Crowds of people flooded into the campgrounds and festival the second day of Lockn’ music festival 2018. By early afternoon a sea of color was visible as far as the eye could see. The event was indeed a multigenerational magnet composed of six decades of jazz, funk, blues and rock jam music. Grandparents dressed in tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirts joined their offspring many in Phish tie-dyes. Whole families brought their children, grandchildren and maybe even a few grandchildren creating a festive carnival-like atmosphere. All manner of totems added to the brilliant splashes of color contrasted against the bright green rolling hills of the Virginia countryside.
The second day was enveloped in another nearly perfect summer day, and many people walked into the festival grounds early to eat, drink and shop in the many crafts booths. The music started early on the main stage as well with bands playing from noon until after midnight, and then the action switched to the late night Relix stage. By 3 pm, Chris Harford’s Band of Changes took the main stage, and a huge crowd gathered for the remainder of the day’s sets. Harford had joined Joe Russo’s Almost Dead the night before on the Relix stage, and Russo returned the favor playing in Harford’s band along with Scott Metzger and Dave Dreiwitz. The jam band was followed by New York funk band Turkuaz, in Lockn style spinning into view while Band of Changes played themselves off the stage. The nine members of Turkuaz dressed in fantastically brilliant colors played their own brand of jam funk to an appreciative crowd. The highlight was a Sly and The Family Stone medley that had the whole main stage crowd in a dance trance. They were followed by another jam band stalwart of late, Moon Taxi. The young Nashville band is fronted by the charismatic Trevor Terndrup on lead vocals and guitar and played a guitar-drenched jam band set. In addition to performing their hit song Two High, the band played a pair of well-received covers, including Tears For Fears Everybody, Wants to Rule The World and Rage Against The Machine’s Sleep Now In The Fire.
The next set brought a unique pairing of old school music to the stage. The set began with the genuinely iconic Jamaican Reggae band Toots and The Maytals. The appearance at Lockn was extraordinary for many reasons. In May 2013, lead singer Toots Hibbert was struck in the head by a vodka bottle thrown from the audience while performing onstage at a concert in nearby Richmond. His injuries resulted in a severe concussion and treatment required six staples in his head. After the incident, the singer canceled all performances, citing fear of the audience and no longer feeling safe. It took several years for the band to resume performing and this was his first Virginia appearance since the incident. The band began and ended their set with their 1968 hit song Do The Reggay. The song was so iconic it was actually the first time the word Reggae was used, consequently naming the genre for the first time. If the set was not already memorable enough, things got really interesting when the band was joined by another icon, Blues legend Taj Mahal. The 76-year-old singer-guitarist joined the younger 75-year-old Toots and his band for a pair of songs, singing and playing a ukulele. The unique collaboration included the perfectly appropriate John Denver classic, Take Me Home Country Roads and a Toots and The Maytals classic Monkey Man.
Umphrey’s McGee took the stage next for a 90-minute set just as the sun began to set. The bands third set in two days also proved to be an extraordinary collaboration. The group opened with 45 minutes of original jam laden material. As twilight began to set in and the massive MainStage was splashed in a mammoth light show full of myriad colors, guest drummer Jason Bonham joined the band. The collaboration began with more Umphrey’s material including, Conduit. That was followed by a much-anticipated mini set of Led Zeppelin classics, including Good Times Bad Times, Dancing Days and The Song Remains The Same. Another surprise came when American Idol star Taylor Hicks, joined the jam to sing and play harmonica on more Zep classics When The Levee Breaks and The Rain Song. The set got even more intense when guitar master Derek Trucks joined in on “Whole Lotta Love,” this time sung by Umphrey’s drummer Kris Myers.
The music then took a glorious left turn with the next set by the funk master himself George Clinton. Clinton along with his massive posse laid down classic rock, hip-hop and 70’s disco funk in a dance orgy that captured the imagination of much of the Lockn’ audience. The show was part of Clinton’s final tour with P Funk before retiring. Classic dance songs like We Want The Funk and Atomic Dog wowed the crowd, punctuated by drenched guitar jams in classic P Funk style.
Lockn’ festival staple headliners, Widespread Panic closed out the main stage with a two-hour set of classic southern jam band music. The band was joined 90 minutes into their set by modern country music sensation Margo Price. The Nashville native brought a whole new dimension to the jam band with her exquisite vocal skills. The singer apparently tweeted the next day that she had wandered about the Lockn’ festival on Hallucinogenic drugs. It was not clear whether she was tripping while performing but she performed passionately in any case. The collaboration featured covers of some of Price’s role models including, Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady and Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart. The horn section from the Tedeschi Trucks band snuck onstage to add yet another fantastic dimension to the collaboration.
Just after midnight, Joe Russo's Almost Dead began their second late night set of the festival and played some Dead classics to the massive crowd gathered around the intimate Relix stage. The set included Jerry Garcia’s Cats Under the Stars, and Hunter/Pigpen's Mr. Charlie, followed by St. Stephen>The Eleven. The band played for two hours into the crisp early morning air.