Florida’s Wanee Festival kicked into full gear on Friday with the first round of 2018 headlining performances from the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, including a two-set affair from Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band and an offering from Widespread Panic that closed out the first full day of music on the main Peach Stage, plus a late-night set from North Mississippi Allstars that featured a number of guests and tributes to the festival’s history.
Lesh and company took the stage in the early evening and delivered a first set that kicked off with Grateful Dead tunes like “Cumberland Blues” before Neal Casal, who had played the fest earlier in the day with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, added his guitar to “New Minglewood Blues,” “Ramble On Rose,” “Mr. Charlie,” “The Music Never Stopped” and “Scarlet Begonias.” Lesh and his collaborators then closed out their first of two performances at Wanee with a second set filled with more Dead favorites like “Estimated Prophet,” “The Other One,” “Morning Dew” and “I Know You Rider.”
Widespread Panic also got their first shot at Wanee, playing a one-set show and closing out the Peach Stage for the first of two nights. Their set was full of Panic staples and ultimately came to a close with a two-song encore that started with a guest spot from North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson on Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” and rounded out with “Climb to Safety.”
North Mississippi Allstar’s late-night set included a parade of guests and nods to the festival’s roots in the world of the Allman Brothers Band, including sit ins from Marcus King, Grahame Lesh, Berry Duane Oakley (son of founding ABB bassist Berry Oakley), Jason Crosby, Vaylor Trucks (son of founding ABB drummer Butch Trucks), Jack Ryan and more. Highlights from the night’s offerings included Grahame Lesh taking lead vocals on “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad,” King playing the ABB staple “Crossroads” followed by a spirited improvisation with Oakley and NMA, and an encore performance of “We Bid You Goodnight” with lyrical nods to legends who have passed away in the last few years like Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, Tom Petty and Prince.
See the Phil Lesh and Widespread Panic setlist below as they appear in our Box Scores section. Wanee wraps up today and tonight with more sets from both bands plus Chris Robinson’s As the Crow Flies, Karl Denson’s Allman Brothers tribute, George Porter and Runnin’ Pardners, Soul Rebels, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and more.
Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band
Wanee Music Festival, Live Oak, FL
Set I: Born Cross Eyed > Cream Puff War > Cumberland Blues, New Minglewood Blues*, Ramble On Rose*, Mr. Charlie*, The Music Never Stopped*, Scarlet Begonias*
Set II: Estimated Prophet > Galilee, Unbroken Chain > The Other One > He’s Gone > The Other One > Morning Dew > I Know You Rider
Notes: *w/ Neal Casal
Wanee Music Festival Live Oak, FL
Tail Dragger, Chilly Water, One Arm Steve, Holden Oversoul, Who Do You Belong To?, Shut Up and Drive, 1 × 1, Cotton Was King, Driving Song > Disco > Porch Song > Drums > Jam > Greta > Space Wrangler > Driving Song > Blight, North, Action Man
Enc: Smokestack Lightning*, Climb To Safety
*with Luther Dickinson