Suwannee Hulaween 2015 is in the books, and what an incredible festival it was! Boasting one of the most impressive lineups around, Hulaween delivered three full days (and a fourth night!) of stellar performances at the beautiful Spirit of Suwannee Park in Live Oak, FL . Hosted by The String Cheese Incident, the festival boasted killer sets from all sorts of artists. While you might have some more favorites to add to this list, check out 10 of our favorites!
1. The String Cheese Incident
Having seven full sets of pure bliss to choose from, it’s difficult to pick out “the best” performance of the weekend. Between “Ghoul Train” on Halloween and a down home bluegrass set on Sunday, there was something for everyone to love. Setting the scene with beautiful weather and incredible guest appearances from GZA, Sam Bush and Elephant Revival’s Charlie Rose, SCI highlighted all of their unique styles throughout this fun weekend of music!
Setlist: String Cheese Incident at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/30/15
S1: Song In My Head, Can’t Wait Another Day, Indian Creek Sometimes A River*, Valley of The Jig, ‘Round The Wheel > On The Road
S2: Colliding, Restless Wind > Joyful Sound, Mouna Bowa, Stop Drop Roll, Shantytown > Just One Story
E: Ramble On
* = with Todd Sheaffer and Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth
Setlist: String Cheese Incident at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/31/15
S1: Dudley’s Kitchen, Lost > So Far From Home, Xai Xai, Sweet Spot, Close Your Eyes, Rivertrance > Beautiful
S2#^: Brick House, Got To Be Real, Dancing In September, Pick Up The Pieces, I’m Your Boogie Man, Car Wash, Lady Marmalade, Cold Sweat, I Want To Take You Higher > Dance To The Music
S3: BollyMunster, Desert Dawn, Best Feeling > Exodus > Best Feeling > Search > Drums > Search, You’ve Got The World > Black Clouds > Rosie*
E: Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours^, We Are Family^
# = Hosted bt GZA (of Wu-Tang Clan)
* = with Antibalas Horns,
^ = with Antibalas Horns, Sheryl Renee & Leonard Julien
Setlist: String Cheese Incident at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 11/1/15
S1: Blue Ridge Mt Home, Sunny Side of Mountain, Lester Had a Coconut, Deep Elem Blues, White House Blues, Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance, Catfish John, Nine Pound Hammer, Birdland > Wheel Hoss > Birdland, Will The Circle Be Unbroken#
S2: Let’s Go Outside, Little Hands, Outside And Inside^, Windy Mountain, Bumpin’ Reel, Sirens > Travis improv, Colorado Bluebird Sky
E: Could You Be Loved
* = with Sam Bush & Charlie Rose
# = with Elephant Revival
^ = with Roosevelt Collier
2. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Capping off Thursday’s pre-party festivities with sounds from the Grateful Dead, JRAD’s stellar ensemble blew away the Amphitheatre Stage with a two and a half hour set to remember. From the front rail, to vendors in the back, and everyone in between, we all got down and boogied to one of the groups best showings all year.
Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/29/15
Set: Big RxR Blues (TH) -> Dancing In The Streets (SM)-> Brown Eyed Women (TH) -> Tease Jam +@ -> Brown Eyed Women Reprise + -> Estimated Prophet (SM) -> Eyes Of The World (TH) -> The Music Never Stopped -> Jam # -> The Music Never Stopped Reprise +-> Jam $ -> Help On The Way (TH) -> Myxomatosis Jam %+ -> Slipknot! -> China Cat Sunflower Jam +-> Jam ^ -> China Cat Sunflower (TH) -> King Solomon’s Marbles & -> China Cat Sunflower Reprise *+ (TH) -> I Know You Rider ** (All) -> Franklin’s Tower (TH) -> Slipknot! -> Franklin’s Tower Reprise **+(TH)
E: Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
@ With teases of He’s Gone, Brokedown Palace, GDTRFB & Eyes of the World (TH)
# With “Rumble” (Link Wray) Teases (MB & SM)
$ With “Fame” (David Bowie) Teases (Band)
% Radiohead original, lasted about 1-2 mins
^ With Cumberland Blues Teases & something else I can’t ID (MB)
& Short, not full version
* With Terrapin Station Teases during the transition to Rider (TH)
+ All first time played
** With Terrapin Teases (TH)
The weird, the wonderful, and the whimsical Les Claypool showed off his sensational skills while he tickled the bass for a packed audience. After the set ended, the overwhelming consensus was that Primus still sucks.
Setlist: Primus at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/30/15
Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, Salmon Man, Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, American Life, Over the Falls, Lee Van Cleff, Jilly’s on Smack, Mr Krinkle, Southbound Pachyderm, My Name is Mud, Jerry was a Racecar Driver
Jamtronic sensation, STS9, closed out the weekend in style, instantly. From front rail grooves, to the back of the Poi Pond, this set carried the most energy in total. What a way to close out the best fest of the year!
Setlist: STS9 at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 11/1/15
Vapors, Inspire, Oil N Water, Walk to the Light > Kamuy> Rent, Totem, Frequency 2/3, World Go Round, Instantly
Adding to the pre-party festivities, this funky ensemble threw it down in a big way on Thursday night. Led by Ivan Neville, this crew was just oozing with that thick funk that makes you want to get up and dance! Never miss a chance to put it in the dumpsta.
(Photo courtesy of Josh Timmersmans)
Setlist: Dumpstaphunk at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/29/15
I Wish You Would (horns) > Gasman (horns) > Water (horns) > Red Hot Mama > Meanwhile… (horns) > For the Love of Money (horns) > Ramble On > Fight the Power > Dancin to the Truth
6. New Mastersounds
Closing out the jam-packed Halloween day, New Mastersounds put on a late-night show to jazz things up a bit. Surrounded by the mystical night time surroundings of Spirit Lake this performance had all fans could ask for. The band delighted with tunes from their new album, Made For Pleasure, and kept things lighthearted with some funky good time grooves.
Setlist: New Mastersounds at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/31/15
One Set: Way Out West, Take What I Need, MFI, Cigartime, Miracles, Puke, Phishy Phishy, Ghostbusters, All Wrapped Up, You Mess Me Up, Fancy, SP, Summercamp / Hop, Nervous
7. Railroad Earth
One of the best bluegrass acts in the business, Railroad Earth came to Florida and did not disappoint! RRE was on point with their soulful slice of Americana, inspiring deep emotion with every danceable tune. Never a dull moment with Railroad Earth.
8. Elephant Revival
Some of the best musicians in the folk music scene, the Elephant Revival crew gave Hulaweeners something to smile about. Their feel good brand brought a distinctly positive energy to Sunday’s music, both in their own set and performing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” with String Cheese Incident. Expect nothing but greatness from this Colorado-based band.
Setlist: Elephant Revival at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 11/1/15
One Set: Birds & Stars, Whats that / Raven, Tam Lynn, Stolen, Spinning, Remembering, Sea Monster, The Pastore, Season Song, Drop, The Garden, Rogue, Grace
Now that’s what we’re TAUKing about! This four-piece is all energy, dazzling with heavy-metal infused funky rock goodness. Their unique take on rock instrumentals never fails to bring a crowd to its knees. Once they start rocking, TAUK just never quits. It’s no wonder this Long Island, NY based ensemble continues to land bigger opportunities with each passing moment.
Setlist: TAUK at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 11/1/15
In The Basement Of The Alamo, Friction, Tumbler, On Guard > Tetris, Mindshift > X-Men, Eleanor Rigby, Collateral
Somewhere between traditional New Orleans funk and progressive rock music lies Earphunk. Their unique sound may be hard to pin down, but the effect is all the same: faces smiling and bodies shaking in approval. Earphunk always brings a phunky good time!
Setlist: Earphunk at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL – 10/30/15
Saura* > Omega*, Try, Sweet Nasty, Super Freak*% > Moshimo*
*featuring Khris Royal
%Rick James cover
Check out the full gallery of photos below, courtesy of Benjamin Adams Photography: