We did it! I’m so excited to be here back at Summer Camp, blogging from the back of the church.
The trip down from Chicago was particularly epic, because my crew decided to go all-out this year and rent an RV. It. Is. Awesome. We picked it up from the suburbs of Chicago, loaded our stuff in, and hit the road to Chillicothe. If you have the means to do the RV route, I highly recommend it.
After settling in, we walked over to Starshine to catch Cornmeal tearing it up for a super frisky crowd. We immediately ran into some old friends and started getting our groove on. After a quick break, we were back at it for Digital Tape Machine, and the party was in full-force. What a fantastic way to kick-off the festival… the crowd was huge, the poles were out, and the weather was perfect.
Now it’s time to kick off Friday! Really looking forward to some Brainchild, moe., Medeski and Yonder before kicking it into full gear for some Umphs! Signing off for the morning – see ya’ll out there!
If you’ve gone to Summer Camp (or any festival) before, you know there’s probably the person that’s a little too organized with the planning…. nice to meet you, that’s me. But this year, I didn’t send out my usual spreadsheet of packing reminders and to-do’s to our campsite – which is all boys – and it was both missed and requested! So, from your friendly over-organized CIT, here’s my comprehensive go-to packing list. I didn’t include food, since everyone does that a little differently… plus we have fantastic food vendors, and you should support them. Hope it helps you out!
For the Campsite
- Lawn chairs
- Camping stove
- Sleeping bags
- Flag Pole
- Car A/C Charger
- Cell phone charger
- Condoms (better safe than sorry)
- Rain Jacket or Poncho or Garbage Bag
- Empty water bottle (to fill @ filling stations)
xoxo, CIT Abby
Can you believe it’s almost here?! Getting ready for next weekend, let’s chat about a band you must see…
Maps & Atlases is based out of Chicago, and I had the opportunity to catch them this New Year’s Eve at Schubas in Lakeview. It was a blast. They even covered Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, and the place went nuts.
While being admittedly terrible at classifying music, I’d put them at folksy rock with a retro-vibe (seems legit, right?). Their latest album Beware and Be Grateful is a fantastic trip through soulful tunes mixed with upbeat dance grooves. Start with the song “Fever” and watch this beautiful video:
Maps & Atlases play Friday @ 7:00pm on the Campfire Stage. See you there!
Partial Setlist from 12/31/12 @ Schubas (It was News Years. For obvious reasons, I forgot to keep track after about 11pm : )
Old and Gray
- Remote & Dark Years
- Solid Ground
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World
This past Saturday, the boys of Gomez (hailing from the UK) made a stop in Chicago during the US leg of their tour. In case you missed them at Summer Camp in 2009, Gomez is a five-piece British act consisting of Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitar), Tom Gray (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Paul Blackburn (bass, guitar), Olly Peacock (drums), and Ian Ball (vocals, guitar, harmonica). Fun fact: Gomez records most of their music in Chicago.
Now, for non-Chicagoans, this will take a bit of explaining as they were headliners at the annual “Garden Walk” (yes, really).
Here are the basics of the garden walk: All day in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, people open their doors to their homes so you can walk around and see the gardens. It’s adorable. For those who don’t care that much about gardens (myself included) you simply go to the 3 blocks that are roped off for music, food, and booze. It’s a good old-fashioned Chicago street festival, and you get to see pretty amazing bands for 10 bucks.
Gomez went on right at 8pm sharp, and after seeing over 15 Gomez sets in my day, I’m not exaggerating when I say the setlist was the best I’d ever seen. Why? Well, Gomez is hopping on the user-submitted setlist train, and has been letting the fans pick the music all summer long. You can hop on their website before the show, pick 5 songs you want to see played, and submit. It looks like this:
To all those in Chicago who went on and submitted… great job. We were treated to songs I haven’t heard live in years – or ever – packed one after another in a set that truly showed the range of what these guys can do. It was pretty clear who the Gomez fans were in the audience… being a street fest, it was a mix of about 1000 people ranging in age and knowledge or interest in the band. But as the night picked up and the rare songs kept playing, there was a very clear set of 400-ish people that were are sharing the same amazing experience. A particularly heavy round-up of songs off Five Men in a Hut and Split the Difference proved that Chi-town has a strong tie to Gomez and their deep collection of amazing music.
Check ‘em out, Scampers. You have 2 more chances – Buffalo, NY tonight and Indy tomorrow, before they hop back across the pond and we wait for next year.
The one thing that anyone should know about Summer Camp, is that it really starts on Thursday, not Friday. This year was no exception.
Things kicked off with a pretty insane windstorm. If you were camped in the forest, you probably didn’t feel it, but anyone in open air certainly felt like they were in Twister for a while there. Canopies were toppling over, tents falling to the ground, and dust at an all-time high. But once the music started, who cared?
My day kicked off with Appleseed Collective at the Starshine Stage. For an early set as people were just setting up camp, they really pulled a great and lively crowd. Then I headed to Zeta Zune at the Camping Stage. They were a little more rock than a lot of the jam & bluegrass bands around summer camp, which was a really nice change of pace. They handed out a 6 song sampler that I can’t wait to plug in on the ride home.
We headed back to the campsite for a while to see how our compound (we call it “Camp Jorts”) fared through the wind. Unfortunately, not well – but after putting things back up, we were on our way again! Fist to quickly catch James and the Devil with our new friends from Colorado that are camping nearby. James and the Devil were really great – sort of a rock & jazzy vibe with a sound that faintly makes you think of Sublime… but with a fiddle. Trust me, it works. You know what else works? The three band members that played shirtless – no women in the crowd had a problem with that one; they were adorable.
Finally, we knew that everyone had settled in once Digital Tape Machine started ramping up. DTM is an awesome project combining artists to create original electronic music. I’ve heard that they originally started the group to create music specifically to be picked up for video games, which is pretty cool… you can totally hear that as a possibility. Cornmeal’s set with pretty much flawless, and there’s nothing like a Cornmeal dance party to get you going. The glowsticks were out, the party in full force, and everyone was ready to rage all night.
Moving into Friday, we can’t wait for the rest of the campers to arrive and get the real party going… it’s going to be a long day of back-to-back amazing sets, so keep an eye out for updates! Don’t forget to follow #scmf2012 for updates on Twitter or check out those information boards around the park.