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SweetWater 420 Top 10 Bands To See

Published on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by Jessica Brasher

The line-up for this years SweetWater 420 Festival is jam packed with must see acts! In an effort to make sure you don't miss out, we have complied a list of The Top 10 Bands to see. We've also included what stage they'll be performing on and what time. If you don't see a band listed you feel is a MUST SEE ACT, please feel free to comment below and let everyone else know! 

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic has been together 30 years. Formed by original members vocalist/guitarist John "JB" Bell, bassist Dave Schools and late guitarist Michael Houser, who lived together in a suburban house in Athens, GA, where they met as students not far from the University of Georgia campus, later to be joined by drummer Todd Nance. The band's line-up was solidified with the addition of percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz and keyboard player John "JoJo" Hermann and Duane Trucks on drums.

Widespread Panic has broken attendance records at major venues throughout the country, including a staggering 48 sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.

"We acknowledge this is a milestone few groups get to achieve,” admits JB about their remarkable longevity. "It's like Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. Every time we go out there, we learn more tricks, bring that knowledge with us, and then apply it. We're way more experienced, focused and to the point, but still willing to stretch out without wandering too much.”

Trey Anastasio Band

Since 1998, Tre Anastasio has toured and recorded with several backup musicians, including several side-projects organized and led by the guitarist and composer. While active, his bands did not have a name. Fans commonly referred to them as Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short. Through its brief history, Trey Anastasio’s band continued to add members, starting as a trio and ending as a dectet.

In the fall of 2012 Trey’s touring band, Trey Anastasio Band, returned to the road in support of Traveler, which also features many members of the band.  From it’s beginnings in 1998 the band has included original members Russ Lawton (drums), and  Tony Markellis (bass), and over the years has added Cyro Baptista (percussion), Ray Paczkowski (keys), Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals), Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals). The latest tour featured new-comer James Casey (saxophones, vocals).

moe.

moe. is the preeminent progressive rock band on the music scene today—a quintet of world class musicians, whose creative output equals that of their longevity. In a remarkable career that has touched three decades and produced a discography of 24 albums, the Sugar Hill Records recording artist of Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey on guitars and vocals, Rob Derhak on bass and vocals, Jim Loughlin on percussion and vibes, and Vinnie Amico on drums, continue to push the standard for performance art higher and further.

By all accounts, for this “legendary jam band,” as Rolling Stone described them, moe. represents rock and roll at its best. Welcome news for the moe. faithful and the band’s ever-expanding fan base. Even better news for the world of rock and roll, for moe. is just hitting their creative stride.

Dark Star Orchestra

Performing to critical acclaim celebrating their 20th anniversary year in 2017 and over 2600 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead's extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra's members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Eaton explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."

Lettuce

For more than two decades, Lettuce have brought a new vitality to classic funk,matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency and mastery of beat. Now, on their fourth studio album Crush, drummer Adam Deitch, guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno, bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet players Eric Bloom and Rashawn Ross deepen that sound by channeling the sonic freedom and infectious energy oftheir incendiary live show.

In recent years, Lettuce have watched their fanbase expand as they’ve hit bigger and bigger stages and earned their name as a can’t-miss festival act. And in making Crush, the band had no trouble harnessing the spirit of their explosive live show. “Some of these shows we’ve played over the past couple years have been so amazing, it’s like you go home a different person,” says Coomes. “I’m sure remembering those moments in our minds and our hearts helped bring out something special when we were recording these new songs.”

So while Crush offers everything from all-out party jams to headphone-ready journeys into space funk, each track was born from an unabashed joy and love of live performance. “That energy we get when it’s prime time and we’re about to go onstage and we’re just excited beyond belief—that all came out on this new album,” says Deitch. “There’s a feeling that the band is rising, and it’s a really beautiful thing.”

Anders Osborne

Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him “the poet laureate of Louisiana’s fertile roots music scene.” New Orleans' Gambit Weekly has honored Osborne as the Entertainer Of The Year. OffBeat named him the Crescent City’s Best Guitarist for the third year in a row, and the Best Songwriter for the second straight year. Osborne also won Song Of The Year for his composition, Louisiana Gold. A powerful live performer, the musician has won over fans through non-stop touring as well as a heralded collaboration with the North Mississippi Allstars & Southern Soul Assembly.

Big Something

A 6 piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It's no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered Summer circuit stalwarts as Umphrey's McGee, Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.

In February 2017 the group released their 4th full-length studio album, Tumbleweed, which was recorded once again with the help of grammy nominated producer John Custer (Corrosion of Conformity). He has produced all of their albums including Truth Serum, which was named 2014 Album of the Year by The Homegrown Music Network, making Big Something the only band ever to win this award 3 times with 3 different releases (2010, 2013, and 2014). BIG Something has been featured in Relix Magazine, Guitar World, Glide Magazine, JamBase, ArtistDirect , and more.

The Werks

The Werks is an American rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio and noted for its musical improvisation and exploration of music across multiple genres. Founded in 2005 by Dave Bartoletti (keys), Rob Chafin (drummer), Chris Houser (guitar) and Chuck Love (bass), the band is best known for its quick rise into the jam band music scene and appearances at major festivals and events across the US and abroad. In early June 2011, the band rose to prominence when it hit the number 2 top searched artists on the leading online Jam Magazine, jambase.com, behind the band Phish and again in early 2012 when they hit number 1. Current members of the band are as follows; Rob Chafin- Drums, Vocals, Samples / Jake Goldberg- Bass, Vocals / Chris Houser- Guitar, Vocals / Dan Shaw- Keyboards, Vocals.

The band incorporates rock, vintage psychedelic, funk music, and jamtronica into their own musical form, called "psychedelic dance rock". It bridges a gap by incorporating high energy music and high production values with themes that embrace "exploratory jams",a more accepted "shift occurring in the musical world", according to some critics.

Like The Werks, Dayton, Ohio, is known for its revolutionary inventiveness. The community has always been a hot spot for funk artists such as Zapp, The Ohio Players and alternative rock artists such as The Breeders and Guided By Voices. The Werks have been inspired by this rich history and technique, creating a solid foundation of music by weaving these influences into the fabric of their musical voice.

CBDB

CBDB is an American progressive rock band based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, whose stock is rising fast. The band was founded in 2011 by Cy Simonton, Kris Gottlieb, Glenn Dillard. Paul Oliver joined in 2012 followed by Mike Sinopole in 2016.

Fresh off the release of their third album, entitled “The FAME EP”, they are seeing a pattern of snowballing momentum with large, energetic crowds hungry for their unique brand of progressive jam-rock, dubbed Joyfunk. CBDB blends soulful vocals and virtuosic instrumentation with smart, tasteful songwriting resulting in a sound that can be enjoyed by the casual listener and audiophile alike. On stage, they parade tight, ambitious compositions that seamlessly gives way to loose, adventurous improvisation and have quickly become a must-see act.

Funk You

Hailing from the east side GA town of Augusta, FUNK YOU is an outgoing burst of energy that is continually climbing their way to the top of the music scene. This "funk" oriented outfit projects multiple musical styles focusing mainly on dance driven grooves with powerful clean vocals. Incorporating intriguing musical composition, tasteful lyrics, and crowd captivating live performances, FUNK YOU is surely to make an imprint on your musical taste. Funk You is: Will Clark - Drums, Will Foster - Keys, Gavin Hamilton - Vox and Percussion, Evan Miller - Guitar, Palmer Owens - Percussion, Rob Thompson - Bass.

 

Daily Schedule of performances from our Top 10 List:

 

Friday, April 21, 2017

CBDB - LYRICS AND LAUGHTER STAGE - 3:45-5:00

Moe. - SWEETWATER STAGE - 5:00-6:45

Trey Anastasio Band - SWEETWATER STAGE - 7:30-11:00

 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Anders Osborne - SWEETWATER STAGE - 1:20-2:50

Big Something - PLANET 420 STAGE - 2:30-3:45

Widespread Panic - SWEETWATER STAGE - 7:30-11:00

 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Werks - SWEETWATER STAGE - 12:00-1:15

Funk You - LYRICS AND LAUGHTER STAGE - 12:45-2:00

Dark Star Orchestra - SWEETWATER STAGE - 1:45-3:30

Lettuce - PLANET 420 STAGE - 5:00-6:30

Widespread Panic - SWEETWATER STAGE - 6:30-10:00

 

Check out the offical daily schedule for a complete listing 

For more information visit SweetWater 420 Fest

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