The Peach Festival Closes with Phil Lesh & Friends, featuring Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Holly Bowling and More
Photo via @ThePeachMusicFestival on FB
Music lovers descended upon Scranton, Penn.’s Montage Mountain one last time on Sunday for the final day of The Peach Music Festival, featuring the Inaugural Guitar Pull led by musical director Scott Sharrard, a Warren Haynes and Grace Potter duo performance, two cover-heavy sets by Phil Lesh and Friends, and more.
The Inaugural Guitar Pull started the day, featuring former Gregg Allman Band lead guitarist and Peach Fest aficionado Scott Sharrard as musical director. First up on the guest list was blues guitarist Samantha Fish, who covered Johnny Love’s “Chills and Fever.” Guitarist Jake Cinninger of Umphrey’s McGee took the stage for two songs, including a feel good sing-a-long of the Grateful Dead’s “They Love Each Other.” Sharrard then brought out furious and feisty Brandon “Taz” Niederauer for UM’s “Booth Love,” with Cinninger changing the lyrics in the last verse to “that should be the last thing on Taz’s mind.”
Later, Sharrard and company welcomed jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan to the stage for Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House,” showcasing his flair for technical finger-tapping on the guitar. To close out the hour-long celebration of guitar shreddage, Sharrard brought out Steve Kimock, Fish and Cinninger, with Sharrard declaring, “You can’t play The Peach Fest without playing the Allman Brothers,” before the group all lent their voices and strings to the ABB classic “Southbound.”
Later in the day, Warren Haynes and Grace Potter shared the stage for a set filled with covers and originals, including Potter’s “Stars.” The duo opened up their set with Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” which Haynes and Potter have perfected together over the years. Throughout the set, Haynes alternated between his low D 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, while Potter toggled between the organ and two acoustic guitars. Saxophonist Ron Holloway joined the duo for a cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” and the set-closing rendition of Haynes’ ABB favorite “Soulshine.”
Sunday’s schedule also included two solo sets from Brandon “Taz” Niederauer and his crew at The Grove stage, drawing a small but electric crowd that completely fell under Taz’s trance. Niederauer used his voice and electric guitar to offer original songs—such as “Paralyzed” and “I Can’t Live”— and some wicked covers, including the Beatles’ “Blackbird” and the Grateful Dead’s “Fire On the Mountain.”
Phil Lesh and Friends’ Peach Festival lineup featured Phil’s son Grahame Lesh, Haynes and John Scofield—rounding out Phil’s preferred three guitar attack—plus drummer extraordinaire John Molo (who played with Phil in The Other Ones) and Holly Bowling on the keys. The bunch kicked off the first of their two sets with the Cream classic, “Sunshine of Your Love,” with Haynes taking point on the vocals. Terrapin Family Band vocalist Elliott Peck joined the group for a cover of Robbie Robertson’s “Broken Arrow” and the John Perry Barlow and Brent Mydland tune “Just a Little Light,” a shining moment for Bowling, who is known for her Dead transcriptions and solo-piano arrangements.
Phil and Friends kept up the classic-rock nostalgia throughout the first half, with the bassist stepping up to the mic for “Bird Song” before launching the band into the second “All Along the Watchtower” of the day. The group then took a breather and welcomed Peck back for the classic “Viola Lee Blues,” with the elder Lesh laying down some thunderous bass lines as Rorschach-esque projections of trees and nature unfolded across the Peach Stage’s pavilion roof. Phil and Friends closed out the first set with Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” before fans were told to seek shelter due to inclement weather.
After some brief showers and crackles of lighting overhead, the group hopped back on stage with gusto, kicking off their second set with a grooving “Playing In the Band.” The band kept up the Phil and Friends tradition of diverse covers, sandwiching Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” in between “Playing In The Band” and a raging “St. Stephen.” Phil took back the vocal reigns for a trademark “Unbroken Chain,” before wrapping up the band’s last set with “Morning Dew” and “Uncle John’s Band.” Phil and Friends ended The Peach festival in the only way that Deadheads know how—a tribute to the late and great Jerry Garcia via Warren Haynes’ song “Patchwork Quilt” that Haynes wrote upon learning of Garcia’s passing.
If you couldn’t make it out to Montage Mountain this year, free livestreams are available online. Watch the stream of Sunday’s festivities below.
You can also catch up on what happened with Relix’s daily recaps:
For more information visit ThePeachMusicFestival.com.