Best Surprise Set List: Gaslight Anthem
After citing a special inspiration from Pearl Jam in their latest record Handwritten, The Gaslight Anthem were able to perform a song with Eddie Vedder at today’s festivities. Lead singer Brian Fallon introduced Vedder and they started playing Pearl Jam’s “State of Love and Trust”. Fallon gave a high energy delivery of the song, which was originally featured on 1992 Singles soundtrack. As Vedder quietly left the stage, Fallon noted to the audience, “Handsome, no. But we are good for surprises.” Continuing the band’s set with a variety of tracks from the beloved ’59 Sound, American Slang and most recently Handwritten. The Gaslight Anthem also covered The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” before closing with their track “Great Expectations”, a fan favorite off of ’59 Sound.
Best (If Only) Piano Bar Band: Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five recently reunited after taking a thirteen year hiatus. Taking a series of one-off shows lead the band to recording together and working on new music last year. The end product was their latest album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind. Ben Folds Five’s awkward brand of piano rock gained popularity in college radio and alternative culture in the 90s. Coming back from a break like this has put the band in a position to win their audience back. As Ben Folds Five, as a whole, is one of the few bands that entirely missed the subcultures of the 2000s, viewing important changes in the music industry from the sidelines of their respective solo projects. In the performance of the new material, tracks from The Sound of the Life of the Mind tries picking up where 1999’s Whatever and Ever Amen leaves off, but there’s no denying that it’s a bit more slow and mature.
Most Devoted Fan Base: Trampled By Turtles
Minnesotan folk and bluegrass quintet Trampled By Turtles performed with a modestly sized audience during the first day of DeLuna, and definitely had the most active and devoted fan base of the day. TBT played mostly fan favorites from their latest releases Palomino and Stars and Satellites, but also early set staples, like the relentless “Codeine.” The Turtles’ audience was comprised of only two kinds of people: hardcore TBT fans and people who had never heard of them. There was no middle ground, and by the end of their performance everybody would fit into the former category. Easily, Trampled By Turtles had the most unified fan audience, and following the band’s finale with “Wait So Long,” one of the best overall performances of the day, if not the weekend.
Most Socially Conscious Set of Day 1: Pearl Jam
Though Pearl Jam first reached popularity as pioneers of grunge in the early 90s with hits like “Alive”, ”Jeremy” and “Even Flow”, the band has recently celebrated its career with a greatest hits album and documentary Pearl Jam 20 . As a headliner of DeLuna, Pearl Jam’s performance attracted the biggest audience. Following a solo performance at an Obama fundraiser in Tampa, Eddie Vedder called attention to the importance of voting in the presidential election, the heightened suicide rate of soldiers and the deaths of Americans at Middle Eastern embassies. This was Pearl Jam’s first performance in Pensacola since their rise in 1994.