RECAP / PHOTOS: Levi’s Party In Your Pants, Topanga, CA 8/17/13

Those lucky enough to attend yesterday’s Party In Your Pants event on a remote ranch in Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles were constantly pinching themselves to make sure the whole thing wasn’t just some crazy awesome musical dream playing itself out. With a tasteful 1972 hippie aesthetic and a surprising lack of expected in-your-face Levi’s branding given the nature of the event, this was the kind of “backyard bash” dreams are made of.

DSC00342An all-star band were swinging through a collection of Gram Parsons and Flying Burrito Brothers tunes as we arrived before Taylor Hawkins’ (Foo Fighters) Chevy Metal Stones tribute project took to the stage with none other than Dave Grohl playing rhythm and singing the occasional lead. Their set included a scorching and well-played take on “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” and Grohl hammed it up with the crowd between songs and sips of Schlitz (which he successfully encouraged at least half of the audience to shotgun, yours truly included. Who’s gonna turn that down?). Chevy Metal “cheated” by going past ’72 and played 1978’s “Miss You” (to no complaints) and Faces classic “Stay With Me” to close the set. Watching this set was a totally surreal experience and musically, things only got better once Jonathan Wilson and his uber-talented band started tackling classic Dead tunes.

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Jonathan Wilson’s approach to The Dead isn’t quite as traditional as say Dark Star Orchestra or the modern incarnation of Furthur, but the guitarist’s take on songs like “Playin’ In The Band,” “Ramble On Rose” and “Fire On The Mountain” all captured that magic so few can recreate at such a high level. If Wilson ever decides to make a Dead tribute side project, I’m 100% on board.

Finally, the highly-anticipated Dawes tribute to The Band closed things out as the sun set behind the mountains. It was pure perfection to hear songs like my personal favorite “Acadian Driftwood,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and a closing rendering of “The Weight” before leaving the little slice of heaven. Truly an unforgettable experience. Check out the photos below.