The four men in the band posing

"This guy cannot sing."

 That was my initial impression of the husky hippie guitar player fronting the band who followed The Neil Show!, namely Electric Orange Peel, on the late Friday afternoon white Gazebo Stage.

Soon I thought, "But who cares? These cats can PLAY!"

Talk about contrasts. The shire's ambassadors of the forest glade Show! were replaced by the single most ferociously dynamic ball of firebird jam bands I have EVER seen.

Lay your arms down at the feet of the keyboardist, he's taking prisoners. The dude dominated like a hellion, playing his organ like a pair of conga drums, smashing chords with both hands chop chop chop, going full metal roller ball like a head-on collision with Mad Max. No mercy! All action.

The song had started out badly sung in a lolling tempo, then went from verse and pseudo chorus to a seven-minute anthemic coda in the key change of FAST. So no real song in between. Fine with me.

In fact it was a gas. The keyboardist's sustained bursts of chording and soloing riffs sharp and furious lapped themselves to ever higher energy levels. But it wasn't just his band, everybody was going all-out, like Cream used to. They went at for most of 40 minutes before tempering their flaming heat. Astounding.

Eventually earthbound, the Peel finally plowed a little slowly, lovingly showing full on their Funkadelic roots. The bassist now stood out, so noticeably in the pocket I realized he'd followed the keyboardist like a hyper-loyal wingman this whole time, as did the drummer. What a remarkable rhythm section of a band. 

Strangely enough, as the fire and the haze cooled down, I realized I'd not paid attention to their arrangements. Their energy, including the singer's guitar storms, were so powerful I thought Apollo-Saturn had scooped me up and put me in first stage orbit. They just didn't burn out. Straight to space, non-stop. After their P-Funk workout, it was back to hyper-drive. Ridiculous.