All Good Report: Day 3

All Good FestivalAll Good Festival: Day 3

Marvin’s Mountaintop, West Virginia, July 10, 2010

The third day of any music festival is when things get really funky. Your feet are caked with dirt and you smell, and two days of trying not to use the Port-A-Johns are beginning to catch up with you. You’ve now spent the better part of two days saturated by music, and the novelty of it all is beginning to wear off. It takes more for a Saturday act to wow you, no matter how much you may or may not have blunted your senses over the past two days.

It’s clear that after 14 years, the people programming the All Good lineup know and understand this. Which is why Saturday’s lineup included such upbeat, dance-your-ass-off-in-the-sun bands like The Macpodz, Rebelution, and Parliament/Funkadelic. That trio rocked the house Saturday, sharing the common vibe of big bass beats and funky grooves that served as a counterpoint to Saturday headliner Widespread Panic.

I’m going to summarily dismiss Widespread now, and I don’t want to hear about their nearly 25 years of greatness. I’m aware of it, of their following, of their sound, and I just find it boring. Yes, I’ve listened to their CDs, tried to get into their live recordings, and now that I’ve seen them, I’m glad to have answered that most basic question: I don’t like them. (Just like I don’t like the Allmans, so there.)

What I do like, and what attracts me to the entire jam band movement, is when things get heavy and improvisational and yes, jazzy. So I’m glad to see The Macpodz, a local Ann Arbor band, getting national attention, because these guys are a natural fit to the scene. They’re a jazz quintet, plucked from halls of the University of Michigan music school, but not one of the straight, no chaser, variety. These guys play funky, Miles Davis On The Corner-era fusion and they know how to rock the house. Too bad that so few people managed to get up and out to their noon set.

Rebelution was more fortunate, in that the main stage area had filled considerably by the time they lit into their party reggae act. It’s damn near impossible to take anyone from Santa Barbara seriously, let alone these Rastafarian Gauchos, but Rebelution clearly did not care what I thought. The band’s performance was perfectly timed to excite the sun-baked afternoon crowd, and my disdain for Californians and fratboy reggae melted in the heat. Rebelution bassist Marley D. Williams deserves an award for most earth-shaking tones of the weekend, out-thumping even Furthur’s Phil Lesh.

George Clinton

But my day really belonged to George Clinton, a sentimental favorite who I hadn’t seen since the mid-1990s. I’d been to several Parliament/Funkadelic shows during that decade, but it had been so long, I was deeply concerned that Clinton and company would no longer be able to tear the roof off. Less than two weeks shy of his 69th birthday, there’s no hiding the fact that George is old. (Not to mention that he has not lived the most healthy lifestyle over the years.) But what Clinton may lack in youth, he makes up for in aged cool. His late afternoon set was typical of what I’d seen fifteen years ago, a greatest hits celebration that featured at least one long, unlistenable rap song that afforded an opportunity to get another beer and use the toilet. The hour-plus performance began with somewhere around a dozen musicians, dancers and singers on the stage, and by the time it was over, the body count was over 30. It was wild, frenzied, sloppy, and totally awesome. Even funkier than the day itself.

Editor’s note: After three days of sleep-deprived partying and reporting, the GloNo posse called it quits and fled its campsite/compound on the morning of the 4th day of All Good. Regrets are extended to Keller Williams, who we will hopefully see later in the summer at Hoxeyville, and Grace Potter, who we encourage to come visit us in Michigan as a headliner sometime soon.

10 thoughts on “All Good Report: Day 3”

  1. you missed out…grace and keller were both amazing on sunday! great wrap up of everything though, your description of the furthur was dead on (no pun intended)

  2. I went for WP first, Furthur (2nd), and only because I’m a jaded GRATEFUL DEAD HEAD, Late night YMSB was a H00t (3rd reason I went). TERRIFIC PAIRING of the Fri/Sat Thunder Bands though and truly, probably one of the better Music Festivals of the summer. Anybody that missed sunday , missed KELLER, the real JEWEL of the weekend. I am sad to say I missed the MOONSHINE BREAKFAST , where MOONSHINE was handed out by Keller and his group. Darn!

    Too bad WV Troopers are as bad as LA Cops (No regards for basic USA FREEDOMS)

  3. Wish we could have stayed Sun. but we had to drive back to make it to out day jobs Mon. We will be seeing Keller at Hoxeyville later this summer however.

  4. Furthur was the main attraction for me, and I think they delivered. George Clinton was second, followed by DSO and Donna Jean Godchaux Band. All delivered the goods. Umphrey’s was great, as was Femi Kuti. The Bridge and The Macpodz were pleasant suprises. Both were new to me, though I’d heard of and heard good things about The Macpodz. But we had a long drive ahead of us, and had to report to The Man on Monday.

    But we’re going to see The Rhythm Devils, Steve Kimock, Greensky Bluegrass, and a bunch of other great bands at Hoxeyville! A little more than a month away…

  5. “Donna Jean Godchaux Band”

    THE Donna Godchaux? Ugh. I was listening to some mid-70s studio Dead the other day, and I kept asking myself how much better would these tunes be without her warbling along. Sorry, can’t conceive of a musical setting that would put her in a good light. Boy, I am gonna hear it from the Deadheads now!

    Although I have talked to other Deadheads who weren’t crazy about her. What do other folks with an affinity for this type of music think? And what is her music like these days? And I just read that she did session work at Muscle Shoals. I find this difficult to get my head around, to say the least. Thoughts? Mike, I think I know where you stand.

  6. Those tapes are 30-40 years old. You really should “listen” to what’s being done currently before making an “opinion”. Hehe. I usta think Donna wailed and sounded terrible “sometimes” but her, like phil have grown on me over the years.

    Peace from a 53yr old DH

  7. That’s my problem with her is the wailing she did on those Dead albums. I mean, if her current stuff is anything similar as far as oversinging and searching for a solid melody goes, I’m not going to bother checking it out. What kind of stuff is she doing these days?

  8. jaimoe0, you can see what she and her band sound like on the Live Music Archive. They play a lot of Dead stuff, and sample a bit from the JGB grab bag, too – The Way You Do The Things You Do, Mighty High, etc. The song they covered at All Good that was the most fun was She Said She Said.

    I liked seeing Donna play b/c the last time she played with the Dead, I was just a pup, so never had the opportunity to see her play. I knew they’d be playing some Dead covers, and I knew Jeff Matson was playing with her. It was great fun. I just wished there were more people there to show her some love.

    angelicflames, I never saw the appeal of Widespread Panic, but obviously a lot of people disagree with me. I gave them a shot again at All Good, though, but I still didn’t get it. What’s the appeal?

  9. the 3rd day of all good 2010 was my 18th birthday and it was one of the greatest days of my life…however im pretty sure rebulution played on the 4th day before soja

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