Cider Mag Winter 2015 Issue 52 - Page 20

Gathering of the Vibes 20 Anniversary th July 30 - Aug 2 The String Cheese Incident featuring David Grisman and Peter Rowan Written by Marc Lovely Photos by Sean Casini | Isaac Nines Photography F or two solid decades the Gathering of the Vibes has been a hot spot for music enthusiasts, blending love, family, art, and music all into one remarkable weekend that is dedicated to the memory of Jerry Garcia. While it is almost hard to believe that this marked the 20th anniversary of the festival, the music and memories pile up in endless columns in your mind, bringing you back through the years. This monstrous festival was born back in 1996, a year after the passing of Jerry Garcia, to local businessman Ken Hays and promoter Bob Kennedy on the campus of SUNY Purchase. Skip ahead to present day and you can see just how much has changed. From the venues, to the people, to the music, the Vibes has evolved into a carnival-like waterfront paradise where you can easily lose yourself. For 10 years straight Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT has been the home for Vibes. Each year the Vibes crew pull together a surefire group of musicians that stop at nothing to melt the faces of the attendees. Many are first-timers to the scene, but you have to give credit to the bands that were there for the festival’s inauguration: Max Creek and Strangefolk. It would be negligent not to mention Deep Banana Blackout who has been to 20 • CIDER MAG • every single Vibes excluding the first. Besides the history behind it, you can always be sure that some great collaboration will be thrown into the mix—some kind of new twist on old, familiar songs. This year there were a few that stand out—most notably, Warren Haynes & the Seaside All-Stars. Haynes, alongside George Porter Jr., Jackie Greene, Branford Marsalis, Joe Russo, and Marco Benevento merged together to form this super group and what they did with their time slot could not get any closer to perfection. The band blasted through a plethora of unbelievable covers, taking bits from all corners of the music world. Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Dr. John, Traffic, and The Meters were all covered and were just a modicum of examples of the versatility that this group displayed. The String Cheese Incident summoned Peter Rowan and David Grisman to join in their first of two sets on Friday night, which included a number of classic Old and In the Way tunes that would have made Jerry himself smile. The pairing of these greats hit everyone with a warm bucket of nostalgia, dousing the night with a bluegrass set that was warm and fuzzy. The familiar twang of the banjo, alongside Rowan’s acoustic guitar and Grisman’s fi- Winter • 2015