I’m working behind the main stage, where the wireless signal is better, and John Butler Trio has just finished owning a massive crowd in a two-hour set. The trio’s musical connection with each other, using dynamics to pull the audience along and evoke wild screams and cheers throughout, was uncanny.
I missed the Infamous Stringdusters, but made it to the main stage in time to hear their last couple of songs. Those boys do dust some strings.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is more than a showcase for Isbell’s songwriting work, some of the finest in American rock and roll. Every good rock and roller needs a smoking guitarist, and Isbell has that in Sadler Vaden. The songs, whether they came from the mellower, more introspective work of the new “Southeastern” or the more rocking of “Here We Rest,” kept the crowd into it. And Isbell’s voice, live, showed more clearly his Muscle Shoals, Ala., background than what I hear on his records.
Citizen Cope is next at Hill Holler, while Larry and His Flask are at the beer garden. Looks like I’m missing Tauk again, as that experimental act is close to done at the Global Village Stage, and there’s no way I’ll make it.
However, another of the On the Rise bands, No BS! Brass, was blasting while I was working at the garden stage porch. I love me some Led Zeppelin, and I love me some big old horn sections with tuba, and when No BS! hit “The Ocean,” I wanted to go berserk. Probably a good thing I had work to do!
Oh, and check out this call-and-response between Butler and the main stage crowd. Crank up your volume a bit — I recorded it back in the media yurt.