Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
I've always loved music, but never attended a big festival until last weekend when I joined 20,000 or so other s in the beautiful Nelson County countryside for Lockn' - four days that renewed my faith in the spirit of rock 'n' roll, which I had all but given up for dead.
Lengthy waits to get into the festival on the first day were just first-year blues as the organizers tried to move people to their camping spots as quickly as possible .
I waited about four hours myself, but that was no different than tailgating before a college football game - standing around, sipping a beverage, chatting with strangers.
Tying us together was a love of music and specifically of the featured bands . Once I heard my first set, from Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule), at dusk Thursday, I knew we were in for a special weekend.
The great music just kept coming and eventually I realized that with a few exceptions, all these bands were basically the descendants of the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and early Pink Floyd, and even further back to the old blues men like Muddy Waters .
Over the last 20 years or so, I haven't listened to much actual "rock" music. I thought it had all morphed into top 40 or oldies acts. I've turned more to country and bluegrass and jazz and rootsy acoustic stuff.
But listening to Chris Robinson and The Black Crowes blast through the loudest version of the old song "Hush" ever heard in Nelson County or maybe anywhere convinced me I was wrong. These bands were good, really good.
Over the 20-something shows, I realized that live music like this is the way forward for rock, which is so dependent on volume and power for its effect. I love my iPod, but it isn't the same through a pair of earphones.
Here's hoping that Lockn' returns to Nelson for many more years of peace, love, understanding and music. Turn it up.
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims