eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'liveforlivemusic_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',138,'0']));Following a rain delay on the festival’s first day, Khruangbin kicked off the festivities on the main stage. After working through “Maria También”, “Dern Kala”, and “August 10”, guitarist Mark Speer made an announcement that elicited a roar from the damp—though not dampened—LOCKN’ crowd: “Seeing as how it’s a LOCKN’ reunion tonight, we got a special guest that’s going to come onstage with us now. This is very rare and we never do this, but our very good friend Trey Anastasio wants to come up and play some guitar with Khruangbin. Needless to say, we are very honored and surprised, so let’s see how this goes.” Trey would go on to play with the Houston, TX-native trio for the remainder of their set. You can read more about the surprise Trey/Khruangbin collaboration here.
While this marked the first time that Trey Anastasio and Khruangbin collaborated onstage, Trey has been signaling his fandom of the fast-rising trio for some time. As he told Relix in March, “My daughter turned me on to Khruangbin after she saw them at a festival a couple years ago, and I love them. They have their finger on the pulse. I love how melody-centric they are, particularly the bass, which was the first thing to catch my ear. They sound like they are mining for the universal melody. I believe in that. Music beyond stylistic boundaries—it feels borderless.”eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'liveforlivemusic_com-box-4','ezslot_4',108,'0']));
Last year, Phish had begun playing some Khruangbin records during their set breaks, and word of this made it back to the band. As bassist Laura Lee told Live For Live Music in a recent interview, “So that happened, and then I told our agents, I was like, ‘When are we going to play with Phish?’ And they were like, [in a serious tone] ‘Laura, Phish [doesn’t] ever have support! Don’t you know this about Phish!?’ I’m like, ‘Sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t know!’ [laughs].”
Earlier this year, Khruangbin had the distinction of being one of just two acts to open for Trey’s unusual Ghosts of the Forest project. As Laura conceded to Live For Live Music, “This opportunity came along, and that’s about as close [to playing with Phish] as it gets.” If only she knew then what would happen at LOCKN’ 2019…
Following the surprise sit-in with Khruangbin on Thursday, the highly anticipated mutual collaboration between Trey Anastasio and Derek Trucks/Tedeschi Trucks Band began on Friday night with a headlining performance by Trey Anastasio Band. TAB closed down the LOCKN’ main stage on the festival’s second day with two sets, the second of which featured Derek Trucks on guitar throughout. After a notably brief first set by Trey’s 8-piece solo outfit, the band returned to the stage for their second set with Trucks in tow.
Wasting no time, the Derek Trucks-augmented band dove into Phish/TAB crossover “Set Your Soul Free”. On this first tune and the rest of the Phish-heavy set that followed, Derek Trucks proved to invigorate the band and its leader with his searing slide guitar work. From “Everything’s Right” to “Camel Walk” to “Ghost”, “Blaze On”, and “Dark and Down”, Trucks’ outstanding contributions made each song—and their ensuing jams—more powerful than the last.
Toward the end of the set, Derek’s wife and Tedeschi Trucks Band co-bandleader Susan Tedeschi emerged onstage to duet with Trey on a rendition of Ghosts of the Forest lament, “A Life Beyond The Dream“. While this song has started to make its way into both Phish and TAB setlists since it debuted during the inaugural Ghosts of the Forest run earlier this year, this version featuring Susan’s soulful vocals and Derek’s tasteful accompaniment made it easily the most memorable one yet. Susan would stick around for another newer Trey song, “Rise/Come Together”, before ceding the stage to Trey, Derek, and company for a “Push On ‘Til The Day” set closer.
With time for a few more, Trey and Derek returned to the stage with acoustic guitars in hand to kick off their encore with another Ghosts of the Forest tune, “Brief Time”, and newer-vintage Phish staple, “More”. Finally, Trey and Derek traded their acoustics in for their go-to axes and welcomed the rest of the band back to their places for a thrilling one-two punch of “46 Days” and “First Tube” to cap the monumental performance. You may have heard TAB before, but you’ve never heard them like this. You can watch a full video of TAB’s LOCKN set featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi here.
The following day, excitement built gradually as Trey prepared to return the favor by joining Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and the rest of the Tedeschi Trucks Band onstage for their second of two headlining sets. Following a first set filled with fan-favorites, TTB cleared the stage for a set break ahead of their billed Trey collab. When the band returned to the stage, they were flanked by both Trey and surprise guest guitarist, Doyle Bramhall II, a frequent collaborator of Eric Clapton‘s. Why is the Clapton connection important to note? Let’s go to the setlist…
The band opened the set with their first-ever rendition of an old Clapton favorite, Derek and the Dominos‘ “I Looked Away”. Another Derek and the Dominos debut, “Bell Bottom Blues”, was up next. The next song, “Keep On Growing”, was much less surprising, as TTB frequently fits this Derek and the Dominos cover into their live sets. However, while the song selection may not have been particularly exciting in a vacuum, its appearance after “I Looked Away” and “Bell Bottom Blues” was immediately telling. Those are the first three songs on Derek and the Dominos’ classic 1970 album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. That’s right, they were playing the whole damn thing! A superimposed image of the album’s cover art on the stage screens confirmed the suspicions: this set was going to be all Layla.
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The Trey- and Doyle- bolstered Tedeschi Trucks Band more than did justice to this iconic album, showering in scintillating guitar lines to mirror the lauded work by both Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on the original album. From “Key To The Highway” to “Little Wing”, from Susan’s bracing vocals on “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” to Trey and Derek’s dueling guitars on the set-closing “Layla”, this album recreation couldn’t have been more perfect. They even played “Thorn Tree In The Garden”, the album’s last track, over the PA as they cleared the stage. You can watch a full video of Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trey Anastasio, and Doyle Bramhall II’s recreation of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs at LOCKN’ and read more about the performance here.
Now that he’s done with LOCKN’, Trey’s focus will shift toward Phish’s annual Labor Day Weekend run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. However, he’ll surely never forget his thrilling, surprising, stylistically wide-ranging weekend in Arrington, VA. For what it’s worth, we won’t either.
Below, you can check out even more beautiful photos of Trey Anastasio’s big LOCKN’ weekend via photographer Dave Vann.
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