Saturday was going to be a long day. We planned on getting to the mountain in time to see Sharon Jones, whose set began at 2:15 p.m., with plans to stay and see Dark Star Orchestra, whose set was scheduled to run until 4 a.m.
After blowing me away at Langerado 2007, I knew that Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were going to get the early-afternoon crowd on their feet, and I wasn’t wrong.
I prefer to call their 60’s R&B sound classic rather than retro. Retro implies a lack of authenticity and if there is anything that Sharon Jones is, it is authentic.
She is one of my favorite artists to shoot. She is a dynamo on stage–always in motion, which is challenging but rewarding when you get the shot. Plus, she and the band are always dressed impeccably.
This is one of my favorite shots from the day. JJ Grey and Mofro were having some sound issues. While the roadies worked things out, JJ Grey chatted with the crowd. I’m not sure what was in the cup, but judging by the coloring, I’m going to go with sweet tea.
I’ve heard a lot about Jackie Greene’s performances with Phil and Friends so I was looking forward to seeing him. His voice was great, and I’m looking forward to seeing him later this summer with Phil at Jones Beach.
Michael Franti is always a highlight of any festival he performs at. There are few bands that have the ability to get an entire mountain on their feet the way that this band does.
A highlight for me was “Time to Go Home,” his plea to bring our soldiers back from Iraq. Franti’s set was an hour and a half of protest and positivity and one of the best sets of the weekend.
I can’t overstate how nice the setting is for Mountain Jam. The mountain air is crisp and clean, and the clouds are always on the move, revealing something new.
As they did on Friday, Gov’t Mule would headline the day. Perhaps taking a cue from Friday night’s set list, they opened with “Helter Skelter,” into “Thorazine Shuffle.”
I decided to try something a little different for the Mule’s Saturday night set. I had brought my tripod with me and got some long exposures from up on the hill.
The night would be focused more on their own music, rather than cover songs, although the “After Midnight” in the second set was fantastic. Tonight they would hit a number of personal favorites, in particular “Time to Confess,” and “32/20 Blues.”
After the Mule’s three-hour show, and a fireworks show over the top of the mountain, Dark Star Orchestra took to the West stage for a late-night set.
Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a deadhead, in the least, I’m a big fan of DSO. I enjoyed the first half of their set and decided to call it a night.