Scattered rain showers couldn’t stop The Peach Music Festival from making its triumphant 2021 return to Scranton, PA’s Montage Mountain on Thursday.

While Friday and Saturday’s Peach schedules will feature three stages running throughout the day, the the two-stage Thursday schedule on the mountain allowed for quick-footed fans to catch at least a bit of everything on day one.

Related: The Peach Music Festival Confirms 2021 Livestreams

Following Wednesday night’s pre-party for patrons who held onto their 2020 tickets, which featured The Wailers and Cordovas playing a Grateful Dead tribute set, fans were eager for the 2021 Peach festivities to start in earnest on Thursday afternoon.

Rising New Haven, CT jam quartet Eggy heeded the call with an afternoon set at the Grove Stage to light the fuse. The outfit had been booked for its first-ever Peach appearance in 2020, and the the extra year of anticipation exploded in front of a massive—if a little soggy—crowd on the side stage. While touring was out of the question last year, Eggy did not rest. Instead, the group got to work writing and honing new material. The fruits of that labor were on display at The Peach as the band delivered a set almost entirely comprised of songs written in the last year [“One Stop Shop“, “Second Step“, “Wireless”, “All The Way Down (Shadow Pt. 2)”], as well as a re-worked “Shells” groove and a massive jam on a cover of CSNY‘s “Carry On”. Watch a full, pro-shot video of the set below.

Eggy – The Peach –  Full Set [Pro-Shot] – Thursday, 7/1/21

[Video: Eggy]

It was off to the races from there as Cordovas took over the Peach Stage for a lively set that saw the Nashville-based group nimbly switch styles, genres, and instruments throughout the show with ease while sprinkling in original tunes and choice covers (“Truckin'”, “Scarlet Begonias”, “Last Dance With Mary Jane”).


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As Cordovas rocked their Dead covers on the main stage, harpist Mikaela Davis and her band were over at the Grove putting a softer, folkier spin on “Here Comes Sunshine” and more. A hard-rocking Twiddle set on the main amphitheater stage brought the party into the evening hours, Mihali‘s fiery guitar riffs and bright-pink duds playing the foil for the ominous bass blasts of Zdenek Gubb. Mihali found some understated levity in reuniting with the Peach crowd, remarking, “It’s like a dream. It’s like I went to sleep and had a dream and woke up and here we are.” Meanwhile, Nashville rockers Great Peacock brought their roots-rock cocktail to fans at the Grove.

Up next at the Grove was Ida Mae, the U.K.-via-Nashville husband-and-wife blues duo comprised of guitarist/vocalist Chris Turpin and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Stephanie Jean Ward. As Turpin and Ward remarked while starting their set, this marked the duo’s first live performance in 15 months. “Between the lack of sleep the jet lag and the cloud of weed wafting toward me, I’m starting to feel a little spacey,” Ward joked. “Thank you.”

The duo brought a different vibe to the proceedings, focusing on the tones of Turpin’s many beautiful guitars (one of which is more than 100 years old) and exuding the kind of onstage chemistry you can only get from an intimately connected pair like Ida Mae.


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While founding Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe was unable to attend his scheduled set for medical reasons, his talented group of “Friends”—including guitarists Duane Betts and Junior Mack, vocalist Lamar Williams Jr., organist Peter Levin, and more—ensured that “the road goes on forever” at The Peach with a set of live ABB jams and more as a fireworks display went off overhead.

After the first of two sets by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, fan-favorite Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra took the Peach Stage for a moving, two-set performance. During DSO’s set break, Alabama prog-rockers CBDB took the side stage to drop heavy, untz-y, high-speed riffs on the rain-soaked Grove.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – The Peach –  Set One Preview – Thursday, 7/1/21

[Video: Relix]

Dark Star Orchestra – The Peach –  Set One Preview – Thursday, 7/1/21

Dark Star Orchestra – The Peach –  Set Two Preview – Thursday, 7/1/21

[Video: Relix]

To close out the Thursday Peach festivities, Pigeons returned to the Peach Stage for a standout late-night performance. While the early Pigeons set had been a calmer affair—highlighted by a “P.Y.T.” (Michael Jackson)/”Pinball Wizard” (The Who) cover medley and a strong “High As Five”—the band’s late-night set was all about the jams, with heated improv flowing out of tracks like “Porcupine”, “Pop Off”, and “Burning Up My Time”. Other highlights included a slow-burn “Sunny Day”, a tight run through Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “Otherside”, and an excellent rendition of Radiohead‘s “The National Anthem” sung by drummer Alex Petropulos. The band also took pleasure in returning to the festival atmosphere, welcoming Twiddle’s Ryan Dempsey to sit in during the early set and tapping Casey Russell (Magic Beans) for a guest spot during the late-night.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – The Peach –  Set One Preview – Thursday, 7/1/21

[Video: Relix]

Meanwhile, on the Grove Stage, Neighbor brought heavy funk and prog jams to the late-night crowd, many of whom were enticed to check out the set by a sky banner that flew over the stage in the early afternoon.

neighbor peach

Scroll down to check out a gallery of beautiful photos from Thursday, July 1st, 2021 at The Peach Music Festival via photographer Jesse Faatz.

We’ll see you back out on the mountain today for day two! Weekend tickets for The Peach are still available here.

You can also revisit our daily coverage from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at The Peach 2021.