On Saturday, SweetWater 420 Festival kicked into high gear following Friday’s opening day on 4/20, which saw performances by String Cheese Incident, Stick Figure, Spafford, Sturgill Simpson, The Motet, and others. One of the major highlights of Friday’s robust musical schedule was the String Cheese Incident’s headlining sets, during which the jam scene’s young guitar prodigy, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, came and joined the Colorado-based jam band for a few tunes.
On Saturday, after performances by Anders Osborne, Marco Benevento, Soja, The Infamous Stringduster, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and Ghostland Observatory, the beloved Tedeschi Trucks Band took the main stage for their headlining performance. After opening with a number of original tunes, including “Laugh About It” and “Made Up Mind”, the twelve-piece band launched into a number of fan-favorite covers including John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” and Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree”. However, the biggest moment of the band’s highly anticipated set was during Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues”, when Brandon “Taz” Niederauer joined the festival’s headlining act for the second night in a row.
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer is an incredible guitarist as a standalone player, regardless of age, and watching the reverent young performer play alongside a hero of his, Derek Trucks, was heartwarming, to say the least. Furthermore, Taz got his start as a mentee of Col. Bruce Hampton, meaning that he was quickly welcomed into the extended Allman Brothers Band family, including by those in Tedeschi Trucks Band. Taz, Derek, and Susan Tedeschi have a history, and watching the shared love on the stage during “Statesboro Blues” was truly a sight to behold. However, Taz’s guest appearances didn’t stop there—the young guitarist joined the band for their encore of a medley of Sly & The Family Stone covers including “Sing A Simple Song” and “I Want To Take You Higher”.
You can check out a gallery from SweetWater 420 Festival below, courtesy of Christian Stewart.
Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | SweetWater 420 Festival | Centennial Olympic Park | Atlanta, GA | 4/21/2018
Set: Laugh About It, Made Up Mind, Don’t Know What It Means, Part Of Me, Midnight in Harlem, Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover), Angel From Montgomery (John Prine cover) > Sugaree (Jerry Garcia cover), Get What You Deserve (The Derek Trucks Band cover), How Blue Can You Get? (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover), Shame, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor cover), Statesboro Blues* (Blind Willie McTell cover), I Want More (with Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” outro)
Encore: Sing a Simple Song* (Sly & The Family Stone cover), I Want to Take You Higher* (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
* with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer
“Statesboro Blues” with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer