Bluesy guitar virtuoso, Gary Clark, Jr. brought out-of-sight guitar licks and powerful vocals to the Oak Stage in the early afternoon, as the heat took over while fans sought or made any shade possible. Clark opened with “Catfish Blues” (Robert Petway) and “Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round”, and as his guitar playing warmed up, so did the crowd, but the cold local craft beer helped dull the heat. Clark played an hour and a half with mostly originals, including “Don’t Owe You a Thing”, a fuzz-guitar finger-picking blues ballad, B.B.King’s “3 O’Clock Blues” and the sultry “Bright Lights”.
Tedeschi Trucks Band proved to be one of the best acts of the weekend, with adoring affection for each other that speaks through their music. The crowd cheered with all the variety from soul, blues, and southern rock that was full of heart. They played blues classics such as “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” (by Hambone Willie Newbern), “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” (Willie Johnson), a rousing version of Derek and the Domino’s “Keep on Growing”, and a beautiful version of “Bound for Glory”, which was dedicated to the late Brian Farmer. In a 10+ minute long “Misunderstood”, Derek showed off his deft slide guitar, moving to “Bound for Glory”, graced by Susan’s angelic vocals and soulful guitar, along with intense Hammond riffing by Kofi Burbridge.
Wilco opened with their 2001 classic, “War on War”, from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. During Wilco’s set, a passing sun shower provided a brief relief from the summer heat, as well as a bright double rainbow across the horizon. Frontman Jeff Tweedy cracked jokes about the weather, quipping “don’t rainbows suck?” during “I’m the Man Who Loves You”, then teased “Let it Go” from the film Frozen. As they dove into some serious jamming, keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen smashed his keys with a pillow. Guitar duels ensued between Nels Cline and Pat Sansone, with rhythmic backing by bassist John Stirratt and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco played other favorites, “Handshake Drugs”, “California Stars” and “Kingpin”, closing their set with “A Shot in the Arm”.
Phil Lesh and Friends kicked off Saturday night with a slew of segued songs, starting with a killer “Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” and ending with a beautiful “Bird Song”. Mingled into the line was a somber “Wharf Rat”, along with a picturesque “Eyes of the World” and a psychedelically-tinged “Caution”, augmented with great walking bass lines by Lesh and lovely organ fills by Medeski. “Dark Star” was enhanced by the soulful vocals of Warren Haynes. During the Beatles’ “She Said, She Said”, Phil & Friends’ set was cut short due to a nearby lightning storm, which prompted Lockn’ authorities to order an orderly evacuation of the concert field.
‘You can’t have a Panic show without a little panic’, as a few fans commented while the skies grew dark over the fans rushing to their campsites. The rain delay was lifted after an hour, with Widespread Panic starting on time. Steve Winwood sat in for strong vocals that were as cool as the fresh air after the rain. “Can’t Find My Way Home” went into dark jam territory as Winwood added a touch of the blues. Sax man Randall Bramblett joined alongside Steve and Widespread for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” through nearly the end of the set. Winwood played the best version of “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”, which was also covered by Phil the night before. Winwood’s powerful organ solo brought recognizable delight for the set closer, “Gimme Some Lovin’.”
One of the biggest acts of the weekend was the main stage closer of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The legendary rock group opened with the iconic “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” (The Byrds), blasting through top hits “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “Free Fallin’” and “Yer So Bad”, with Petty on acoustic. His set finished with a rocking “Refugee” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream”. Petty encored with “You Wreck Me” and a sizzling “American Girl”. The familiar in-your-face rock had stretched out jams, and was much better live. Tom Petty is like hanging out with old friends, making jokes about music and poor memories of the past.