A sold out audience gathered on the grounds of Planet BlueGrass Saturday Night, under cloudy skies. A little rain fell early but nothing to deter this crowd. Covenhoven performed first, with their sound very complementary to Elephant Revival’s, showed their talent for harmonies and smooth sounding tunes, but lacked the diversity that Elephant Revival shows.
Lee Plenty Wolf and the Plenty Wolf singers, a Native American Lakota group, then did a set of inspiring singing and drumming and came back at the end of the show before Elephants’ encore for more. We were also treated to gorgeous aerial performers who floated and twirled above the stage.
Elephant Revival’s band lineup included Bonnie Paine, Bridget Law, Dango Rose, Charlie Rose, Darren Garvey, and guest Daniel Sproul, of Rose Hill Drive, on guitar. The sound was impeccable especially on Bonnie’s incredible vocals. Almost everyone played multiple instruments which makes the music ever-changing and interesting. Bonnie’s electric saw coupled with Bridget’s fiddle conjured up a sound all its own; and, then adding Jesse Burns’ fiddle was a real treat. Two of Covenhoven’ s singers also joined the band for a couple of tunes.
Bonnie showed extreme confidence and led most of the songs, many of which she penned herself, like “Ring Around the Moon,” an old band favorite. I really enjoyed their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar.” The audience obviously agreed with me, as we all sang along with them.
The ambiance of the low-key music and love from the stage was evident for the entire show. The mostly original tunes floated over the hallowed grounds of Planet Bluegrass. Craig Ferguson and his great booking team made a big hit with featuring this band who had not played together on stage in four years. The fans were ecstatic to have their special friends making music for them again. Understandably so. The wonderful band played so well together, never missing a beat even as they changed instruments often. Very tight all night long.
The stage was decorated with live trees, fake mushrooms, and other live plants, and floating hangings which set the mood. The sound and production were exceptional and consistent, some of the best I have heard at Planet Bluegrass.