Day Three began as I awoke during Glowstik Willy’s set. The Muncie based funk trio was a nice breakfast soundtrack and helped me regain my senses. My first real set of the day was from Rusted Root who are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut indie release Cruel Sun. The Pittsburgh based roots-rockers have become festival favorites due to their ability to engage their audience. This was never more the case as when the power went out in the middle of their set, forcing Glabicki and company into an impromptu drum circle, which included the drummer climbing the light rig in order to bang his sticks on it, to keep the party going. As the power was restored the band finished their set as if nothing had been amiss. First up on the side stage was Elemental Groove Theory who was playing their penultimate show before disbanding. This set was the only true disappointment of the weekend as the band seemed never to gel on stage.
Next up on the mainstage were the buckeye state’s own Ekoostik Hookah, a band that has hosted several of their own Hookahville festivals at the same location. For those who love a more traditional jamband feel with sweet melodies full of soaring guitar solos this band always delivers and their Werk Out set was no exception. Highlighted by a sit-in by the Werks’ Chris Houser on “Look Out Below,” this set allowed the festival to regain its momentum. The ZOOGMA set was sacrificed in favor of dinner and shooting the VIP meet-and-greet where the band traded laughs and memories with their fans.
Having missed the Lotus set at All Good due to a lack of stamina (which was unfortunate as many named their set the best of that weekend), I was looking forward to their Werk Out performance as a make good and the band obliged by delivering a stellar set of dance-rock. The brief set from Break Science was my first exposure to the Brooklyn based duo, although I had seen drummer Adam Deitch several times with Lettuce. While I did not become an instant convert their funkier take on the late night dance party was certainly appreciated.
The final set of the weekend was left for the festival hosts who topped off the weekend with a monumental set. With a sit-in by Space Panda (on keys) during Rollin’ (which smoothly segued into a killer version of Duck Farm) and Danny Sauers lending his sax to “Fall,” this set was full on intense jams. And their cover of the Beatles’ “We Can Werk it Out” (as spelled on the setlist) had everyone singing at the top of their lungs. But the most memorable moment for me, and perhaps of the funniest moment of the whole weekend, came during their encore when the band’s road/stage manager tried to tell the band that their curfew was quickly approaching. The look that Houser gave him was equal parts “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me” and “go ahead pull the plug – I dare you” was greeted by a simple shrug of surrender (although a quick call was made to the soundboard to turn down the volume a bit so as not to unnecessarily provoke the authorities). It was this attitude of maximizing the party until the very end that made the Werk Out the perfect way to end the summer.