And just who was the big shot that said the weather was going to be perfect all weekend long? Hmmmn! Friday’s morning’s wake up brought showers that have lasted, mostly as nothing more than a drizzle, to Seaside Park, turning the concert field to a mud bath. But, as they say, the show must on, and it has indeed. They music started on Friday with the School of Rock Allstars, a bevy of kids that attend the prestigious performance based music school.
After a short respite, Vibes mainstay’s Assembly of Dust took the main stage, and host Gordon Taylor gave a shout out to call the crowd back to the stage. By the second song, “Revelry,” they’d drawn a decent crowd that wasn’t going to let a little rain dampen it’s mood. Front man Reed Genauer remains of the most under appreciated songwriters, crafting sweet, sing-a-long songs with lush harmonies. And his voice remains incredibly smooth as butter. He’s flanked by one of the most proficient elect guitarists, Adam Terrell, who added varying tones and colors throughout the set. The addition of keyboardist Jason Crosby gave tunes like a denser texture. Once again, AOD once again earned its keep, setting the bar high for bands following on the main stage.
Over on the Green Vibes Stage later, two first time Vibes bands brought back a lot of memories for many of fans strolling by the stage. Brooklyn’s Yarn and South Carolina’s Dangermuffin both play a rousing blend country laced southern rock, with in Yarn’s case, Mandolin and stand up bass. The two bands, akin in style and sound, collaborated on what turned out to be easily one of the day’s highlights. Yarn’s “Music’s Only Outlaw” was infused with an upbeat tempo, and moved through several improv passages, including twangy electric guitar. Then, with the festival history and the VibeTribe in mind, they covered The Grateful Dead’s “Turn On Your Lovelight,” and “Franklin’s Tower,” to close out the set. By this time they’d garnered quite a crowd despite the cold, falling rain and the crowd sang along and danced their asses off.
Both Dangermuffin and Yarn certainly attracted many new fans with this collaborative performance. It was a fitting end to some of the early musical highlights of the day, with the Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann following with his New Orleans funk band 7 Walkers, and later, both Bob Weir and Phill Lesh in separate acts.