Filip Zalewski Presents: Peach 2016 Photo Journal

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The Tuesday before The Peach Music Festival I got a lead on a media pass from a talented photographer, Amanda Siedner, aka Sandwich. I contacted Sound Fix and they were happy to provide me with two tickets to the festival. I hope you enjoy this photo journal from the Peach Festival.

The Tuesday before the event my car broke down on my way home from The Werk Out Festival in Ohio. I spent 3 days stranded in Hermitage, PA, only to scrap my car. I got back home Thursday night, quickly repacked for Peach, and made my way over Friday around noon. I wasn’t going to let a car problem stop me from attending a festival with a line up of this magnitude.

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Mushroom Stage

Just a bit about myself before we go on. I’m Filip Zalewski of Essnce Photography. I specialize in event and fashion photography. TeddyTV is a video series I co-produce with Wiley Griffin from Teddy Midnight, who had a killer photo journal of Camp Bisco with Sound Fix! It was a trip seeing Wiley on the other side of the lens. This is the first festival I’ve attended in a long time where I wasn’t bringing my camera. Even though I’d like to photograph the festival with my typical camera, it’s rewarding not carrying that weight around for three days and being able to fully immerse myself in the experience.

My journey began at home where I was picked up by two strangers, or should I say two new friends, Sara and Edward. We packed my load of stuff into the car and were on our way to Peach. I was a bit crammed in the back seat with no air conditioning on that fine hot summer day. This didn’t phase me much as I knew I would be on a mountain with inspiring music soon enough. Obligatory selfie.

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We arrive at Montage Mountain around 4 pm and I proceed to make the trek up the mountain with my camping supplies.

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By 5 pm I was set up and enjoying a victory beer. That’s my buddy Brian, shirtless and ready to rage.

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This was the view from my campsite: absolutely breathtaking.

Finally I arrived at the stages and Golden Gate Wingmen were killing it at the Mushroom Stage. Peach is located on Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA and features a water park. When I attended two years ago I thought this took away from the festival experience and added a somewhat corporate / family-oriented aspect to the festival. But this year after several consecutive days of intense heat, I realized the water park was a blessing, not a curse. There’s nothing like chilling in the lazy river or wave pool while listening to great music.

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Golden Gate Wingmen at Mushroom Stage

Next up was The Motet, an energetic funk band from Denver, Colorado. I had the pleasure of catching their set at The Werk Out just a week before. They got the crowd moving and everyone was dancing.

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The Motet at Mushroom Stage

The Allman Brothers Family Incident was the set I was looking forward to on Friday, and man did they deliver. This ‘Incident’ featured The String Cheese Incident along with Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quiñones, Bruce Katz, and Scott Sharrard. They played a phenomenal tribute to the Allman Brothers, and my favorite song performed was “Sweet Melissa.” The band and crowd joined efforts to send positivity to Greg Allman. I ran into some friends like Nick Sonsini, a talented photographer and media coordinator at Wild Woods Music Festival. Vinny from the Mazzstock Festival crew, for which I recently edited a TeddyTV episode for. Andrew Blackstein, a talented photographer in the scene whose work I admire.

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The Allman Family Incident at Peach Stage

This was my first String Cheese show. I’ve always heard great things about them but never had the chance to catch a performance. They did not disappoint: what a phenomenal performance.

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The String Cheese Incident at Peach Stage

moe. closed up the main stage on Friday with an impressive Pink Floyd set.  Wow! The light show at this was absolutely mesmerizing and moe. really channeled the Floyd essence into their set, playing classics like “Interstellar Overdrive,” “Breathe,” “Money,” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.”

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moe. plays Pink Floyd, ala “moe. Floyd,” at Peach Stage

At this point I was hanging with my buddy Will Hanza, a phenomenal musician from Escaper, and his banker friend, Bryan. I tried to figure out what Bryan does on a  daily basis as a banker, and it turns out he fights for the average man by providing small businesses with fair loans. Bryan loves moe. but Will insisted he check out Consider the Source since he has never seen them. “This better be worth it!” Bryan said walking over to the Grove Stage, and it was. As always, Consider the Source delivered a breathtaking set, exposing their music to an audience of captivated new listeners and a steady-following of fans. Them boys can shred! Never miss a Consider the Source set.

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Consider the Source at Grove Stage

The Floozies were closing up the Mushroom Stage with a special guest, Jason Hann of EOTO & The String Cheese Incident on drums! Everyone was grooving: what a great way to close up one spectacular day of music.

Saturday was kicked off by Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds and Brown Sabbath. I overheard someone at the camp site talking about Brown Sabbath, a tribute to Black Sabbath with an additional horns section! This was very unique and had captivated many fans of Black Sabbath.

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Brown Sabbath at Mushroom Stage

I’ve seen Tom Hamilton play with Electron and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, but somehow I always end up missing American Babies at festivals, but hot this time. I got down to the Grove Stage for an incredible American Babies set – Tom Hamilton is one talented guitarist.

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Tom Hamilton’s America Babies at Grove Stage

Twiddle has been blowing up in the past year. They played a stellar midday set right by the wave pool, allowing for an afternoon dip while enjoying the groove.

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Twiddle at Mushroom Stage

Bustle In Your Hedgerow is a Led Zeppelin tribute project featuring Joe Russo. The group is instrumental, allowing the fans to sing along to Zeppelin classics. It was nice to see people of all ages getting down to some classic Zeppelin. That’s one band many of us can agree on, or at least know certain songs.

Russo wasn’t done for the weekend, next up on the Peach Stage was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. The Grateful Dead played an enormous part in developing the scene we see today, some might say they were the pioneers. Their fan base features all ages and to many this band has a special place in their hearts.  Everyone was dancing at the JRAD set which included Dead classics like “Eyes of the World,” “Mr.Charlie,” and a phenomenal “Terrapin Station” to close it out.

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Next up was an act I was very excited to see, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, featuring Sean Lennon and Les Claypool, a somewhat strange but definitely rocking combination. Heavy progressive bass lines and intricate rhythms were very refreshing after the smooth jams of JRAD. Les and Sean had a psychedelic presence to them, cracking witty jokes in between songs.  The set was phenomenal but cut short due to heavy rain in the area.

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The audience was told to stay under the pavilion due to heavy lightning in the area. Many did not fancy waiting without music, but all were quick to strike up a conversation and use the opportunity to socialize with their fellow festival attendees. Jokes were told, beers were drank, joints shared, and friendships were made. I was trying not to buy any overpriced beer the whole weekend, but alas a beautiful soul was in need of a brew so I did not hesitate at the opportunity to gift them a drink. They were very grateful and I was pleased to please them. It’s only right to give back to the community that has given me so much.

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People scurried towards the middle of the rows as the safety team instructed all GA attendants to get out of the 100 level seating. We were close to the front and were not missing our chance to see  Trey Anastasio Band up close.

What can be said about Trey Anastasio Band? Well, Trey is a musical jedi. He is an unbelievably talented musician and a master at controlling the vibe of the audience. The musicians in his band are all phenomenal featuring a father and daughter on trombone, and an incredibly talented vocalist who sings Deltron 3030’s part in the Gorillaz classic “Clint Eastwood.”

The Trey Anastasio Band set was stopped midway due to more rain. Trey apologized to the crowd and seemed a bit aggravated, but returned to finish up his set with brilliant strive.

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Next up was Umphrey’s McGee but not without an intense thunderstorm rolling in. The storm came through with black clouds and lightning that lit up the evening sky. Even though all had to wait for music, nature’s lightshow proved to be very entertaining.

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Umphrey’s McGee played a rocking set featuring some spectacular lights. The set list included songs like “Bridgeless,” “Attachments,” and “Le Blitz.” They wrapped it up with a spectacular encore consisting of “In the Kitchen” > “Glory” > “Puppet String.” Saturday proved to be a day packed with amazing music back to back!

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Umphrey’s McGee at Peach Stage

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Turkuaz’s set was cut short due to the weather, a similar situation as MAYfest.  Personally I think they’re one of the tightest funk bands touring now. The Turkuaz horns sat in with Cabinet, proving to be an interesting combination.

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Fans of Turkuaz

Sunday featured Wake Up with Warren Haynes along with other acts like Blackberry Smoke, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaries, and the supergroup RB&B featuring Russo, Benevento, and Burbridge. This was truly a super group featuring three masters of their instruments. RB&B laid it down hard with some intricate rhythms and psychedelic jams. I was really looking forward to this set, and they sure did deliver!

Waking up proved harder than expected after many hikes back and forth from the camping area. Jokingly I suggested that Warren Haynes should create a super group called “Wake Up, Flip It, and Reverse It” featuring Missy Elliot. Now that would wake people up!

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Warren Haynes at Peach Stage

Gov’t Mule played an amazing set featuring the impressive guitar licks of Warren Haynes. It felt as if they were really channeling the vibe of the Allman family. After the Gov’t Mule set Warren said some touching words regarding Greg Allman and the Peach Festival, then proceeded to invite Oteil Burbridge on stage for an impressive compilation of Allman Brother’s classics. What an amazing way to close up the main stage.

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Gov’t Mule at Peach Stage

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But the music wasn’t over just yet! It was time for the Peach Encore Party. Magic Beans played a very funky and stellar set back at the Mushroom Stage. Following, to close out the festival Funky Dawgz Brass Band threw down a rocking set, full of horns and impressive vocals.

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Drum circles kept going all festival long.

That was one unforgettable music festival filled with unbelievable music, inspiring art, endless fun, and a loving community.

Much thanks to Sound Fix for giving me the chance to attend and do some journalism, along with Live Nation for throwing down such an amazing music festival.

Stay Peachy!

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Other random occurrences at Peach Fest:

  • Guy spotted wearing a Teddy Midnight shirt. Represent!
  • Late night campsite jams with Will Hanza and friends, certainly drew an audience!
  • I came across an older man wearing a reflective robotic looking jumpsuit with a thin sliver of reflective glass for sunglasses, at 3 AM on Saturday… I asked him if it ever gets hot in there and he says, “Sometimes. It’s like art you have to suffer for it.”

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Thank you for a real good time! See you at the next Peach Fest.

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