The rumors turned out to be true. Roger Waters was backed by My Morning Jacket, Lucius and his longtime friend G.E. Smith for the duration of his headlining set at the Newport Folk Festival. The Pink Floyd legend took the stage following a surprise set from MMJ (who were also joined by Lucius for “What a Wonderful Man”) and got things going with a brand new song called “Crystal Clear Brooks.”
Next came a stirring rendition of Pink Floyd’s The Wall track “Mother” before going into his Amused to Death solo tunes “”Bravery Being Out of Range” and a cover of John Prine’s “Hello In There.” Waters kept the Floyd numbers coming with a “Wish You Were Here” that featured some violin work from Nickel Creek/Watkins Family Hour’s “Sarah Watkins.” Waters then invited Amy Helm to the stage to help with Buddy Miller’s “Wide River To Cross,” which he dedicated to his old friend—and Amy’s father—Levon Helm. Waters continued with the title track from Amused to Death, which was followed by a bombastic, crowd-pleasing rendition of “Brain Damage > Eclipse.” Waters then brought Watkins and Helm back out as he wrapped up the show with a fitting cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
Waters’ set wasn’t the only one to feature a bevy of guests yesterday. The Lone Bellow also welcomed some friends including Leon Bridges (“Watch Over Us”), Lucius (‘When Will I Be Loved”), Call To War (“Sara Watkins”) and New Orleans’ New Breed Brass Band (“Morning” and “The One You Should’ve Let Go”).
The Newport Folk Festival will continue today with sets from The Decembrists, Sufjan Stevens, Jason Isbell, Courtney Barnett, Sturgill Simpson, Spirit Family Reunion, Nikli Lane and many more.