2012 All Good Music Festival – Part One

[Editor’s Note: We have two different stories from All Good this year. Instead of merging Katy Joe DeSantis and Charles Izenstark’s work together, I decided to give them their own space. Katy’s review is part one and Charles’ review will be published tomorrow as part two.]

[Words & Photos by Katy Joe DeSantis]


All Good


Due to several bumps on our journey to Legend Valley, including taking a 40-minute wrong-way detour after getting media passes on our way to the venue, I missed Trampled by Turtles AND Bob Weir, two acts I had been really looking forward to. However, I was able to get in to the fest, park, grab my shit and make my way down to the stages in time for The Werks, one of the weekend’s bands that I have seen the most. Being it my first time at All Good, I knew to expect the glory of no overlapping sets, but I was surprised at how convenient the set-up was for the crowd. As Bob Weir finished, the huge crowd at the main stage pretty much stayed in the same place, shifting slightly to the left to focus on the next act.


The Werks
The Werks were already on stage and began jamming as soon as Weir had walked off, leading into a set that lasted less than an hour, but was explosive nonetheless. A favorite that I have seen several times before, they did not disappoint. Most memorably to me was their cover of James Brown’s “Sex Machine,” a song that I couldn’t remember ever seeing them playing before. Their set lasted only about 45 minutes, and I heard a lot of people grumbling that they wished it would have been longer, but they did use the set as an opportunity to announce some exciting additions to their festival, The Werk Out (September 20-23) – including Lotus, EOTO and Dark Star Orchestra.


Phil Lesh & Friends
Unlike The Werks’ immediate and explosive start to their set, Phil Lesh and Friends offered listeners plenty of time to anticipate what was coming up. The way they opened surprised me… I was unprepared when the random tuning and soundchecks morphed into “Truckin’” without a warning, bringing the crowd from their individual conversations to total attention to the stage. Despite his age, Lesh seemed youthful and giddy, grinning at the crowd the whole time and looking like he was enjoying the hell out of every moment he had on stage.  Having never seen him before, I was surprised at the number of popular Dead songs they played – for some reason, I would have thought that after so many years of playing the same classics over and over again they might want to switch it up, but favorites like “Casey Jones” were played with enthusiasm, and pulled in the best of the crowd.


When I first saw the lineup, I was surprised to see Shpongle’s set on the first night, and was honestly wondering if I was going to be mentally prepared for The Masquerade after the 5 hour drive down and other various headaches that had happened earlier that day.  However, after my nerves had calmed and I had gotten used to the set up for shooting, I was super excited to see Simon Posford’s display with a clear head.  I have seen the Masquerade twice before, and this time I definitely felt a more spacey vibe than before.  I was more easily able to separate Simon’s DJing from the whole act than I have in the past, and some of his tracks seemed to almost verge on the edge of house compared to what I’ve seen from him before. The crowd started to peter off in toward the end of the set, and although it may have been because I was toward the back, he seemed to lose a lot of peoples’ interest – although I wasn’t too surprised, seeing as the crowd at All Good seemed more apt to jam waving hair wildly, than to stay up all night for Simon’s mind-expanding set. He played until 3:30am, and stated he would have played longer if he could for the devoted plans who requested him to. The end of the night was welcome for me, as it had been a long day with the trip down, and Elephant Revival was opening the next day.

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Jeremy Frazier is the editor-in-chief of Soundfuse.