The pre-party kicked off for Suwannee Hulaween on Thursday, and the evening’s lineup itself was well worth the price of admission. With a dream-like schedule that took attendees from Spafford to Lettuce, Umphrey’s McGee to Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, back into Umphrey’s and bookended with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, campers were treated to a night full of jams on the Patch and Amphitheatre stages.

As the sun was set, Umphrey’s McGee kicked things off on the Patch stage with a tropically-inspired “There’s No Crying In Mexico.” The band continued with their signature jamming through a seven-song first set, closing with “Push The Pig” and “Dump City” (which was dedicated to Spafford) sandwiched by a huge “All In Time.” Within literal minutes, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead plugged into the Amphitheatre stage and brought with them a five-song, Grateful Dead-inspired set for the ages. With Dave Dreiwitz gone for the evening, bassist on Jon Shaw took his place. The bands swapped once again on Thursday night, complimenting their unique takes on old school favorites.

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the night was Umphrey’s McGee’s unexpected version of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd. The dark and ominous introduction left fans wondering what would come next, until a light shined over guitarist Jake Cinninger who slowly revealed what was about to happen. The band dug deep into this cover, as you can see in the 20+ minute video below:

The festival technically begins today with headlining sets from the String Cheese Incident (x2) and Bassnectar. Check out the full lineup here.

Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Suwannee Hulaween | Live Oak, FL | 10/26/17

I: There’s No Crying In Mexico > 40’s Theme > Wappy Sprayberry > All In Time > Push The Pig, Dump City > All In Time

II: Le Blitz > Remind Me > The Triplewide > The Floor, Day Nurse > Shine On You Crazy Diamond > Day Nurse, Booth Love

Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Suwannee Hulaween | Live Oak, FL | 10/26/17

I: Alligator -> Ruben & Cerise -> Throwing Stones > Ramble On Rose @, Feel Like A Stranger

II: Jam # -> Bird Song -> Truckin $ -> Space -> Truckin -> Bird Song Reprise -> Truckin Reprise % -> Mississippi Half Step -> Playing In The Band ^ -> The Other One & > Shakedown Street

@ – With a Dark Star Tease (TH) & an Unknown Tease (MB)
# – With Dark Star Teases (Band)
$ – With a Bird Song Tease (MB)
% – With a Bird Song Tease (Band)
^ – With a Feel Like A Stranger Tease (Band) & a lengthy Afrobeat Jam
& – Verse One only
Not Fade Away (to close Set One) & Samson & Delilah (as the Encore) were on the setlist as written, but not played.

[photo by Phierce Photo]