Great South Bay Music Festival returned to Patchogue, NY’s scenic Shorefront Park over the weekend for four genre-focused days of live music and entertainment.
With the wholesome, small-town, family-friendly ambiance of a country fair and a heavy-hitting music lineup that would make many major music festivals blush, Great South Bay Music Festival continued its 14-year tradition as an intimate, charmingly local staple of New York’s crowded summer music calendar.
Thursday, July 7th brought an eclectic mix of indie and alt-rock outfits to the Blue Point Brewing Company-sponsored Main Stage including Grouplove, Manchester Orchestra, and Bayside. On Friday, July 8th, Great South Bay Music Festival hosted a reggae-focused lineup featuring the likes of Rebelution, Steel Pulse, long-running Sublime tribute act Badfish, and Bumpin’ Uglies.
Improvisational jams dominated the day on Saturday, July 9th led by a climactic performance from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. The beloved Grateful Dead tribute act, born just over an hour’s drive west in Brooklyn, captivated the waterfront audience with memorable renditions of “Scarlet Begonias”, “Good Lovin'”, “Brown-Eyed Women”, “Dancing In The Street”, “Cold Rain and Snow”, “Me and My Uncle”, “Viola Lee Blues”, and “Feel Like A Stranger”. As the performance wound down, a delicate and powerful “Mission In The Rain” washed into “Fire On The Mountain” to round out a near-full-set “Scarlet” > “Fire” extrapolation before “I Know You Rider” barreled in for a big finish.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “Cold Rain and Snow” – Great South Bay Music Festival – 7/9/22
The JRAD performance rounded out a full day of exploration including thrilling sets by Aqueous (performing as a trio without guitarist/keyboardist Dave Loss due to a family emergency), Galactic (who received a chorus of “Happy Birthday to You” from the crowd for drummer Stanton Moore‘s 50th), Long Island native son Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, local jam upstarts Baked Shrimp, NYC fan-favorites Escaper (featuring lespecial’s Luke Bemand and Space Bacon’s Sam Crespo), and Mark Rechler‘s Circus Mind in addition to a sunset show by upstate NY jam stalwarts moe. that came to a climax with a moody rendition of the Allman Brothers Band‘s “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”.
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On Sunday, July 10th, Tedeschi Trucks Band rolled its Wheels of Soul tour into Patchogue to anchor a day built around a soulful brand of rock and roll. The Derek Trucks– and Susan Tedeschi-led twelve-piece delivered a stirring performance featuring a mix of new songs from the band’s ambitious I Am The Moon project, longtime setlist staples, and sing-along covers like “I Walk On Guilded Splinters” (Dr. John) and “Space Captain” (Matthew Moore, popularized by Joe Cocker).
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Great South Bay Music Festival – Full Set – 7/10/22
Ahead of the festival-closing performance, fans in the park enjoyed sets by Wheels of Soul tour-mates Los Lobos and Gabe Dixon (who also sings and plays keys in TTB) as well as The Electrix, Phish tribute The Lawn Boys, Joni Mitchell homage The Joni Project, Pam Betti Band, Shecky & The Twangtones, Quarter Horse, Funkin’ A, Robinson Treacher Band, and more.
Of course, no recap of the festivities at Great South Bay Music Festival would be complete without a mention of Squonk, the elaborate performance art troupe that took over a portion of the grounds on Saturday and Sunday. We’re still not entirely sure what it was, but we can’t recommend it enough.
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Check out a a gallery of photos from Saturday and Sunday’s festivities below via Kevin Cole.