Late-night Saturday started up the hill on the Triangle Stage, for a rare appearance of Hot Tuna Acoustic, with founders Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady on guitar and bass, and Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin. For his 17th birthday, Jorma’s son Zach joined Hot Tuna on stage to play guitar during their opener, “Been So Long”. Hot Tuna did a number of classic covers by Reverend Gary Davis, such as “I Am the Light of this World”, with Jorma’s incredible fingerpicking and Jack’s virtuoso walking bass thunder, which really took off at the last half of “Hesitation Blues” and the lively “Keep On Truckin'” encore, as well as sprinkled throughout their set, along with Barry’s tasteful mandolin picking and occasional audience support on the choruses.
Late-night closers and the real “break-out” band for Lockn’ was Bustle In Your Hedgerow, who completely burned up the hillside at the Relix Shakedown Stage with passionate instrumental versions of Led Zeppelin songs, bringing a fresh intensity to these classic rock anthems. Led by the multifaceted Marco Benevento (with his army of keyboards and circuit-benders), Dave Dreiwitz of Ween on bass (a modern-day John Paul Jones), Scott Metzger (of Particle & Rana) on guitar (shredding Jimmy Page licks with aplomb), and the ever-limber Joe Russo (Furthur) on drums, pounded out Bonham beats to the responsive crowd. Bustle gained many new fans at Lockn’ with incredible renditions of “For Your Life”, which went into a dark and mysterious “No Quarter”, as Marco unleashed alien sounds from his vast array of keyboards and effects, with stratospheric keyboard solos.
Few people were sleeping, even at the campsites, but everyone said how much they loved listening to Bustle. A Native American tribal dance circle evolved around the sole campfire, and fans slowly soaked in the Bustle set as the three days of music, camping and walking started to sink in.
Sunday started out cool and mellow, with a welcome cloud cover to thwart the blazing late summer sun. Keller Williams played his Grateful Gospel set on the Early Triangle Stage at 11 am, with classics like “Ripple” done with a bluegrass feel, assisted by a skilled gospel vocal troupe. Keller then went into a light and airy version of the Dead’s “Eyes of the World”, where fans didn’t mind another ‘cover collision’, as it was fresh and tastily enhanced by soothing vocals and guitar work. Hailing from Charlottesville, Erin and the Wildfire opened the main stage at noon to a few early risers, but more fans arose from their camps to flood the concert grounds for SOJA, who brought a large local following and fired up the crowd.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals kicked the afternoon into overdrive, with straight-ahead power rock anthems like “Ah Mary”, “Low Road”, and “Sweet Hands”. “Nothing but the Water” went into part of Sly’s “I Want to Take You Higher” and ended with an eerie”White Rabbit”. Potter dedicated their encore to the memory of Brian Farmer with a sorrowful “I Shall Be Released”, with Grace taking the helm of the B3 and belting out vocals that echoed off the hills. GP&N ended their set and completed the tribute with The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends”, propelled by Grace’s blasting organ & vocals.
Willie Nelson treated long-time fans to straight-ahead versions of many classics like “Crazy”, “You Were Always On My Mind” and “Georgia”, playing almost 30 songs in an hour and a half. He joked throughout, making fun of the hard road life and introducing songs like “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” with related stories to provide context. Wilco had another memorable set, with “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”, “Hesitating Beauty” and “Hoodoo Voodoo”, finishing with “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”. Widespread Panic also played a great closing set on Sunday, treating fans to Neil Young’s “Vampire Blues”, where Randall Bramblett again joined the band, this time on harmonica. They closed with a funky version of the Bill Withers classic,”Use Me”, with Susan Tedeschi joining on guitar and vocals, and Bramblett on sax.