As of Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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- As great a vibe as Wanee has, it is absolutely primarily about amazing music. In a festival filled with highlights, perhaps the most memorable was Widespread Gov’t Mule Panic’s 18-minute-plus version of Neil Young’s classic “Cortez the Killer.” Panic’s Jimmy Herring and John Bell added their guitar magic to Mule leader Haynes’ chops, and Haynes and Bell swapped off vocals that most definitely did Neil himself proud. Panic bassist Dave Schools also played in what was a truly transcendent moment.
- Leon Russell, whose gravelly voice is still amazing, offered what had to be the most unique encore in rock concert history. After playing a rousing hour and 15 minutes worth of songs like “Tight Rope,” “Delta Lady” and “Back to the Island” — alas, no “Lady Blue,” but I’m quibbling — Leon told the adoring crowd, “This is the part in the show where we walk off stage and pretend to leave and you yell until we come back and play more. As anyone who knows me knows, I’m not a big fan of walking (Russell uses a cane), so let’s just pretend we left, you yelled and now we’re back to play.” Classic.
- The young chick in the pink top — one of several fans invited up on stage to dance — doing a handstand during Michael Franti and Spearhead’s set that inspired Franti to join her in his own headstand, a position from which he actually sang a few lines. Only at Wanee.
- The Allmans doing an excellent version of their “No One to Run With.” “Sweet Melissa,” “One Way Out” and “Ramblin’ Man” are favorites for a reason, but this much rarer tune is equally as great.
- Speaking of Allman/Wanee news, Gregg Allman stunned fans at the Mushroom Stage by guesting with son Devon’s Royal Southern Brotherhood Thursday for a five-song set that included the Brothers’ “One Way Out.”
- Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle also played with the Allmans during RSB’s set, then proved to be one of the most congenial musicians at the festival by chatting and taking photos with fans Saturday at the media entrance to the Peach Stage.
- Best new song to debut at Wanee: The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Made Up Mind.” Husband-wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Allman’s guitarist Derek Trucks were at their best in this awesome Eric Clapton-at-the-”Crossroads” rocker.
- Another nominee for best musical moment of the festival: Haynes joining the boys in Panic to perform ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” Sweet!
- The indoor bathroom at the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park Country Store. It proved to be a safe haven for the less hearty who decided three-day-old port-a-pottys just weren’t cutting it. Long lines, however, had some entrepreneurs scalping places in line.
- The sustainability of sax great Maceo Parker, whose glory days were in backing James Brown and playing in George Clinton’s wack/funk crew Parliament/Funkadelic. At 70, Maceo can definitely still bring the funk.
- There were fewer hoola hoops at Wanee 2013, but there was an encouraging sign: The crowd was almost equal parts battle-tested Generation X fans, who came to see their road warrior favorites, and two to three younger generations who have been properly schooled in good music. Indeed, these kids are all right.
- The unquestionable MVP of Wanee ‘13: Haynes, who played two sets with the Allmans, a rousing set with Gov’t Mule and guested with Widespread Panic and Franti. The man is a machine.
More like this story
- Wanee festival has become an area favorite ( April 13, 2013 )
- Panic joins Allmans for Wanee ( January 24, 2013 )
- Wanee perfects the festival formula ( April 27, 2013 )
- Neville's band gives early Wanee-goers bonus music ( March 8, 2013 )
- Allman Brothers Band's 10-year run as Wanee festival hosts to end with headlining performances ( April 8, 2014 )