Best Campfire Sing-Along: Robert Hunter
One of the most magical performances of the whole weekend came early, when 73-year-old Robert Hunter played an hour-long set of his greatest hits from the 1970s on Friday afternoon. "It being a folk festival, I thought I'd sing folk songs," Hunter announced early on. "I wrote them myself, but, you know, they're folk songs." That's about right: The man who co-penned nearly every Grateful Dead track opened with a stunning medley of "Dire Wolf" and "Peggy-O" and never looked back, treating the modest-sized crowd to fragile, weary versions of Hunter-Garcia classics like "Brokedown Palace," "Scarlet Begonias" and "Friend of the Devil." After a too-good-to-be-true sing-along to "Ripple," Hunter closed his crowd-pleasing set with an a cappella take on the rare solo track "Boys in the Barroom." J.B.