Phil Lesh had his usual rhythm section (keyboardist Rob Barraco and drummer John Molo) and singer (Joan Osborne) on hand for the Bonnaroo finale last night. The "friends" were guitarists Larry Campbell and John Scofield. A veteran of Bob Dylan's band, Campbell more than held his own, especially on the band's cover of "All Along the Watchtower." Scofield, noted for his work with Miles Davis, was more subdued and made less of an overall impact.
The first set blistered with nods to the Grateful Dead's country-rock roots - "Uncle John's Band" and "Cumberland Blues" from Workingman's Dead. "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire on the Mountain," "Watchtower," and "I Know Your Rider" ended the set as the weekend's first and only rain shower sent people scurrying for cover. The second set lost a lot of steam during the lengthy "Space" section after a solid start ("Shakedown Street," "New Speedway Boogie"). "Not Fade Away," "In the Midnight Hour," "Franklin's Tower" and the appropriate "Box of Rain" closed out the 5th Annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
I'm writing this from home. I had an early flight out of Nashville this morning. Just as I was getting used to sleeping on the ground and in a tent again, I woke up with a start at 5 am. After breaking down my camp, I was on the road. A stop at Waffle House for cheesy eggs, smothered hash browns and sweet tea was just the right breakfast fuel for me as I raced north on I-24 to the airport.
I still have my turquoise "guest" and blue "media" bracelets circling my right wrist. The second I cut them loose MyBonnaroo will be officially over for another year. Snip - that's one. Snip - that's two. Can't wait until next year.
* Watch the High Times "potcast" from Bonnaroo - starring Bean and Danny Danko, and filmed by Aaron Strebs.