Saturday and Sunday at The Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA was more of the same weather wise with scorching heat, humidity and powerful storms that would delay several sets in the evening. Despite the elements, festivalgoers all across Montage Mountain appeared to be in better spirits for the later half, perhaps due to an acceptance and understanding of these factors, but more likely due to the outstanding music delivered to their eyes and ears. Headliners like Trey Anastasio Band and Umphrey’s McGee delivered top notch sets on Friday and Gov’t Mule and new supergroup “RB&B” brought the festival to a truly satisfying close on Sunday.
New York’s own Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds swooped onto the main stage early in the afternoon. Arleigh Kincheloe and brother Jackson, along with the rest of the birds energized the mountain with their soulful yet funky performance fans have come to love.
The afternoon also welcomed back Tom Hamilton to the Grove Stage with his band American Babies. Hamilton is a talented songwriter and although his presence in Thursday night’s Pink Floyd Electron set was nothing short of jaw dropping, the change of pace with the lively Americana feel to his afternoon set is exhilarating as well. Also during this time, metal rockers Brown Sabbath slayed over on the Mushroom Stage. Their frontman is as comical as he is talented, addressing the crowd as “motherfuckers” in between sets. As the name suggests, the Austin based band covers the catalog of Black Sabbath, but they do so with horns and Latin-style percussion for a unique experience both metal heads and hippies can appreciate.
The darlings of the festival scene, Twiddle, brought a massive crowd to the Mushroom Stage mid-afternoon on Saturday. This would likely have been a massive pool party like that of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong the day before, but the wave pool was closed. No matter though as fans packed the area to witness the rising stars welcome Russ Lawton on drums and Ray Paczkowski on keys, both from Soule Monde and TAB, join the band for “White Light.” Bassist Zdenek Gubb proved himself to be MVP of the set with powerful and funky bass playing that could be felt at the very top of Montage Mountain.
The highlight of Friday afternoon was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Because the Grateful Dead means so much to so many people in the community, it’s no wonder their set drew such a massive crowd to the main stage. Joe Russo and friends bring a thrilling and welcomed update to the classics so many of us have come to cherish. Their set included greats like “Eyes of the World,” “The Wheel” and a full and powerful “Terrapin Station.”
As was the trend each evening at Peach, Mother Nature made her presence known with continuous flashes of lightening that would come with strong winds, rain and thunderstorms forcing The Lennon Claypool Delirium to prematurely end their predictably spacey yet original set. Fans took cover under the Pavilion as the first part of the storm passed overhead flooding the floors under their feet. Once passed it was finally time for the great Trey Anastasio Band to hit the stage. The pavilion, now packed with fans, housed tunes like “Cayman Review,” “Magilla,” “Gotta Jibboo” and “Money Love and Change.” As soon as “Sand” started to pick up, Anastasio was forced to tell fans to once again seek cover due to more severe weather. Once given the all clear, TAB returned to the stage to pick up “Sand” where they left off. Later in the set, Trey shared the story of how former TAB trombonist Jeff Cressman left the band to play with Santana. When Trey asked him who might replace him, Cressman suggested his daughter Natalie. Jeff was then welcomed to the stage and the father-daughter team thrilled the crowd together during “Push on Til’ the Day” to close one of the best sets of the entire Peach weekend.