Just being at Targhee and having two days off was killer. I had anticipated Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings would be my personal highlight, and they were. That woman has more energy than even Michael Franti. The “Female James Brown” label fits like a glove. She nailed about every dance move in the book, and her sharp wit makes her one of the most comfortable performers I’ve ever seen. Incredibly tight band.
It was a surprise to see Grace Potter & The Nocturnals without bassist Catherine Popper. Evidently, there was notice just two hours prior to taking stage that they would be without the key member. Medical emergency was the reason, but rumors have already flown about a possible drug problem. Either way, The Nocturnals’ guitarists made up for it, hammering double guitars (sans bass) and even trading off on bass throughout the set.
Grace was in fine form. After coming out at 150%, they launched into some slicker, poppier tunes from the new album as well as an acoustic set that featured Gillian Welch’s “Elvis Presley Blues.” I lost interest mid-set, but a “Cortez the Killer” encore brought the energy back to par.
Saturday was laid back for me. Really enjoyed Jackie Greene’s set, highlighted by a good mix of his original material spliced with some Dead and even a Mother Hips tune. The double-guitar work in that band is top-notch. Jame McMurtry put on a hell of a set as well, heavy tensioned and a could counter balance to Sara Bareilles’ uninteresting set of formulated pop. And Spearhead–how can you not enjoy yourself, at least for a little while?
Otherwise, I just enjoyed being there, seeing friends, soaking up everything that makes Targhee a great venue (except for taking out the public entry adjacent to stage). These were my people.