Lockn' Festival 2017 | Day 3 in Virginia

Article Contributed by L. Paul Mann | Published on Saturday, September 2, 2017

The third day of Lockn’ was another beautiful day with warm summer sunshine peeking out occasionally through welcome waves of high clouds. Day three of the festival featured more bands than Friday, with only Widespread Panic and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead playing extended jam sessions. The day started early out in the forest with a 10 am wake-up set by keyboard player Holly Bowling at the Terrapin Station stage.

By the time the music finished up at the Relix stage in the late afternoon, a large crowd had already gathered for the final set by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The Baltimore jam band took advantage of an extended set to play some covers like Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads. The extra time came from the only no-show band at the festival this year, The Suffers. The unfortunate Houston based group lived up to their band name stuck in the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Many concert goers had already made it to the main stage to set up all manner of chairs umbrellas and beach blankets long before Keller Williams opened there at 4 PM. The main stage played the entire days set from the Relix stage live on the giant LED video monitors and played the sound through the PA so many fans could lounge watching the action without having to move across to the smaller cramped stage. The feed was broadcast live on the web with a link to a charity for those injured in the Charlottesville demonstrations. Williams has become a mainstay of Lockn’, but this was his first year as a main stage act. The one-man band turned in a brilliant 90-minute set. Williams creates live loops of multiple instruments through the performance, drawing from a whole host of musical genres. But he made each song his own with his unique vocals and quirky lyrics.

The music switched to authentic Bluegrass with the next band to play Greensky Bluegrass. The group strummed their way into the hearts of an ever-growing audience, with extraordinary picking skills on multiple jams. By the time the band ended the set with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City, the whole crowd seemed to be dancing and clapping.

The main stage took a more hard-edged rock turn next when Australian jam rockers, the John Butler Trio took the stage. The raw energy of this band kept the crowd alive as the sun set brilliantly into the passing clouds.

As evening fell, one of the most highly anticipated moments came when John Fogerty took the stage to lead his brilliant band in an extended set full of Creedence Clearwater classics. The 72-year-old rock icon played and sang perfectly, like a man half his age. The set included sing along classics like Who’ll Stop The Rain, Looking Out My Back Door, and The Midnight Special. By the time wrapped up his 20 songs set with Fortunate Son, the crowd basin ecstasy scramming for more. Fogerty obliged with one of the only encores of the night, playing two more Creedence classics Bad Moon Rising and Proud Mary. Perhaps the only let down was that he did not return to jam with anyone else at the festival.

Fogerty shouted out to the final band of the night on the main stage Widespread Panic, a group that he has collaborated with in the past. Widespread turned in a classic two-hour jam set. The band pleased the crowd with the mostly older material. But it was too bad that Fogerty did not sit in with the band like he had done at Lockn' 4 years prior.


Just when it looked like it would be a day without collaborations along came the late-night set for the second night in a row by Joe Russo’s Almost Dead on the Relix stage. By the third song, Bob Weir was on stage jamming with the band, with which he is so closely associated. The set included Black Throated Wind, Good Lovin', and Jack Straw. What a way to end the early morning!

Check out more photos from Saturday @ Lockn' 2017.