The Thursday pre-party evening at Suwannee Hulaween is going down like this: 5:30 Spafford, 6:30 Lettuce, 7:45 Umphrey’s McGee, 8:45 Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, 9:45 Umphrey’s McGee, 11:00 Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, 12:30 Greensky Bluegrass. I’m beside myself as I roam back back and forth from one stage to the other. This stellar Thursday line up makes for my favorite night of the festival.
The band I was most excited to see at the festival this year was Spafford, and I am not dissapointed. They sound like five of my favorite jam bands all rolled into one. They have two sets at the fest, the first being on Thursday kicking off the pre-party evening, then a late night Saturday set. Both sets are beyond top notch. I watch them rock thousands of faces on two seperate occasions. I had never seen them play live before and they slapped a big smile upon my face, solidifying their spot as one of my current favorites that I just can’t get enough of. I believe Spafford is a prime contender for the progressive jam rock crown.
Their song “The Reprise” is my jam and an instant classic. Thinking they might save it for Saturday, I’m naturally and pleasantly surprised when they play it toward the end of the Thursday set at The Patch. I walked away from Saturday’s set at The Spirit Lake Stage loving “The Postman.”
And can I mention their sense of humor is awesome?! I didn’t realize it right away, but I’m pretty sure their Halloween costume was Lloyd and Harry from Dumb and Dumber when they went to the charity ball dressed in orange and blue suits….
Below you can watch the last half of Spafford’s Thursday set and most of the beginning and middle of the Saturday set, courtesy of The Sober Goat.
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SETLIST: Spafford – Suwannee Hulaween 2017 (Thursday)
Leave The Light On
Slip and Squander
00:00 Galisteo Way
16:30 The Reprise
23:23 Electric Taco Stand
Spafford is a quartet from Prescott, Arizona… and they jam. It’s true, says so on their website in the “About” section. In fact, that’s all the about section says besides contact info.
This funky little band formed in 2009 and is emerging from the matrix of Phish, Umphrey’s McGee, Disco Biscuits, and about five other jam bands, quickly climbing the ranks in the scene and stepping up huge. It’s easy to lose yourself in their improvisational blends of rock, funk, jazz, reggae, ska, and electro-pop. Their latest release, Abaculus: An Improvisational Experience, was recorded in a single take and is presented as an hour-long single track.
Spafford is Brian Moss (guitar/vocals), Jordan Fairless (bass/vocals), Andrew “Red” Johnson (keys/vocals), Cameron Laforest (drums/percussion/vocals), and Chuck Johnson (lighting designer/lyricist).
Spafford is going on tour! I’ll be at all four Florida dates. Go see a show!
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