Posted Aug 1st, 2015 (12:38 pm) by James Hughes
Gathering Of The Vibes 2015: Day One
Image by James Hughes

As the 20 birthday of the Grateful Dead tribute festival began torrential downpours made their way through Seaside Park here in Bridgeport, CT.

The early arrivals were blessed with a quality handful of shows ranging from the heralded Dark Star Orchestra’s three-hour jam set to Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe rocking the late night. I made my way through the wind and the rain to only find that the skies had cleared for the inaugural day of the weekend. The change in the weather gave everyone hope for the weekend ahead.

Thursday’s Dark Star Orchestra appearance has become a tradition here at the gathering. Their prolonged jams flooded the Vibe Tribe with classic hits from The Dead. After watching the crowd dance like seaweed in the water for just about two hours the time had come for the late night set from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.

The under-the-radar jazz group brought fistfuls of funk to the Green Vibes Stage, all while being the best dressed band of the day, and probably the weekend rocking matching black suits and white Adidas.

Friday’s festivities, for us, began with a soulful performance from Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. The classic sound from The Dap Kings was a great platform for the never-aging energy of Sharon Jones – who came out guns a blazing. Their performance proved to be one of substance and entertainment that a young, electronically focused, crowd could benefit listening to if they haven’t already. The show set the stage for their tour mates, {inserted a comma here. there is definitely a verbal paise between Tedeschi Trucks Band. The rockers formality known as The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band hit the Vibes Main Stage ready to wow the crowd. Their southern rock influence was a magnificent backdrop for the setting sun. Caping off their set with a bang, Tedeschi Trucks Band brought out their tour partners-in-crime for a boistrous finale.

Headed into the final shows of the night, Greg Allman and The String Cheese Incident, the Vibe Tribe had arrived and were in full festival mode. The momentum of the day led up to these legendary performers hitting the stage. Greg Allman, of The Allman Brothers Band if you needed to know, rocked a set filled with classic hits like “I’m No Angel” and “Melissa.” The String Cheese Incident, famous for their long standing relationship with Jerry Garcia and their stong bluegrass ideal, fired away with a two set performance featuring special guests David Grisman and Peter Rowan.

The night concluded with late night performances included Electron, the side project of The Disco Biscuits Marc Brownstein, and Oktopus, featuring special guest Todd Stoops and Jason Hann. The night came to a close with a massive moon shining brightly wishing all a fun night.

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