Given the opportunity to dance with the Flaming Lips on stage, I had to take it, but sacrificed seeing the Yonder and Pimps of Joytime sets. Judging by the roar of the crowd, it was a good couple of hours leading into the Lip’s infamous party of a show. When the set kicked off we ran onto the stage dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes to compliment their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Time”, The Dark Side of Oz style. Confetti guns, the Wayne-ball, laser hands, giant disco ball; nearly all the stops were pulled for this one. A double encore ending with “Do You Realize” closed out the set, followed by a beautiful fireworks display behind the stage.
Up next were All Good alum Papadosio, playing for the third year at this close-to-their-Athens-roots festival. They played a lot of old favorites, much to the delight of older fans, while making many new ones. Showcasing how fav their improvisational skills have come, each song was over ten blissful minutes and the set was over before we knew it. LED visualizer screens complimented the set and light show, making for an excellent opening to the late night. Galactic took the stage next with an insane light show (especially for a funk band!) and putting on a great set including an excellent “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”.
The sun finally decided to come out on Saturday, forcing people out of their tents before noon, a big change from the last couple of days. The first act of the day to lure me down to the main concert bowl was Conspirator at 1:15 pm. For feeling pretty apathetic about the Disco Biscuits, I was really blown away. It takes a lot to get the crowd up to the stage and dancing at that hour but Conspirator really brought it.
Phish’s lighting engineer Chris Kuroda headed up the lighting within the venue and made time to share some tricks on the Grassroots stage. It was surprising how few people made it to the workshop, but it had been rescheduled from the day before and was now in the sweltering Saturday afternoon heat. After retreating into the woods for shade (at the sacrifice of Railroad Earth’s set).
Long time All Good favorites Dark Star Orchestra brought even more of the Grateful Dead sound to the stage, followed by Matt Buttler’s Rex Jam, which brought together a collaboration of musicians to jam while asking for donations. All donations to The Rex Foundation go towards promoting the arts in schools and buying musical instruments for students. At last year’s All Good they raised over $1,400 from the crowd (check them out here).
Closing out the afternoon and playing through the sunset was Big Gigantic, whose obscure mix of saxophone, live drums and house music got the crowd good and warmed up for another long night of dancing. Sampling hip hop and playing on some spectacular raised tables with LED light panels, they were a great sunset act, though it did sound much like the set they played at High Sierra (though I doubt there were many other people who were at both festivals).
A nice change from the years-long trend of Dead members as headliners, The Allman Brothers Band took the stage to play a four and a half hour set past the midnight hour. They played all of the old favorites (obviously) and while it was a really once in a lifetime chance I do wish it wasn’t four hours long.
After the Allman Brothers, late night-ers got funky for the second night in a row with Lettuce. With only 45 minutes to play, they went as hard as they could for the late night set in one of their best slots of the summer. Closing out the night, for their third All Good late night set, was Lotus. After coming out of what most fans will agree was a bit of a boring patch, these guys are back and giving it their all. What an incredible set! Opening with Spiritualized they got the crowd going right away and didn’t stop until nearly four in the morning.
Since I had to fly back to California on Sunday and knew that seeing any music wouldn’t be an option I decided to make the most of my last night and stay up past sunrise, getting down to the kind of music you just can’t find out here- bluegrass! The Rumpke Mountain Boys played a late late night acoustic set that went on until seven in the morning, playing their lovable and foot stompin’ brand of Appalachian Trashgrass. It was a wonderful way to close out the weekend and ring in All Good’s first year in Ohio.
All Good signed a contract to have their festival at Legend Valley for three years, so it’s a good thing that festivalgoers’ response was largely positive. The change of venue didn’t seem to hurt attendance very much and even drew many out of towners who could easily access the fest from I-70. Though the venue was different, the vibe stayed the same; no other large festival I’ve been to has the all around family feeling you find at All Good. Those of you who couldn’t make the trek up the mountain in the past, now’s your chance; get there while it’s at Legend Valley and see why it’s all good.