and down with glee as he shredded his way with ease through the Gorillaz cover and into the Phish staple “First Tube” that absolutely was a highlight of the weekend. 
The Allman Brothers took the stage to the packed out pavilion tent and lawn full of happy Peach Festival attendees as the sun was waning in the sky. The legendary feeling of the show that was about to ensue was buzzing in the venue, every concert goer that night, knew they were in for a real treat. The band took the stage and welcomed special guest Danny Louis to perform to an ecstatically excited crowd and open with the song “ Aint Wastin Time No More”. The band was gracefully executing their album “Eat A Peach” in the same succession as it appeared on the album. The next song “Les Brers in A Minor” showcased the bands amazing synchronicity and the steady voice of Gregg Allman. The legendary jam “Melissa” was performed beautifully by the band as Derek Trucks led the guitar solos trading off with Warren Haynes. 

The band was clearly on an cloud for this weekend, riding off the energy of festival and its attendees and feeding it right back into the crowd with “ Mountain Jam> One Way Out” that especially let Warren Haynes take the lead with his organic sound.  The show continued with “Trouble No More> Stand Back” and flew gracefully into a “Blue Sky” jam that closed out the set and showcased the musical diversity of this legendary group of performers. The  three song encore performance of “Little Martha> That’s What Love Will Make You Do(featuring Danny Louis)> Black Hearted Woman” made clear The Allman Brothers are no nostalgia act, and that the band really has an amazing ability to jam.
Warren Haynes “Woke Up” the crowd with a solo set on Sunday, followed by soulful performances from the Taj Mahal Trio, and The Soul Rebels who brought an energized reggae vibe to shake the dust off your dancing shoes before The Allman Brothers took the stage to close out the beautifully orchestrated weekend that was Peach Music Festival. The Allman Brothers took the stage with the presence of legends and opened the Sunday night show busted wide open with “Dont Want You No More> It’s Not My Cross To Bear> Hot ‘Lanta > Done Somebody Wrong” The crowd erupted with cheering audibly louder than the band sound system as the iconic intro to “Midnight Rider” was performed. The amazing energy of raw excitement and wonder was clearly felt by all in attendance of this show. 
Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes continued to lead the band through “Dusk Till Dawn> Leave My Blues at Home”.  The illustrious Taj Mahal joined the band for “Statesboro Blues” as his raspy and raw voice added the perfect accenting to the truly bluesy tune. The band pushed on into “ You Don’t Love Me” before bringing Ron Holloway on stage to join them for “Soulshine”. The guest filled performance couldn't have possibly gotten any better until Gabor Presser came on stage for “ Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”. The all star collaborations didn't stop coming as “Please Dont Keep Me Wondering> Liz Reed” featured Ron Holloway and Pete Levin! The Allman Brothers then closed out the crazy set with “Nobody Left to Run With” before leaving the stage after a well deserved raucous applause. After a short hiatus, the band returned to the stage to an already mind blown audience and decided to bring down the house one last time to close out the beautiful weekend at Peach Music Festival with the iconic “Whipping Post”. The nostalgic notes filled the air with a new-found energy as the Allman Brother’s broke new ground with the version of the song that had so much history behind it, yet so much new flare. 
The Peach Music Festival was a beautifully well thought out festival, with amazing location, gorgeous weather, easy accessibility from major cities, and seasoned festival attendees. The lineup was unbeatable, albeit Bob Weirs’ last minute tour cancellation, and the music performed over the weekend will be playing over in my head until the next Peach Music Festival. If you are able to, make it a point to clear your calendar for the Peach Music Festival next year! Nothing can beat beautiful music, an unforgettable main stage, and simply amazing festival mountain grounds filled with uncountable activities to engage in.
Words and Photos: Joe Schlee
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