Event- Gathering of the Vibes (http://www.govibes.com )
Venue- Seaside Park
Date- July 21st ,2012
City/ State- Bridgeport, CT
Every year since 2007 the Gathering of the Vibes has taken place at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT. It was truly an honor to help out localbandreview (LBR) this year as a part of the official Vibes Media Team.
I arrived on Thursday morning, got setup and met some really great people in the media tent. I then took a walk over to the Green Vibes stage to check out Consider the Source. They were really good and had a interesting OM logo or something as their backdrop. It was quite the showmanship having that there. Their guitar player had some pretty intense licks and riffs too.
I stuck around the Green Vibes Stage a little longer to check out Barboletta: A Santana Tribute. These guys were absolutely awesome. Barboletta is Tim Palmieri ( Kung Fu and The Breakfast), Johnny Durkin (of Deep Banana Blackout and Manchado) and Adrian Tramontano ( Kung Fu) on drums, along with Yahuba Garcia-Torres (RMB) on percussion, Cyrus Madan on Keys (Deep Banana Blackout), and Rich Zurkowski- Bass ( The Durkins ). Barboletta is also Sanatna’s last jazz/rock album so the tribute band is appropriately named with heavy hitters like Palmieri, Adrian Tramontano, and Johnny Durkin who truly deliver the Santana feel. These guys absolutely BROUGHT IT to the vibes, killing it on guitar riffs in true Tim fashion, spectacular keyboard progressions by Cyrus, and stellar drums by the percussion section. This was a great way to start off the Vibes on Thursday and I really hope they come back next year. BRAVO!!!!!!
I was really having a great time at the Green Vibes stage. I think sometimes people under estimate how good the bands are on this stage. Many people stay at the main stage all weekend and never wander over to Green Vibes. But I was having so much fun I decided to stick around for the Nigel Hall Band. They were really good. I loved the hat that their guitar played had which said “RAGE” in funky letters. Really good jams and Johnny Durkin even joined them on drums.
I then needed to relax a bit before heading to see Ryan Montbleau Band and Strangefolk. So I headed over to the media tent for some shade. I took a few photos of Ryan Montbleau Band who was incredible as usual. Ryan is so awesome. The lyrics to his songs really move me. The crowd was obviously loving his stuff too. I love his raps too. They really flow well and this is a thing that is somewhat new (within the past year or so) to his repitore.
I then spent some time in the main stage pit taking some good shots of Strangefolk. This band is so good and has been around for so many years. They are a mainstay at Vibes and to have the Strangefolk reunion is always a special time at GOTV.. I took a break after Strangefolk and went back in the main stage pit for Dark Star Orchestra which was one of the highlights if not THE highlight of my weekend.
I’ve been seeing DSO play since about 2002. They were great then but they have evolved into something even better now. Bob Eaton plays the Bob Weir part so well. Over the years there are times when I’ve been at a DSO show and dancing, not looking at the stage, and I wonder if that is really Bob Weir up there. On top of all that, between Jeff Mattson playing guitar and the way his hair blows in the wind he really reminds me of that late 80s, early 90s Jerry Garcia. The fact that they recreate actual shows in their entirety that you may have attended 20 or 30 years ago really makes Dark Star Orchestra something special and unique. By far and large one of the best expierences of my weekend.
I came back on Friday afternoon and got to see some of Railroad Earth and the Revivalists. I love Railroad Earth so much. In some ways they put the A in Americana. Such folky songs put into a rock and improv format. It was such a beautiful set. Truly a vibes treat in more ways than one.
The surprise find of my weekend was the Revivalists. I was out in the crowd for this one when they busted out with ODB’s (Ol’ Dirty Bastard) “Got Your Money”. They did the tune so well and the crowd ate it up. It was fantastic. When I got home I checked them out on youtube and found a great version of them doing the Eminem and Dr.Dre tune “Forgot About Dre” with Warren Haynes. I couldn’t believe how good it was. I was also able to grab an interview with them in the media tent which I think we will end up posting on the LBR youtube channel soon. So make sure you stay tuned for that.
I needed to rest a bit at this point so I chilled out a little back in the media tent and listened to the Tedeschi Trucks band. Susan Tedeschi has such great vocal range, and Derek Trucks is incredible on guitar. An absolutely unreal set.
Next up was the other main highlight of my weekend. Phil Lesh & Friends. Wow did Phil bring it on Friday night. That was one heck of a Scarlet Begonias to start the set. And the Tom Thumb’s Blues really brought the Bob Dylan vibes which is so needed in today’s world. I was dancing my tail off and during Friend of the Devil and just having the time of my life. There is nothing quite like having the expierence of listening to one of the members of the Grateful Dead play at Gathering of the Vibes. The Vibes original intention was to continue the legacy of Jerry Garcia. I can’t tell you how much it means to all of us who attended the Vibes that spirit of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia is still going strong. The Uncle John’s Band song was sooo good……Phil was just on fire……..It was a set break at this point so I went to get some of that good Pizza at the Vibes food court. That really hit the spot.
I was on a Golden Road to Vibes so it was only fitting that Phil opened his second set with Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion. The St.Stephen during PL&F’s set was really good but the Standing on the Moon BLEW MY MIND AWAY!!!!!!!!! I left at this point but they ended the set with GDTRFB and the encore was a stellar Ripple.
It was really different this year being apart of the Vibes Media Team. I can’t thank LSG, Mike Lawson and LBR enough for allowing me to do this. It really gave me a new expierence at GOTV that I had never had before. I don’t think some of us Connecticut residents realize how lucky were are to have this kind of festival right here in Bridgeport. It really enriches the areas culture, brings tons of money into the local economies, and the Vibes also has many activities for families to do on Family Day (Sunday). It is a authentic festival unlike any other in the Northeast. There’s an old saying at Gathering of the Vibes which states “Take home what you learned and use it to change the world”. That’s what I plan to do…….and I hope you will too.
CTPost.com has reported that the city council of Bridgeport signed a new contract with Gathering of the Vibes in 2012 which would allow for the Vibes to return for another 5 years. Below is a posting from Archive.org where you can listen to the Phil Lesh and Friends Set from Friday July 26, 2013 at the Gathering of the Vibes.
Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)>Lunatec V2>Benchmark AD2K> Sound Devices 722 (24/48)
Lineage: Sound Devices 722>Sound Forge 10.0>CD Wave>flac(16)
Taped by: Z-Man
Transferred by: Z-Man
Keywords: z-man; phil lesh; friends; live music