The Peach Music Festival took place this past weekend for its fifth consecutive year at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and with a lineup absolutely stacked from top to bottom, it was no surprise that the venue hosted 35,000 guests throughout the weekend. Known for being the first ever Allman Brothers-inspired festival, attendees and event organizers were saddened by the unfortunate news of Gregg Allman’s cancellation due to medical issues. However, the show went on and proved to be a beautiful tribute honoring Gregg as one of the greatest rock musicians and innovators of our time. To replace Friday’s anticipated Gregg Allman Incident set featuring Gregg Allman and The String Cheese Incident, The Peach put together The Allman Brothers Family Incident, which in addition to SCI included Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones, Bruce Katz and Scott Sharrard. Aside from this epic collaboration, there was a plethora of excitement abound throughout the weekend. Highlights included performances by Trey Anastasio Band, moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, JRAD, Claypool Lennon Delirium, Dopapod and so many more.
As gates opened up around noon on Thursday campers started pouring in ready for a weekend filled with jams. A summer rain came through on Thursday night, but after the storm passed Dark Star Orchestra got the crowd moving again, ending their incredible two sets with fan favorites including “Shakedown Street”, “All Along The Watchtower”, and an incredible cover of The Band’s “The Weight” to close it out. Starting around midnight and lasting through the wee hours, Dopapod pleased fans on the Mushroom Stage with endless funky jams.
Mother Nature gave The Peach much clearer weather on Friday, allowing loads of fun in the sunshine, no poncho necessary. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong got the party started around 2 p.m. on the Mushroom Stage, which was situated right next to a portion of the water park, featuring a pool and two water slides. As Pigeons ended with good-time songs “Julia” and a cover of “Under The Sea”, Railroad Earth was pleasing the fans over at Peach Stage with their elusive bluegrass.
As the evening rolled in, so did the music. New York jammers moe. brought some serious heat for their first set, including favorites “Captain America”, “Puebla” and “St. Augustine”. The band left the fans craving more, which they got when moe. played an entire set of Pink Floyd later that night. Then it was time for the headlining Allman Brothers Family Incident. Colorado jamgrass band The String Cheese Incident welcomed the Allman Brothers family on stage for an unbelievable set, blowing the crowd away with everything from “Midnight Rider” to a lengthy “Jessica” jam. After a short break, Kang, Nershi, and the boys delivered a vintage Cheese set to The Peach crowd. SCI busted out “Dudley’s Kitchen” into “Song In My Head” and really got the fans going with “Sirens” into “BollyMunster”. Ending with “Colorado Bluebird Sky”, the crowd was vibing off of a full String Cheese experience. Afterwards, it was time for moe.’s previously mentioned Pink Floyd set. With unreal lasers and lights, the band debuted “Another Brick in the Wall” that went into their only original for the set, “Meat”. They brushed off other Floyd favorites such as “Breathe”, “Money”, and “Have a Cigar”. Simultaneously, The Floozies with special guest Jason Hann of SCI on the drums brought some serious electronic dance funk that continued the party even longer into the night.
After all this ground-shaking music, it was hard to believe The Peach still had two whole days left to rage on. Joe Russo started Saturday afternoon right with his supergroup Bustle in Your Hedgerow, a high energy instrumental tribute to Led Zeppelin. He then followed with his own band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. JRAD has been called by many the closest thing to a true Grateful Dead concert experience, and the group gave the nonbelievers a run for their money with a truly magical set in the afternoon. Starting with a jam-filled “Cumberland Blues”, JRAD got fans to their feet with “The Music Never Stopped” into the entire “Terrapin Suite”, which closed out the set and left fans absolutely speechless. Then it was suddenly time to get weird with Les Claypool and Sean Lennon’s project The Claypool Lennon Delirium, who delivered spooky Beatles sounding tunes, with implementation of what fans love so much in Claypool’s Primus and his filthy licks on bass. At about this time, rainy weather ensued once more, and festival organizers were forced to cut Claypool a bit short. After the lengthy delay, fans were starting to get frustrated, but eventually Trey Anastasio Band came out and busted out some great jams including a cover of “Soul Rebel” and Phish songs such as “Gotta Jibboo” and “Liquid Time”. Just as Trey was getting going, the storm started to brew back up again, cutting Trey off right in the middle of the Phish classic “Sand”, which really disappointed the fans. However, after more silence, he and his iconic band came back out to finish “Sand” and then covered the fan favorite “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz. Umphrey’s McGee then came out and delivered a nasty raw set for the late night entertainment, while bluegrass rockers and Scranton natives Cabinet melted faces over at the Mushroom Stage.
On Sunday morning attendees rose to Wake Up with Warren Haynes over at Peach stage, which was an excellent way to start off the final day of the festival. Haynes delivered beautiful acoustic renditions of Allman Brothers classics “End of the Line” and “Old Friend”, closing with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” and the fan favorite “Soulshine”. Haynes would be back later for a set with his band Gov’t Mule which featured Blackberry Smoke for some serious heat. What really stole the show Sunday and closed out the fifth annual Peach Festival as a smashing success was the debut of RB&B (Russo, Benevento, and Burbridge), who came through with some unreal jazz jams. Anytime those three guys are on the stage, the fans are in for something special.