We’re so excited to bring you the new and improved web site for the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival! It’s set up a little differently from our past sites, so we hope you look around a little and explore all the new features and content. It will be your go-to place for everything you need leading up to the fest in 2012, so we want to make sure you become fast friends. One of my favorite new features is the Field Day section, where you can learn all about each team, see how it all went down last year, meet your online Captains, and sign up! We also have a whole section within the Community tab dedicated to our Camp Counselor and CITs, where you can learn all about them, check out their blogs from the fest and other concerts around the country, and learn how to apply for this year!
So check out the site, join our new online community, and stay tuned for information on contests, tickets, and the amazing line up we have planned for you all in 2012!
The Summer Camp Director
So one band that I didn’t get to catch this year at Summer Camp was Peoria natives and 7 time festival alumni Brainchild. I heard they were making their way to Fort Collins as part of a three-night Colorado run. So on a crispy Saturday night in the Fort I headed down with Amy and on old friend to Road 34. As we entered more than one person in the Lot out back commented on the fact that I was the Summer Camp Counselor. Road 34 is a bar / bike shop and a great place to see live music in an intimate setting. The opening band was the local group, Twine! They have been working their way around the scene and playing some strong performances on the Front Range. They are certainly young but I was fairly impressed with how far they’ve come in just a couple short years. Sure they are loose and they missed a few cues but to be honest they have a ton of potential. Mainly playing instrumental tunes they broke into some solid jamming heavily anchored by their rhythm section of Michael Vargas and Sam Mitchell. Ben White took on a silly front man role with the irreverent Skate Legs. However, they actually reached a serious high with Paradox, which included a nice Zeppelin nod. I see them making waves as long as they can hold it together for a few more years.
For more info and some streaming music check out their Reverb Nation page at,
The main event of Brainchild took the stage and they blasted through their almost two-hour set with an alarmingly powerful musical prowess. I had heard good things about them but little could prepare me for the talent they brought to what was essentially a bar stage. They literally audibly assaulted the crowd of thirty or so with strong jamming and interesting lyric. Everyone that had come to Road 34 that night could not help but be impressed for the amount of musicianship they received for the five-dollar cover. They played classic Brainchild songs like Follow The Mornin’ Sun which lasted almost 17 Minutes and saw a wide variety of sonic transitions in the form of epic jamming. They also busted out an instrumental version of Billie Jean into Smooth Criminal, which was certainly a crowd pleaser. I don’t get out to the bar shows that often as my music schedule is jam packed but this was one night I was very happy that I made it. Elements of funk, jazz, and jam all made their way into this eclectic show. Probably the most interesting pieces of the puzzle were the vocal inter-layering between Ponce and Mooberry. The crowd began as a sort of loose affiliation of kids out enjoying a drink and broke into an all out dance party. They encored with a stunning version of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of. There were maybe 20 people left at this point and the front of the stage became a borderline mosh pit. Most bands try to leave the audience mellow, as they finish, not Brainchild. They tore it and worked the attendees into a frenzy before bidding them goodnight. I grabbed a quick photo with Roy and he kicked me down a couple of CDs so that I could dive a little deeper into their repertoire before Summer Camp next year. I can honestly say that if they are on the bill next year, and I hope they are, I will not be missing them. Thanks for an awesome night of music Brainchild; you killed it.
Summer Camp Counselor
The great thing about the Summer Camp Music Festival is that even if you don’t catch a band while you are at the show you can still take note and see them back home. This year Trichome killed it and got the opportunity to jam with Rob Derhak. I was busy running around with my Camp Counselor duties so I unfortunately was unable to make it over for that set. However, them being local to Fort Collins I had seen them about a year and half ago. They were jammers, but nothing struck me as too incredible about their sound at the time. Well times change and bands transform. This is certainly true for Trichome. It’s a good thing these are Colorado boys because it wasn’t long before I got a chance to catch them, and not just anywhere I saw them at the famed venue in the Poudre Canyon, The Mishawaka.
Trichome began as a bunch of white boys playing reggae. What I witnessed at the Mishwaka was truly a band evolved. They opened with O Fortuna, here is the rest of the setlist from saxophonist Michael Windham.
SET I: O Fortuna> Boogie Shoes> All the Love, Strawberry, Mighty Impil, Sway, Koolie High> Latino Embrolo> Another Day> Latino Embrollo, Farside (w/Da Funk Jam), Alright, Chant Up, Music Goes On, Let Go> Koolie High
ENCORE: Squirt (w/ Jungle Boogie Tease)
The way they have reformatted their sound is truly staggering. One thing that was most present in their playing was their dynamic layering. Trichome has a core group of 6 musically masterful members, but for this show they added a couple of extra horns for good measure. It was a journey through world, jam, reggae, and funk, which ultimately peaked with the huge Da Funk Jam, tucked into Farside. It was a stellar show that made me reevaluate my first impression of these guys. That’s one more reason to go and check out local bands that perhaps you’ve even seen before. The younger bands have the fire in their bellies to constantly improve. And in the short year or so since I had seen them last they were completely new to me. I was totally impressed where at first glance I could take or leave their sound. Now I will continue to follow them as they progress and look forward to my next encounter with Trichome.
Summer Camp Counselor
So, it was getting close to crunch time for Umphrey’s McGee’s Red Rocks and
Blue show. I had a request in with Summer Camp but it wasn’t until the Wednesday
before the show that they finally got approval for my photo pass. I was stoked. It
was the first time I had gotten photo access at the famed venue that I call my
summer home, The Edge.
So when the day finally arrived I grabbed a ride with my buddy Jeremy and
we hit the Lower South Lot around 3:30 p.m. I immediately met up with J-Man from
MusicMarauders and we took a minute to catch up. It was amazing how many
people recognized me as the Summer Camp Counselor. No less than 10 people
asking if I was the CC stopped me as I wandered around the Lot. It was kind of eye
opening in the sense that I realized how widely my work as the CC had spread my
image. J-Man and I walked back down to Will Call to get our credentials. Amy came down with some other friends so I headed to Upper South Lot to meet them before going inside.
We got in just as The New Mastersounds were starting their set. I quickly
made my way to the photo pit while the rest of my friends found a spot around row
15. The place was still fairly empty which meant there was plenty of room to move
around. I took photos for the first three songs as I was instructed was the protocol.
NMS riveted the audience early and blew away the crowd. Hailing all the way from
the United Kingdom they came to Red Rocks to play. I got a chance to chat with
bassist Pete Shand at setbreak who informed me they were used to playing 3 hour
shows with a half hour encore. This fact didn’t stop them from delivering the greasy
funk for just under an hour at Red Rocks. The New Mastersounds are an all-
instrumental funk based band. They stayed true to their nature by just playing a
jam-tastic set. I was very impressed with The Mastersounds at Red Rocks.
The Easy Star All Stars were up next with their mix of reggae and classic
covers. Overall it was a fun show with selections from Radiohead, the Beatles, and
Pink Floyd. Everyone has heard Dub Side of the Moon but to hear them play live
was actually a really interesting experience. I thought their originals were a nice
way to mix it up and they truly did energize the crowd. As they finished there was a
hiccup and before they could go into Time they were cut off.
No matter I was there for the main even and that was definitely Umphrey’s
McGee. They opened their set with a solid Jazz Odyssey. Here is the rest of the
setlist from PT.
SET I: Jazz Odyssey>, Bridgeless, Professor Wormbog, Puppet String, Hurt Bird
Bath, Deeper, Plunger, No Comment, Plunger
SET II: Nipple Trix, Divisions, Forks, Sledgehammer, Red Tape, Jimmy Stewart,
Red Tape, Day Nurse, Hajimemashite
ENCORE: Release, Bridgeless
The set was one of peaks and valleys, at times making the audience really work a
bit. I felt there was a bit of a disconnect with the crowd. A possibility is some level
of disappointment with attendance. At this point there was only about 4500 people
in the 9000-seat venue. Either way there was some real highlights from the show.
The open was solid coming out very strong. I was down in the pit for the first fifteen
minutes of the set and got a chance to snap some solid pictures. As I learned at
Summer Camp being that close to the powerful playing of Umphrey’s can be intense Surrounded by a cavalry of professional photogs I focused on getting my photos so I could enjoy the rest of the show. Plunger to close the first set was awesome and typical of UM’s back and forth song setlist writing.
The second set was definitely better and focused on the sublime jamming
Umphrey’s McGee is known for. Jake Cinniger was the VIP of the evening with his
pinpoint accurate guitar work. His progressive licks and ability to segue on a dime
was definitely a highpoint of the show. UM’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer was a surprise and a nice way to jump off the path for a minute. The Red Tape, Jimmy Stewart sandwich saw the most interesting playing of Red Rocks and Blue. Hajimenmashite was a solid close to the show before UM disappeared from the stage.
Umphrey’s came back for their encore with a beautiful rendition of Eddie
Vedder’s Release and closed the show with their previously unfinished Bridgeless.
All in all I thought it was a good show with a few rocky points. I hope that the lack of
attendance is not a reason to deter this event from happening next year. A full show
from Umphrey’s at Red Rocks is always something I will look forward to.
A big thanks to Summer Camp for getting my pass and giving another unforgettable
Video From Red Rocks
The New Mastersounds
Summer Camp Counselor
It’s been a little over two weeks since I got back home from Summer Camp
and I’m still buzzing from the experience. Everything about the Summer Camp
Counselor position from being selected by the people all the way to my private
Cornmoe. show was truly mind-blowing. Even now, I have a hard putting the entire festival into words. Having been to literally hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals in my 30 years on this planet, I have never lived through something like what I experienced at Summer Camp 2011. Never have I been so warmly received at a festival. From the moment Arlan put on my wristband and gave my backstage pass until the very end, it was like one long hug. I’m being a little warm and fuzzy now, but in retrospect, that’s exactly how I felt the entire time.
The four days of the festival were a blur of activity. I can tell any future Camp
Counselors, be prepared to do the work. If you do it correctly you will be left with an incredibly gratifying feeling. There were some hard decisions, but the nice thing about being Camp Counselor was that I got to handpick what I wanted to cover. At times it felt like the “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel of festivals; if you would like to see Bruce Hornsby turn to page 36. Other times I took the opportunity to decompress and enjoy the company of my friends. Those times were short in comparison though. From the time I got to Chillecothe until Monday morning, I was constantly on the move. And honestly, that’s how I am at every festival I attend. It’s all about consuming as much music as possible, and seeing all my favorites in one place.
For me, one of the highlights of being Camp Counselor was having total
access. I was able to float in and out of the various venues with relative ease. In fact, I could pretty much come and go any way I pleased. The security folks knew Amy and I by about the second day, so after that, it was clear sailing. For me, it wasn’t about being a fanboy backstage either. Sure I got to talk to Kris Myers, Ryan Stasik, all the members of moe., Jimmy Herring, and Kyle Hollingsworth but it was very casual. I tried not to bother them too much because I recognized that with access comes responsibility. The backstage area is a refuge for the artists and I never wanted to take advantage of my awesome situation.
Another huge highlight was being onstage for moe., Widespread Panic, and
Umphrey’s McGee. Being so close to your heroes as they do what you love is an amazing thing. In fact, the one set onstage with UM may have turned Amy into a legitimate Umphreak. Watching moe. play from the side of the Moonshine stage was just epic. This was perhaps the most powerful part of my prize package. I could not fathom the intensity of being so close as the music was created right before our eyes.
And finally, the icing on the cake for the Summer Camp Counselor position
was all of the wonderful people I met. On Thursday, a few people saw me and either asked if was the Camp Counselor or congratulated me on winning. After I introduced moe. on Friday it was like I was a rock star wondering through the
crowd. People were stopping me, taking pictures, and just talking about their
experience at Summer Camp. I found this aspect to be both wonderful and
enlightening. Summer Camp, as I originally stated in my video, is a melting pot. I met people from all over the country who were all there for a single purpose, the music. Whether they were there to see Bassnectar or moe. or any of the many bands on the side stages this was the unifying factor. We were a community that almost tripled the population of Chillecothe for a weekend. It was great meeting so many of you wonderful people at Summer Camp.
And there you have it. As the first ever Summer Camp Counselor I worked
hard to document and contribute to this amazing community. I tried to be proper with the access that was bestowed up me, and I tried to meet as many people as possible. My time at the festival went by like a flash but it is an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Before I finish I would like to take one last opportunity to thank my crew; Amy, Sean, Cristi, Anna, and Pete for being my shelter from the action as well as Jay, Ian, Holly, Arlan, and moe. for making dreams come true. Keep an eye on the blog and on the Summer Camp Music Festival website in the coming months as my job did not end the Monday after the fest. I will continue to cover some of the many great musicians and bands that have graced the stages of Summer Camp out here in Colorado. I look forward to contributing some great content over the next year until we meet again at Summer Camp 2012.
Counselor In Training
Sunday was the culmination of my Summer Camp experience. Not only was the lineup jam-packed, but it was also the day of my private campsite show as well as my interview with moe. So it started nicely with me heading over to the barn to get cleaned up. The clouds looked ominous at this point but I was optimistic. I was also wrong. I stopped by my P-Town friend’s RV for Sunday Brunch. I thought this was both clever and cute. I mean how perfect is that? So I took a little video of it, which you see here.
It was a nice gathering of friends and the protein helped me for the final push that was Sunday at Summer Camp. Angie made Amy a plate and I headed back to camp as the winds were beginning to pick up. I dropped off the food and went to our friend’s site to make sure they had everything buckled down. It was about this point that I made this video.
It was getting a little scary as the winds whipped through tarps and tents. Luckily, those of us who camped in the woods got some solid protection but us lowlanders were also the victims of some serious puddles. All in all it was a fast moving storm and after about 45 minutes it was completely over. Music resumed on the Camping Stage, but the two main stages were out of commission for at least another hour. That meant there would be some on-the-fly rescheduling. Fareed Haque & Math Games did not get to play due to a scheduling conflict and Cornmeal was bumped up to 2 PM on the Sunshine Stage. That meant that UM and Huey Lewis would be playing at 3:45 PM. It meant that I would miss Cornmeal’s final set because of my interview, but I would be able to catch the rUMors show.
Amy and I hunkered down for the rest of the storm and after a bit of rolling thunder it was over. The only real issue left after the storm was the mud. It had been an element all weekend but after we got pummeled certain areas of the concert fields became impassable. The steady plodding of people’s feet had done a lot to pound out the moisture in the ground over the last three days, but in one quick storm all that hippie footwork was undone. The Wood Brothers’ set was also canceled but they were already playing the Campfire Stage for late night so I was okay with this move as well.
I went to my interview with moe. Rob had a last minute emergency he had to deal with so I sat down Al, Chuck, Jim, and Vinnie. In another surreal moment I got to talk to my heroes for about 20 minutes. We talked about a wide range of subjects including everything from how Summer Camp came to be to the new album. For the record there will be a new release out next year and no it will not be a double album. We also got a chance to talk about the role social media played in their recent Electric Lemoe.nade Show. The issue Al had was the fact that fans think it’s funny to vote for songs like We Got The Party and they are the ones that actually have to take the time to learn, like a Miley Cyrus song. Obviously the Internet can be ruthless sometimes. I finished up my interview as we heard Bela Feck and The Flecktones take the stage.
Bela Fleck is the epitome of musical prowess. He has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in the history of the Grammys. If that doesn’t give you an idea of his range, I don’t know what would. The set was tight, but I only got to catch about half. Since Coffin’s departure to Dave Matthews Band, they have been playing with original Flecktone Howard Levy on keyboards and harmonica. After an 18-year absence he began playing with them last year. This was my first chance to catch the original lineup and I have to say they played like butter. They were smooth and Victor Wooten drove the bus as Future Man punched out the drums on his SynthAxe. The highlight of the set for me was Sinister Minister, the sweet jazz drifted out over the crowd as I made my way over to the Soulshine tent for moe.’s acoustic set brought to us by HeadCount.
The acoustic moe. show really got the day going proper. The Soulshine tent felt like the cultural center of Summer Camp. It was located adjacent to the Make A Difference area and featured everything from open mic jams to headlining acts. It was a place for Yoga, Raffles, Workshops, and some amazing music. Unfortunately with so much going on all weekend I only got to take part in few of the events, moe.’s acoustic set was one show that I could not miss. The boys took the stage and opened with That Country Tune, here is the rest of the setlist from Phantasy Tour.
SET I: That Country Tune, Blue Eyed Son, Can’t Seem To Find, Okayalright, Tambourine, It, New York City
The audience recording is on Archive. Thanks to Travis Souza for posting.
This set was a lot of fun. I snuck backstage and got a few shots from behind the band before finding Amy exactly where I expected her, dead center in the mud rocking out to moe. I had tried to text her for the last 10 or 15 minutes before the show with no response. She was walking by when she heard the barker shouting about a moe. show in the Soulshine Tent. She of course stayed for what was about to ensue. Blue Eyed Son displayed some excellent vocals as well as picking from the band. Before Can’t Seem To Find you can hear Rob asking about the Mega Man totem that can be seen in just about every picture from Summer Camp. The fan blasted back, “Where you from, you don’t know Mega Man?” To which Rob replyed, “I went outside and played sports… and had girlfriends.” The crowd got a kick out of it, and actually I happened to be filming at this point so you can see most of it in my video.
I love the banter moe. comes up with onstage and as of late I have been missing it. I was happy they got a little more playful during this set. The acoustic Okayalright was sublime. It’s been one of my favorites as of late and it just rocks the face, and seeing an acoustic version in the Soulshine was my highlight of the show. They busted out a nice Tambourine before blasting off with It. Some of these songs rarely get the acoustic treatment so I found this to be one of my highlights of the weekend. I mean there couldn’t have been more than a few hundred people in attendance because as I stated earlier, with so much going on, the tent shows are often overlooked. They closed the set with a fulfilling New York City.
And with that I hurried back to the Sunshine Stage for some Umprhey’s McGee. They actually opened for their much-anticipated alter egos the rUMors, with Huey Lewis by playing a couple originals. I got into the pit for the first song and actually got some great shots. UM opened with All in Time followed by a new song, Room To Breath before inviting Mr. Lewis onto the stage. Here is the full setlist from http://www.umphreys.com:
SET I: All in Time, Room To Breath (*), Don’t Fight It (**^$), Up on Cripple Creek (^^), Heart and Soul (^^), The Weight (^), Women Wine & Song (^), Respect Yourself (^$), Workin’ For A Livin’ (&&^), She Caught The Katy (^^), Partyin’ Peeps (^), I Want A New Drug (^)
* first time played, original
** first time played, Wilson Pickett
^ with Huey Lewis on vocals and harmonica and Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret horns
^^ with Huey Lewis
$ with Gale Gardner and Linda Greenwood on vocals
& first time played, The Staples Singers
&& first time played, Huey Lewis
You can listen to the show on Archive. Thanks to tonedeaf for posting.
Room To Breath was like a meaty fight song, with melodic guitar interlacing from Jake and I enjoyed it very much. The rUMors got it started with a Wilson Pickett cover of Don’t Fight It with Gardner and Greenwood on backing vocals. It was like the band transformed from the Umphrey’s we know and love to a an 80’s powerhouse right before our eyes.
“I went to Summer Camp as a kid but it was nothing like this.” –Huey Lewis
They went into The Band’s classic Up On Cripple Creek, where Lewis seemed a little rough before getting into his groove. Heart and Soul got the crowd moving and honestly, it was the Huey tunes with UM as a backing band that gave me chills. Hearing Bayliss take over on vocals was amazing. Not to mention the raw power behind the chords played by the rUMors was just incredible. As they went into The Weight, I had to make a quick run over to the 312 Vibe Tent to check in on the home brewer’s workshop put on by Kyle Hollingsworth from SCI and Adam Lewis of Family Groove Company. I took some pictures of the tasting before grabbing Adamfor a quick recap of the workshop. You can see that interview here.
I thanked Adam for his insight on brewing before racing back to the rUMors set just in time to catch Respect Yourself. It broke my heart to leave, but as the Summer Camp Counselor, it was my duty to see and take part in as much as I could. Huey Lewis, always the showman, never left the spotlight for the entire set. Workin’ For A Livin’, another Lewis classic woke everyone up and the Taj Mahal blues standard, She Caught The Katy, was a very nice addition to an already stellar setlist. I also have to point out that Lewis’ harmonica work was just solid all day long. Lewis got a chance to jam on an Umphrey’s original with Partyin’ Peeps. They ended this history-making set with the much anticipated I Want A New Drug. I was very happy with how this all turned out. And a big thanks to Huey Lewis for taking a chance, it was well worth it.
I ran over to the Red Barn as Everyone Orchestra was finishing up their soundcheck. In the interim I got a chance to talk to a few people who participated in the Make A Difference Challenge at Summer Camp.
Make A Difference was a series of tasks that attendees of the festival could take part in to earn their ticket to this private show. This incarnation of EO included Kyle Hollingsworth, Al Schnier, Natalie Cressman, Jans Ingber, Brian Jordan, Randal Moore, John Stanton, Abigail Stauffer, Chris Wood, and Erin Zindle and orchestrated as always by Matt Butler, which meant that we would be witnessing a serious jam session from a mind-blowing lineup. The jamming was sick, if you have never seen Everyone Orchestra, they are lead by a conductor who feeds them words, phrases, audience suggestions, and feelings to create a live musical collaboration. It’s awesome to watch and a great way to reward the proactive festival goers who took the time to clean up and recycle. I think this experiment was a rousing success and I hope to see other festivals taking notes from Summer Camp. By giving just a little incentive, people really became involved and that was what Make A Difference was all about.
I stayed at EO until just before 6:00 PM when I said goodbye to the great jam and headed back to my site. No one was around but I met up with CIT Jeff Greenswag on the trail and we ventured off to see Bruce Hornsby together. I tried to spend a little bit of time with all the CITs so this was my chance hang with Jeff for a set. My only real familiarity with Bruce Hornsby comes from his short stint with the Grateful Dead and some of his popular work. I know he is a truly accomplished pianist, but what I didn’t realize is how much fun he has playing live. He took us on a journey through blues, jazz and rock before bringing Bela Fleck and Jimmy Herring on stage for a cover of Huey Lewis’ Jacob’s Ladder. Hornsby picked up the accordion for this song and regaled the crowd with this powerful composition. I was headed back to get ready for moe., but couldn’t resist the opportunity to film this one from the back of the bus. This video is a little shaky mainly because of the zoom (also keep an eye out for a spot about midway through when I was almost run over by a wook) but hey, the sound is good.
I made my way back to camp where I met up with Amy. I told her it was time for some moe. and she hopped out of the tent ready to rock. We headed over to The Moonshine stage where we found the rest of our crew by the soundboard. We were pretty much in the same spot all weekend, which made it easy to reconnect in the massive crowd. I told Amy I would meet her in a few songs and headed down to the pit as moe. opened with a rocking Deep This Time, here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: Deep This Time, Y.O.Y, Down Boy, Happy Hour Hero*, Rain Shine**, Farmer Ben, Moth
SET II: Plane Crash, Shoot First***, Silver Sun, Seat Of My Pants, Billy Goat
*w/ Kyle Hollingsworth on key
**First Time Played – Original – Al Song
***w/ Bela Fleck on Banjo
You can download the audience recording on Archive. Thanks to Travis Souza for posting.
Y.O.Y was one the first moe. songs I ever heard and it still holds a special place in my heart. It was a solid version that saw some very nice percussion work from both Jim and Vinnie. Rob busted out a nice Down Boy before they invited String Cheese’s Kyle Hollingsworth on stage for Happy Hour Hero. This was incredibly appropriate considering Kyle had just released Hoopla a festival pale ale at Summer Camp. It was a mild but hoppy concoction that he collaborated on with Boulder Beer. I have to say it is a tasty beverage and a festival is the proper place for its consumption. Check out my video of Kyle with moe. here.
Rain Shine (or is it Rainshine?) was my favorite moe. song debut of the weekend. It was a very fitting song considering the topsy-turvy weather we had on Sunday and I do believe it could be a huge vehicle for the dark jam. I might add that during this set the sun was shinning brightly. Farmer Ben was what was up. I love it when Jim grabs the mic and plays the part of front man, but this version was special. It included teases from Chalkdust Torture as well as the Grateful Dead.
As moe. went into Moth I hightailed it back to my site to set up a couple chairs and drop some glow sticks so the crew could find my site for the private show. Afterwards, as I raced over to Widespread Panic, I stopped to chat with the Concious Alliance guys for a few. You can see our conversation here.
WSP was the last of my onstage sets, but when I arrived, no one quite knew who to talk to and the stage was on lockdown. They opened with a rowdy North. Here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: North Proving Ground, Party At Your Mama’s House, Wondering, Heroes, Angels on High, Tall Boy, Driving Song, Saint Ex, Goin’ Out West, Drums, Porch Song, Driving Song, Airplane, Protein Drink, Sewing Machine
I was just sort of relaxing backstage enjoying the music when I noticed Heis walking up with Kyle Hollingsworth. I headed over and had a nice chat with Kyle about his Brew Fest last year and about Hoopla. When we finished talking I watched him approach a couple of hula-hoopers by the fence and ask to borrow a one of theirtoys. That’s when I caught this video.
It was the little moments like this that I witnessed that were really the icing on the cake of the Summer Camp Counselor position. Holly soon found me and took me up to a spot about 8 feet from Jimmy Herring where two chairs had been set for our arrival. I was onstage for Tall Boy through Drums and this may have been the best chunk of the set. It was pretty awesome to watch Schools and JB communicating onstage while Jimmy just wailed away. I did grab a video of the first part of Driving Song, which you can see here.
I headed down during Drums mainly because I didn’t want to be alone up there and I had seen a great part of the show from a truly unique vantage. I was ready to mingle. Plus, I was getting antsy for my show. I enjoyed the rest of the set and hung out with my old pal BC. As they finished up I met Holly at the back gate and took a seat on the golf cart. We were waiting for WSP to sign my poster, (another part of my prize package.) Well, as I sat there Jimmy Herring comes walking over to the bus and takes a long look at me, “John, John, how the hell you doing? Geez it’s been two or three years, how the hell you doing?” With that Jimmy came bounding around the barricade and entrapped me in a massive bear hug. He began rambling on about how good I looked and how happy he was to see me. The joke was that Jimmy thought I was John Popper. Well, I let him go on for about 30 seconds before I cut him off, “ Jimmy I’m really too big of a fan to let you go on, I’m not really John Popper, but now you have to take a picture with me so I can tell this story for the rest of my life.” Jimmy obliged before making a quick exit to the bus.
It was getting to be crunch time so we left the poster in the hands of WSP management and drove over to the Camping Stage to meet up with the Kris, JP, and Allie from Cornmeal. Ben Slayter (my Director of Photography) met us and we all piled on the cart and drove through the crowd down to the VIP gate.
I had texted or told about 10 or 15 of my close friends at Summer Camp that this shindig was about to go down. I also told the moe. Phantasy Tour crew which made up the bulk of the crowd that was assembled as we pulled up. I took my seat and Ben got his camera ready. Amy and my friends smiled as I made my way in and I was just happy to be surrounded by so many good people. Honestly, there couldn’t have been more than 60 people in attendance. I had contacted Jesse Scott to tape the show, but he had an unforeseen issue with his deck so I am very thankful Ben was there with his video camera. (I was told I could not film my own set which is why I don’t have anything posted yet.) Stay tuned for the footage.
So all five members of moe. along with Allie and Kris from Cornmeal gave me a private show. It was just unbelievable.
PRIVATE SET: Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, The Weight
ENCORE: Speedy Golf Cart Exit
It was a huge highlight of my festival. Allie was close enough that Amy could feel the breeze from her bow. moe. was just a few feet away as they picked out the songs. I mean even now I’m still buzzing from the experience. After the first song Al looked at me and said, “We do have to get to work soon.” I assured them their time was greatly valued and I appreciated every second of it. At one point some kids charged through the crowd in front of Cornmoe., probably in a hurry to catch moe.’s final set. Everyone just sort of chuckled to themselves and the music continued. The Weight became a sing-along and with that, they all hopped in their respective golf carts, the crowd parted, and they disappeared down the path. We all just sat there for a second in the post glow smiling about what we had witnessed.
Amy, my friends, and I got our gear together and headed back to the Moonshine Stage for moe.’s last set of the festival. I told my friends they were going to open with Plane Crash, because it was time, before I made my way down to the front. It was my last opportunity to get photos so I hit the pit quickly then wandered backstage where I finally met the elusive Jay Goldberg. I thanked him and Arlan for an amazing experience and headed back to my group. As I was heading back, moe. invited Bela Fleck onstage for Shoot First. I loved the twang Bela’s banjo added to moe.’s mix. Silver Sun built slowly but exploded into a dueling guitar jam reminiscent of an AC/DC show before coming back to planet Earth. The SOMP was face melting and the set-closing Billy Goat was full of funky goodness. Now for those that don’t know, I edited my Summer Camp Counselor Video Resume with Rebubula
as the sound bed, which they chose to encore the last set of the festival with. I couldn’t help but feel that this was one final nod to me from my favorite band. It was the perfect exclamation point to my once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks guys.
Afterwards, Amy and I drug our chairs over to the Campfire Stage to end our weekend with the Wood Brothers. It was a euphoric end to my weekend as the first ever Summer Camp Counselor. I felt magnanimous and righteously good. I had literally met and talked to hundreds of campers. I had filmed a ton of great music and events. I had taken over 4,000 photos. My job was complete.
The next morning we tore down our camp and filmed my final standup, which can be seen here.
It was time to head home… until next year Summer Camp. Thank You.
You can see my Sunday pictures here.
By Saturday Morning I was into my routine at Summer Camp 2011. I planned to rendezvous with my P-Town friends at Yoga around 10 AM This meant that I only got about five hours of rough sleep, which was intermittently, interrupted by the DJ at the next campsite. I will say that he played on tiny speakers so it was actually fairly enjoyable despite the fact that I kept waking up to it. I rose around 9 a.m. and let Amy sleep in while I got cleaned up at the Barn. I headed over to the Soulshine Tent around 10 a.m. and started taking some photos. There was actually a decent-sized crowd in attendance. The instructor talked about balance and structure with your body’s dance and movements. I tried to take that to heart for the rest of the weekend. I met up with Joe and Angie and headed to their RV to charge my Flip Camera.
Afterwards I made my way over to Ben and Erin’s Bus to copy off my cards and clear up some space. They graciously let me borrow their macbook so I could get that accomplished. Thanks guys. I hit up the press meeting around 12:30 and took the extra time to upload my content to Holly. It was only Saturday morning and I had already taken over 2000 photos and a ton of video.
I found out later in the day that Amy went and caught Gaelic Storm; she let me know they were a very interesting act. While doing research I learned that this is the same band that is featured in the Titantic steerage party scene. In addition to coving Paul Simon’s Cecilia they combined elements of traditional Irish/Celtic music with elements of rock, pop, and world I will definitely have to catch them next time they come to Colorado.
I ended up hanging out with the CITs for a few minutes before heading over to the Field Day activities going on at the 312 Vibe Tent. Red Team was definitely in attendance. I met up with my Purple brethren that included Chief, Will, and our captain Mike among others. I will say that purple was a small presence and I was not too happy about that. Obviously events were spread out through the day and some logistical issues caused some of the competitons to be rescheduled, but overall I was very impressed with this element of Summer Camp and how it was run. It was a fun distraction from the festival and a good way to get a little exercise. I arrived as they were getting set for Capture The Flag. They were a man short so I jumped in, I was tagged out in the first round but Purple won and moved onto the finals. We faced the Red Team but by trying to out maneuver and patiently wait for our spot we forced a sudden death. Will grabbed the flag and ran it over the line for the win. It was literally a millisecond before the Red player, but it was enough for the victory. I got set for tug-o-war next. I was the anchor but having lost a few pounds I guess I was not the giant stone that I once was. We were simply shredded by the Yellow team. It was a good time and with a record of 1-1 for the Field Day I made my way over to Euforquestra’s set.
Heis, Euforquestra’s manager and long time Summer Camp coordinator and I conspired to have me introduce the boys from Iowa for their 3rd time playing the festival. You can see that video here.
It was definitely cool but not nearly as intimidating as giving the intro for moe. the day prior. As the video points out I have a little biased towards Euforquestra having been in school at U of I while they were there as well. I was just lucky enough that the band decided to make a move to Colorado so I get to see them a ton and it’s always a great show. Within the last couple years they have revamped their rhythm section moving Grasso to drums and putting Ben Soltau on bass. It took them a second but they are playing so tight now it’s disgusting. They are a great foundation on which the rest of the band blends blues, reggae, funk, Afro-Cuban, and world music. They opened with a sick Cause A Reaction as soon as I finished my introduction. A massive version the Zalatel penned Free into their now classic ode to grandma’s cooking; Soup. Throw in a little Talking Heads and we have a pretty great set of music. Thanks Euforquesta.
I walked by Wiz Khalifa on my way to Slightly Stoopid. The kids seemed be having fun but I was looking for a different brand of hip-hop infused goodness. I have listened to a number of Stoopid recordings and just never really got it, well I have to say that SS is best ingested in a live setting. They have a serious ability to interact with the crowd and as the sun poked out for minute I got a chance to see them shine. It was a bouncy set with elements of punk, hip-hop, and straight rock. You can see a recording I did of Baby I Like It, here.
After Slightly Stoopid we walked towards Girl Talk and noticed a ton of people on stage and what looked like rolls of toilet paper spewing into the photo pit and onto the crowd. I headed to the camp and listened from there. We went back to the Moonshine Stage for Kdubalicious featuring Keller Williams.
Keller is a Summer Camp veteran if there ever was one. Having performed at 9 out of the 11 total, for me he will always be indelibly linked to this Midwest festival. This year was special in the sense that he was playing with his newly formed band Kdubalicions with Keller on bass, Jay Starling on keyboards, and Mark D on drums. I thought it was interesting to have Keller on bass which added an almost lounge-y feel so some of his classic songs. From the Feel Like a Stranger Kdubalicion played with Al to the Tell Me Something Good with Chuck Garvey, they began to feel more like a house band with rotating guitarists than their own entity. You can see the video I caught of Freeker into Golden Road into Freeker here.
I found the funky reggae-infused stylings of Kdubalicious to be exactly what my Saturday evening needed. I ended at the top of the hill between Keller and Umphrey’s watching for them to take the stage.
On the docket was a double-decker moe. and Umprhey’s sandwich that I was ready to take a big bite out of. Umphrey’s came out with Jazz Odyssey and given the fact that they kept going back into it throughout the entire weekend it almost felt like their theme song at Summer Camp 2011. That Jazz Odyssey really tied the room together did it not? … I digress. Here is the setlist from Phantasy Tour.
SET I: Jazz Odyssey> 40’s Theme, Conduit> Jimmy Stewart> Conduit, Divisions, Go To Hell, Puppet String*, JaJunk
SET II: Jazz Odyssey> Bridgeless> No Comment> Bridgeless, Forks*, Plunger> Glory> Hajimemashite> Plunger, Hurt Bird
ENCORE: Booth Love**, Live and Let Die***
*First Time Played (Original)
**with Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns
***First Time Played (Paul McCartney & Wings)
You can hear the audience recording from Archive.
Thanks to tonedeaf for the post.
The two sets Umprhey’s McGee played on Saturday night were high water marks for the weekend. The musicianship of these guys never ceases to amaze me. They are perhaps the most technically proficient jamband touring today. They can stop on a dime and pick it up and put it in the meter. Jake got gritty on 40’s Theme and a busted Conduit with Jimmy Stewart in the middle was my highlight of the first set. Divisions was just too big, clocking in at over twenty minutes and Bayliss’s prog was showing. It’s songs like Go To Hell when I feel that the Death Metal moniker for UM is appropriate. I mean sure it’s laced with delicate playing as well but that song gets scary. You can see what Kris Myers had to say about that question here.
I was just getting used to the Flip so it’s a little shaky but the questions are still good. Moving on.
So as not to confuse subjects I will stick to my UM review then get to moe. Second set on from UM on Saturday was just exceptional. Once again Jazz Odyssey reared its head to open but went for an extended journey through Bridgeless to Not Comment and back into Bridgeless again. Showing their musical dexterity in that run the No Comment was just plain sick. Forks was a new song and it was okay, I feel like this song needs some more road testing before it really will blow the crowd away. The Plunger bookended Glory into Hajimemashite was the peak of the show as far as I’m concerned. Hurt Bird closed the second set nicely.
They encored with an unbelievable Booth Love featuring Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns and the brass meshed with this song incredibly well. They rounded out their show with a cover of Paul McCartney & Wings’ Live And Let Die. This just was a giant punctuation mark to the night. I was totally happy with how UM handled their second night at Summer Camp. Well played gentlemen.
Rewinding to moe. The first set of on Saturday was my second of three onstage sets. So I got to watch from the side of the stage with the rest of the moe.ron elite. The boys came out and gently eased everyone in by opening with Wind It Up. I thought that was an appropriate opener, here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: Wind It Up, Tubing The River Styx> The Pit, Understand, Smoke*, Sensory Deprivation Bank, Waiting For The Punchline> Haze
SET II: Crab Eyes**, Buster, Skrunk> Lazarus> McBain> Recreation Chemistry
You can download the audience recording on Archive.
Thanks to Bean again, for posting.
The Pit was huge with a solid extended jam to begin with, and Understand was pretty straight. You can watch it from the stage and synced up the audience recording here.
Smoke was a new song debuted at Summer Camp and I have to say I liked it quite a bit. It has a carnival-inspired springiness, but the juxtaposition of the referentially serious lyrics with the music is pretty powerful. Nice work Al. Sensory Deprivation was my highlight of set one mainly because of Rob’s funky bass. They finished up with Punchline into Haze, which pumped up the crowd before they exited.
For their second set all five members of moe. came back onstage to small music stands and stood at the front . I was baffled as to what was happening but when the first notes of Crab Eyes floated out over the crowd it was obvious that moe. was making a statement. I like to think it’s a little nod to the other electronic acts almost as if to say, “See we can play on computers too.” The most eye-opening aspect of this is that on the recording other than a few slower transitions the Crab Eyes is spot on. They went into a fantastic Buster that lasted almost 15 minutes. I love this song and every time I hear “Pig Can Fly” I smile. The Skrunk> Lazarus> McBain> Recreation Chemistry section is the reason I see moe. It was jaw-dropping; I caught the beginning of that run on video from the crowd, which you can watch here.
That Lazarus was sublime but the Rec Chem was absolutely enormous. moe. came back to encore with a crowd-rumbling Captain America. Great choice and I remember the two brahs behind me arguing whether the encore would be Plane Crash or Captain America. Brah number one was correct.
After catching moe. late night in the barn on Friday I was pretty sleepy so I handed off my pass to CIT Jeff Greenswag, who went in to see Big Gigantic and Lotus at the Red Barn. Keep on eye on his posts for some detailed electronic coverage. I watched a bit of Cornmeal on the Campfire Stage before heading back down the trail to my tent. I had one more day as the first ever Summer Camp Counselor and Sunday would prove to be a non-stop adventure. Stay tuned.
You can see all of my photos from Saturday at Summer Camp here.
When I woke up on Saturday morning I was excited. Of course I was excited about all the great music to come that day, but I was excited about field day. I was a part of Team Blue where our mascot was Cookie Monster and our slogan was “You’re My Boy Blue!” I was signed up to play twister which I have been known to win a championship or two because of my agile limbs and freakish strength. I thought for sure I would represent Team Blue right. I arrived at the 312 Beer Tent and immediately started stretching while simultaneously getting teased by my opponents in particular the extremely spirited Red Team…and they were a force to be reckoned with their matching red t-shirts. The Red Team definitely brought the team spirit and their A game which is why they deserved to win field day. Ok…let’s get back to my twister experience. At first twister was very simple and no one was getting out. They decided to make it harder by not letting us put our right hands down. That made the game much more difficult. The other teams were trying to bring my spirit down by accusing me of cheating and telling me that my muscles were shaking and that I should give up. My muscles were totally shaking, but I didn’t let on that I was struggling big time. That is when they decided to make the game even harder by telling us we couldn’t put our right foot on the ground. Yikes! If you could see some of the positions I got myself into you would have been impressed. Let me say that I was thankful for my years as a professional cheerleader and dancer and I was even more thankful I decided to wear shorts under my dress. Soon one man started falling down after another and then just like that I came crashing down onto my booty. Thank goodness I have a padded booty or else that would have hurt. The Yellow Team prevailed that event and they deserved it. Twister is no joke yo!
I walked back to my campsite with legs that felt like jello from the twister workout I just received to check on my friends. I always knew how to find my campsite because my friend Allison had hung up a gold Santa in a tree. He was our beautiful gold mascot. My friends were inspired by gold Santa and were painting each other and getting sparkly . I jumped right into the festivities. We set out as a team with gold Santa to rock out all shiny to one awesome band after another. We saw Future Rock, Girl Talk, Keller Williams, Umphrey’s, moe., more Umphrey’s, more moe.. followed by some late night Lotus. Do you get the picture of how lucky the Summer Camp tribe is?!?! We get to see so much music and these are just the bands I personally chose to see. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself just so I could see more music…but then that could be weird because what would happen if my clone did something out of character like drink a lot of whiskey…oh wait that is what I did.
Counselor In Training
Saturday was a little rainy…I geared up to prevent getting wet physically, although I was in for a day of getting wet mentally, and I didn’t even know it. Things started out for me at the Camping Stage. Savvy was putting forth their brand of Strange Funk which kept me dancing in the early hours of the day. On the way to the daily CIT meeting I stopped to see Truth & Salvage, Co. Personally, I think it is a shame that bands like this aren’t more popular. Great southern rock, almost a honky tonk vibe. With 2 players on keys there was a lot of sound coming from that stage, but it translated into some great songs that I was happy to get a chance to catch.
Right after some nice music to start the day I stopped by the 312 Vibes tent for some Field Day Ping Pong. I got to play a couple games and it was so much fun. I don’t know about you but I love ping pong. I learned everything I know about it from Espn 2 at 4am and Wikipedia but it sure is fun to play. I think now that people have an idea of what Field Day is going to be about we will see some increased participation next year. Also, based on the farmer’s almanac, we should have about 3 or 4 years straight without torrential down pours muddying up the fest. This should make it possible to play some more games and get some more people involved. If you didn’t get a chance to play this year, make sure you check it out next year.
The rest of my afternoon was pretty relaxing. Chilled in the wolf den, had some drinks, played some guitar, great afternoon in the trees. We got geared up and set for the night and made our way out to see some Girl Talk. What a bevy on stage, huh? You got to love seeing a bunch of girls shakin’ what their mommas gave em…thanks Girl Talk, if that is your real name. The music was pretty good to. Mashups of oldschool and newschool kept me and my crew dancing throughout the set. Honestly though, we were all just there to see the next band on the stage.
Umphrey’s McGee…If I haven’t explained it enough then you just won’t get it…these guys are the best. All in all these two sets really did it for me. Highlights included the opening 40s Theme, and Conduit, we got a debut of “Puppet Strings” a kind of floaty tune with lots of textures in the beginning that turns into a pretty hard charging rock tune. I really like the tapping riffs Stasik was employing to open up the bass line. Second set I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed the plunger haji glory, super epic, but for me, what took the cake was the cover of Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney, with horns. So much energy. A song with great juxtaposition of feelings, a love ballad, proggy guitar riffs, and reggae grooves, that is one you should definitely download. Between and after the UM sets we caught Moe. Always a treat. Great light show this year, and spirited performances. They looked a lot cooler than last year in the blazing sun and their suits.
The highlight of the night, however, was yet to come. With an hour or so to kill we headed to the VIP tent. By this time we had busted out or laser swords and were intensely battling near the DJ table. Shortly after we arrived, several buckets of ice and beer were brought out into the tent. Yes, that’s right…if you are wondering where the beer taken from you goes, well, some of it ended up inside of me…Get a VIP pass and party in the tent on your own beer! Anyway, most of my crew had a wristband for Big Gigantic in the barn so we headed over there after the VIP Tent. I was blown away. There was so much power and energy coming from the stage that I almost couldn’t contain myself. With great beats and drumming the saxophone over the top was so full and rich it was like the music was coating my insides with rainbows. Sorry, that was a little outlandish, but you catch my drift. If you ever get the opportunity to see Big Gigantic, especially in an intimate setting like the red barn, do not miss your opportunity. After Big Gigantic we headed back to the 312 Vibes tent for Mimosa. To say the least, it was dance party of monstrous proportions. The sun would soon come up and send me back to my site. Thank god for ear plugs. I’d sleep like a baby.
Counselor In Training
One of the best things I got out of my first Summer Camp experience, was a rekindling my love for moe…
Like many of you, I’ve been listening to moe. since high school and they were the band that really drew me into the jam scene. I still have my tattered blue hooded sweatshirt with the band’s name on it. But as time goes on, and musical interests change, moe. did take a bit of a back seat in my musical catalog. I still saw them whenever they played within 100 miles of me and sometimes, a bit further. Last year, I went back east to Boston for New Years Eve which also happens to be my birthday (yes, I was literally born to party) and brought my whole RI family with me to bring in the New Year with a little the guys and their families (anyone who attended that show knows what I mean).
At Summer Camp, I saw some of the most high-energy moe. sets I’ve ever seen. The band just seems at home here at Three Sister’s Park. The first set I caught on Friday was incredible. Opening with Akimbo is always a good sign. Singing along to Mexico, St. Augustine and Kyle’s Song felt good. Highlight from that set: Bayliss coming out and playing The Harder They Come! Saturday nights second set was on fire: Crab Eyes, Buster, Skrunk > Lazarus > McBain > Recreational Chemistry, E: Captain America
I also got an acoustic set from the boys. The last time I saw that was Bonnaroo 2004 where we also got an Okay Alright (plus Buster and Spine of a Dog) – just the perfect acoustic sing-a-long moe. song. There were only about 150-200 people watching this go down and it that made it even cooler. This set was presented by HeadCount.
Both Chuck and Al came out with KDubalicious for some serious fun – including a cover of Tell Me Something Good! On Sunday, I stumbled into the 312 Vibe Tent to find Rob sitting in with Trichome. These guys were funky and I walked in just in time to see Rob trading bass solos with Trichome’s Dave Frediani. They never stopped playing – it was impressive.
During their last set, Bela Fleck, one of my favorite musicians, sat in for a killer version of Shoot First. The whole set was blistering and when the came out for the encore one of my best friends, AJ, who I’ve known since elementary school and hardly see anymore due to living on opposite coasts, just looked at me and said, “Man, I just want to get a Rebubula before this weekend is over.” It was kind of like magic – the lights went blue and we knew by the first note, Rebubula was exactly what these guys were about to play. Now, I realize a lot of moe.rons probably weren’t surprised to have them end the night with that song, but that didn’t make it any less awesome for us.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that Summer Camp kicks ass and helped me get back to my roots. Sometimes you need a reminder and moe. played a weekend of music I won’t soon forget. Since I’ve been home, they haven’t stopped playing on the ol’ iTunes and I really can’t wait for them to come back to the Fillmore in SF.
Counselor In Training