July 11th, 2009
12:57 PM ET
Jarrett Bellini reports from the 13th annual All Good Festival in Masontown, West Virginia
Friday night belonged to Bob Weir & RatDog, who blasted through a strong set that, at first, actually seemed a bit pedestrian. However, with guest appearances by bass legend, Les Claypool, and moe. guitarist, Al Schnier, things really took off in the second half. The major highlights came from the last three songs, a trio of some of the most beloved Grateful Dead tunes: Morning Dew, China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider.
At the conclusion of RatDog, the concert hill on Marvin's Mountaintop turned into an absolute party for the ages as Bassnectar spun in the start of Late Night in what turned into a carnival of dancing, glowsticks, and fire breathing. Sitting comfortably at the top of the hill, Team Geritol watched the action below, each of us silently thinking the exact same thing: "I think I'm getting old."
But rest assured, I powered through all the way until four in the morning as moe. closed out the night with an epic three-hour set. I can't say that my buddies, Andrew and Ryan, managed to keep their eyes open the entire time, but, for what it's worth, they were technically still on the hill. This is not to suggest that I was acting the Jedi... I was really tired.
Those were the highlights from the evening sets, but, no doubt, there was plenty of great music happening during the daylight.
Perhaps the most notable performance of the afternoon came from Robert Randolph & the Family Band, who had the crowd on their feet as they paid tribute to Michael Jackson with inspiring versions of Billie Jean and Man in the Mirror. Though it was a definite crowd pleaser, the Family Band's set seemed to go a little long, cutting into Todd Snider's. However, the acoustic troubadour still managed to do what he always does – winning over new fans with his amusing lyrics and humble hippie attitude toward life.
Saturday looks to be another winner, with notable sets expected from Cornmeal, Steve Kimock Crazy Engine, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Ben Harper and RELENTLESS7.
More updates to come...
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