Headed to Great Woods yesterday to see Big Summer Classic.
We arrived at the venue around 11:30, since doors were at 1 and the first band started at 1:30. We were in the second row of cars. This was a bit scary. Usually getting there an hour and a half before a show, the parking lot is pretty packed up. Not this time.
We hung out until about 2, drinking beers and making some food. At 2, we took a wander around and the parking lot was still pretty empty. A little bit later, we decided to head in. First surprise, you are allowed to bring your own sealed water in to Great Woods now, nice. Second surprise, no pat down. This was very strange considering it was a "hippie" show, you'd think they would have been looking for drugs and whatnot. Guess they were just happy that people were coming in (considering how empty the lot was).
It was VERY empty inside. It was almost like we were trespassing. We had already missed New Monsson. A little bit after we got in, Yonder Mountain String Band kicked off. These guys started off pretty hot, but got repetetive after a bit. Don't think I could sit through these guys for a full show.
Next up was Michael Franti & Spearhead. These guys put on a pretty fun show. Franti yelling "HOW YA FEELIN?" every minute or two got amusing quick. They are a good mix of rock and an R&B kind of feel. I dug em. They did a bunch of their own stuff and also did a pretty sick version of Sublime's "What I Got".
Next was Keller Williams. I enjoyed much of his set. He did a little U2 along the way and a lot of his own stuff. The parts I didn't like were where he programmed a lot of stuff and then went about his thing. I think I would have just more enjoyed him playing. He did bring the drummer from Umphrey's and the guitarist from New Monsson out for a couple of tunes, which sounded real good. Also, Martin Sexton came out for a few songs which were real good.
The next band was the one I was most looking to see, Umphrey's McGee. I have been listening to all sort of their stuff for a while now, so to finally get to see them live made me very excited. Well, they did NOT disappoint. Holy shit. These guys just ROCK. They are a good combination of Progressive Rock and Jam Music. You can tell they have listened to Dream Theater once or twice :) I was blown away. I can't wait to see a set list. They threw in "I've Got a Feelin'" by The Beatles for their cover. Michael Franti joined them for a tune too and did some nice freestyling.
Last was String Cheese Incident. Don had talked them up big time, so I was really hoping for something good. They didn't disappoint. Lots of fun, lots of different feels to the music. They covered Yes's "Roundabout". We cut out at the encore, so I have no clue of the collaboration at the end.
Over the course of the day the place filled in more and more and by the time SCI was on, it was actually pretty damn packed. Overall, great show, long day, but definitely something I would repeat. Now, if Umphrey's can just do a Boston show where I can see them for a full 2+ hours, I'll be real happy.