Harmony Festival feat. Brian Wilson, STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Erykah Badu, and moe.
Extra-sensory input, Dennis Kucinich, the terrors of 2012, and a weekend's worth of pure California sunshine...
Harmony Festival feat. Brian Wilson, STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Erykah Badu, and moe.City: Santa Rosa, CA
Venue: Sonoma County Fairgrounds
8-10 June 2007 The design of the 29th annual Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, California, was nothing short of superb: with a seemingly never-ending array of eco-conscious venders, information tables, meditation gardens, and stages, good vibes were everywhere, sunshine was in abundance, and you couldn’t walk 25 yards from one stage without catching music from another. Of course, patrons wanting to camp out all weekend were seriously gouged at $45 per person, plus $30 per car. A weekend-long ticket with camping for a party of two would come to $200 a piece -- as much as the nation’s premiere music and arts festival, Bonnaroo. Still, despite this initial annoyance, Harmony Festival did indeed live up to its name. Brian Wilson was the main stage headliner on Friday night and sang a number of classics for the still-gathering crowd. Of course, the real action took place in the Grace Pavilion, an indoor hall shaped like an airplane hangar and decked out with an array of psychedelic regalia. The shape seemed appropriate as New York jamband moe. kicked off the second of the festival’s separately-ticketed late shows with a soaring set. A number of younger fans were seen outside scrambling for a way to circumnavigate the ticket checkpoint, which may have explained the less-than-packed hall inside. Guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey were in fine form, and moe.’s far-out space jams seemed that they could conjure an extraterrestrial mothership at any moment. Of course, the highlight of the show was the band’s tight, earthy reading of the 1971 Rolling Stones classic “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” For the tune, moe. was joined by percussionist Stephen Perkins and saxman Willie Waldman from Banyan to reprise the song’s jazzy jam and push it further than the Stones have ever attempted. With Waldman’s assistance, the band turned a short sax solo into a monster transcendental jam. They followed it up by closing the show with a supercharged rendition of their own classic “Buster.”
Sound Tribe Sector 9