This weekend Phish will be taking over Chicago for a three night run at Northerly Island. With Saturday already sold out, Kuroda sporting a new light rig, and a completely revamped venue, this is bound to be a throwdown! But the party doesn’t stop there! Quite a few Summer Camp favorites are playing late night shows all around Chicago this weekend. Here’s a little heads up on some don’t-miss late nights for those of you heading to Phish….
Friday night the funk machine better known as Dumpstaphunk will be playing the House of Blues in Chicago. Their newest album, Dirty Word (available for pre-order), is about to drop at the end of the month, so this late night is guaranteed to get DIRTY!!! ”We are touring in support of the new Album, so people will definitely hear new material,” says drummer Nikki Glaspie. Not to mention that the HOB is one of the few venues in the Midwest to have a spring floor, which means you have no choice but to get down the minute the music starts and getting down is exactly what NOLA’s Dumpstaphunk is known for.
Chicago holds a special place in Dumpsta history. It was at the Mid back in 2011 that drummer, Nikki Glaspie, played her first show as an official member of Dumpstaphunk. In two short years she has brought the band to a whole other level. This late night will be a funky dance party through and through. What a great way to kick off the weekend!
If you are not familiar, Gamehenge was the setting of a musical masterpiece Trey Anastasio developed in college for his senior year project way back in 1987. It is basically the story of a man on a journey to get the goods. I won’t give away too much, but lets just say this album was the platform on which Phish was constructed. So in the same fashion that Phish grew into the beast it is today, Spread throws down some heavy improvisation in every song they play. They are guaranteed to split open the Hard Rock Cafe and we might even get a ”Wiiiillllllsoooon” tease thrown in the mix.
Finally, Summer Camp’s favorite late night act is doing what they do best by providing a Talking Heads dance party until the wee hours of the morning. This Must Be The Band will be playing Martyrs 7/20 and 7/21. Their first set on both Saturday and Sunday will be all request, where the loudest person in the crowd gets to choose what gets played next (so long as it’s Talking Heads music). The second set each night will be Speaking in Tongues, note by note. How neat is that?!
Needless to say, Summertime Chi is in full swing, SCampers! This weekend is going to be the type where the party just doesn’t stop…. So get out there and get your groove on!
Sunday at Summer Camp was probably my busiest day of the weekend. As a CIT, I had a plan to cover a ton of music at the fest along with highlighting the culture and community aspects of Camp. When I woke up Sunday morning, I was a bit overwhelmed with all that was still left on my to do list. I got to work right away but I still missed an awful lot of music in order to get the best material I could for future blogs and vlogs.
I started out my day by attending a talk with the band Tauk. These guys hail from New York and this was their second Summer Camp. This talk was basically a room of people asking the young band about their sound, influences, and how they became musicians. It also involved them asking us questions about the music scene in the Midwest. By the end of our talk with Tauk, I walked away with really good idea of how this young band has developed their sound and how they plan on sharing it with as many people as possible.
From the church, I headed on over to the 312 Vibe Tent to drop in on the field day keg party. I am not sure if you’ve heard the rumors but there was a renegade field day team that called themselves “Team Clear”. I just so happened to be the team captain of Team Clear and our goal was to not show up for anything. In fact, our motto was, “First we’re here, now we’re clear.” I got to talk with some of the other field day team captains and they thought it was hysterical! They even let me take a picture with the field day trophy to share with the rest of my team.
The rain this year was probably the worse I have ever seen at Summer Camp. We knew a pretty big storm was coming in Sunday afternoon so we had to get most of our videos and pictures done before before it started to rain. My camera guy, Mike, was such a trooper as I dragged him from one end of the fest to the other, getting as many interviews, pictures, and music footage as we could. While I was only able to catch a few songs at each stage, I still got to see Van Ghost, Lettuce, DJ Solo, and the Everyone Orchestra before the downpour began.
The Everyone Orchestra show was really something special. Matt Butler conducts a handful of amazing artists from our favorite bands as they jam from one style of music to another, layering their sounds for a truly epic orchestrated sound. Each musician gets to lead a jam and Butler uses a dry erase board to direct where the jam will head next. He even gets the audience involved in order to include “everyone” in the room. This is an exclusive show put on by Summer Camp’s Make a Difference team. Basically, the show takes place in the Red Barn and is only offered to Campers that help with the fest’s greening initiatives. It is also offered to those who participate in the fest’s community programs like field day and the camp counselors.
Just as we walked out of the Make a Difference show we noticed that the sky was getting a bit dark and maybe it was time to put away our equipment before it got soaked. Mike and I were able to take refuge in the church for a bit, but then decided we weren’t going to let this rain keep us from the music we really wanted to see. I got on my rain boots and poncho and made my way to the Camping Stage, where Tauk was raging through the rain. After hearing their background earlier in the day, I was really excited to check this band out for the first time. While it was obvious their drummer Isaac was soaking wet, the music was fantastic and they did a really cool cover of Immigrant Song originally by Led Zeppelin.
Friday was crazy day of running around and settling into our new homes for the weekend. I met a lot of AMAZING people, saw some great shows, enjoyed a refreshing cocktail or two, and danced my booty off. I am excited for another day of absorbing all that my favorite fest has to offer and sharing with my festival family.
Well here I am again in beautiful Chillicothe, IL.
After 9 years of coming to Summer Camp, Three Sisters Park definitely feels like home. This year I have about 30 people in my crew, I’ve been friends with many of these people since High School, most have been to Summer Camp over 5 times and we even have a handful of Summer Camp virgins. The beauty of Summer Camp is we can act ridiculous without having to think about grown up problems back at home, it’s like being a kid again.
Needless to say, setting up our campsite is quite a task when you have so many people. Luckily, this isn’t my first Summer Camp. I am practically a pro at planning and organizing the dopest campsites and this year was no exception. I was able to choose the most perfect spot right off the path in the woods. Part of being a CIT allows me to enter the camp grounds early on Wednesday to scope out the scene and plan the best spot to call home for the weekend.
Once my crew was able to meet up with me and all the essentials were up, we were finally able to crack open a beer and head to our first show of the weekend… Umphrey’s soundcheck It was awesome to see over a hundred people to show up just for a soundcheck!
After meeting all the rest of the CIT’s I headed on over the VIP tent for the 312 Welcoming party. This was a great opportunity to kick back on some recliners and watch a little bit of the Hawks game, which they projected on the ceiling of the tent. I concluded at this time that this might be the most baller spot to hang out at camp.
On our way back to the Starshine stage to catch Cornmeal a very friendly gentleman gave us a ride on his mustache mobile.
Cornmeal was something special. Tons of people were at this set to see one of their favorite bands play one of their last shows with their current lineup. I met some wonderful fans that shared some mixed emotions about seeing these last shows with Allie Krall. I met a wonderful woman named Audrey who wanted to be the official Summer Camp Mom. She definitely has my vote!
Yesterday’s pre-party had a variety pack of music that got me really pumped for the rest of the weekend. My favorite part about the pre-party is the local Midwest flavor that breaks in our dancing shoes and helps us practice our dance moves.
Thursday’s pre-party provided the perfect opportunity to loosen my bones and get my dance moves down pat. It was a long, grueling afternoon, hauling all of our gear from the lot to our campsite, but well worth it. Our site is perfect, we have excellent neighbors and we even got to catch some amazing music. And that was just the pre-party!
Year after year moe. and Umphrey’s McGee have anchored Summer Camp’s schedule, but the addition of Trey Band has made this year’s lineup one of the most scene oriented to date, not to mention Yonder, Keller, STS9, plus Medeski, Martin, and Wood. The only other bands that could possibly fall into this topnotch jamband echelon would be Cheese or Bisco, so the good people at Summer Camp HQ decided that EOTO and Conspirator would have to fill that void. I have seen all these acts multiple times, most of them at Summer Camp, and they are the reason I fell in love with the scene so many years ago.
In case you are living under a rock, Cornmeal’s Saturday show will be one of the most talked about sets of the weekend. Their fiddler, Allie Kral, has announced that this will be her last show as a member of Cornmeal. This band has been a staple at Summer Camp for almost a decade and many Scampers, like myself, have completely fallen in love Allie over the years. Even though this is not the last we will hear from Cornmeal or Allie, for that matter, this set is bound to be a tear jerker for many a fan.
This lineup contains at least a dozen other bands that make me dance, but in all honesty, I return to Summer Camp every year because I’m an Umphreak. Summer Camp provides 6 sets of Umph, a handful of side projects, plus sit-ins that make Memorial Day Weekend UMforgettable. My first Umphrey’s show was at Summer Camp in 2004, so I guess it is only perfect that I will be celebrating my 75th Umph show at Summer Camp 2013. I’m predicting a few new songs, maybe a new cover, and a ridiculous light rig that will bring facemelt to a whole other level. Prepare to get your minds blown people!
Now for my Sunday variety pack…..
Both electronic and jamband fans will enjoy the way DJnoDJ fuses these two genres by layering their talents in order to duplicate our most beloved tracks. If I still have enough fuel left in my tank early Monday morning, this is where you will find me.Needless to say, I can’t wait to experience Summer Camp as a CIT! I guess it’s my job to remind my fellow campers to be safe, stay hydrated, and see as much music as possible because this year’s lineup is INSANE! With that being said, hollar at your CIT if you see me around! I love making new friends, especially at Summer Camp!