Saturdays are always some of the biggest days at Summer Camp. Almost everyone has had time to get to the festival and is out ready to rage in full force. Saturday was HOT! The mercury hit around 95 degrees but the bands were even hotter. I took the heat with chicken hat on and got to see quite a few bands. Here is a little bit of a preview of my day.
Family Groove Company
Kids These Days
Brain Damaged Eggman
Sun Stereo recreating the Beatles
Like yesterday, I will give you a brief synopsis of what where some of my high points of the day.
The first band that blew me completely away was a band I first heard within the last six months. The band is called Kids These Days and they are out of Chicago. The band is made out of young rockers that are barely out of high school, but don’t let that fool you. They have more talent and soul than people twice their age. Kids these Days has a very original sound I would call a sweet blend of funk, blues, jazz, soul, and hip hop. All 7 members of the band owned the stage the moment they set foot out there bringing an energy level that could boil blood. One of the things that first drew me to the band was the absolutely stunning voice of Macie Stewart who also plays keys, but I also have love for the horn section made up of Nico Segal on trumpet and J.P. Floyd on trombone. The horns provide that jazzy icing on the cake that brings all the parts in sync. They also function as “hype men” pumping up the crown and having a good time on stage. I love rock and roll but my roots are in the blues which is why I love to see Liam Cunningham up there ripping on blues guitar. I hope to see much more of these guys in the future.
The next show will be on the top of many Scampers best of list for 2012. The Brain Damaged Eggmen were formed from Jake, Kris, and Brendan from Umphrey’s, and Marc and Aron from Disco Biscuits. The two groups seamlessly blended their styles to form what 2011 Camp Counselor Nick Stock called Disco McGee. The sound was a dancy blend of Disco Biscuits groove and gut-punching Umphrey’s rock. They played many of my favorite songs including Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” I was lucky enough to witness Umphrey’s cover this song in Dekalb in 2007 and was excited to see it busted out again.
After the late night in the Red Barn I was wanting to keep the Beatles vibe rolling and also wanted to kick back and relax so I headed towards the Soulshine tent to see Sun Stereo recreating the Beatles. I have never seen these guys before and was glad to see that they are a home grown act hailing from Urbana, IL. They came out in full force complete with British accents that could fool a true Brit.
I also got to take some time between sets to check out the Field Day events and even participate in dodgeball. I regret to inform you that I am not very good at Dodgeball and got out almost immediately, but I had a lot of fun. If you have a competitive spirit the field day events are a great way to meet new people that you will be able to rage with at future festivals. It is also a great way to partake in the childlike fun of Summer Camp.
One more day left Scampers. It is going to be a great one, hold on to it while you can because you are going to miss it Monday. As always Rage Responsibly!
Hello everyone! Summer Camp 2013 is coming up quickly so I figured it was about time to share with everyone the interview I was able to do with Janis Wallin and Jordan Wilkow of Family Groove Company.
In the interview we discuss Family Groove Company growing with the festival over the last 9 years, their favorite collaborations with artists at Summer Camp, and why checking out the workshops at Summer Camp is so important.
I hope everyone enjoys this interview and is looking forward to attending Summer Camp Music Festival 2013 as much as I am.
On Friday at Summer Camp Music Festival things really begin to pick up. For me the day started off writing my blog from Thursday and going to the press area to upload all my photos. One of the coolest thins about being a CIT is that you get a peek at the inner workings of a music festival, and you get to see just how much hard work is put into making Summer Camp run smoothly year after year. Friday I had a busy day checking out music and spent little time at our campsite. My crew and I were able to catch:
Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s
Indigo Sun at Grassroots tent late night
I want to go over some of the high points in the day for me musically. First Keller Played an amazing set including “Tweaker by the Speaker” and “Doobie in my Pocket.” Things got kicked up a notch when Al Schnier of Moe came out and played guitar on “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The feel good sound of Keller is the perfect music for a mid afternoon set at Summer Camp.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a great show at the Campfire Stage between Umphrey’s sets. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch them would not disagree that the tuxedo sporting band has been the sharpest looking band at the festival so far. The band’s name coms from the legendary New Orleans venue, Preservation Hall. Anyone who likes New Orleans Jazz will love this band.
My favorite set at the festival has so far has been Primus. They busted out some of my favorites off their new album like “Moron TV” and “Eyes of the Squirrel.” What made the set so memorable was when Bob Weir came out to perform “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead. This jam lasted for 10+ minutes and was full of energy and passion. Any time you can see a member of the Dead perform you know you are in for a treat.
Lotus was another highlight. Their performance last year in the Red Barn was one of my favorite at the festival. This year I feel the headliner spot on the Sunshine stage was well deserved. They did not disappoint playing songs like “It’s All so Clear to Me” and “Greet the Mind.” We stayed in the back for this set and chilled. There was a lot of space, and I felt like dancing so I got my groove on and enjoyed the show.
We are camped in section B like we always do. This is my favorite spot to camp because you get the Camping Stage right there to provide you with good music all day long. I am really digging the new location and size of the camping stage this year. It was always one of the smallest venues on the festival grounds even though it has consistently provided some of the best up-and-coming bands on the festival scene. It is the perfect place to stop by if you are always on the prowl for new music.
Besides music I have been lucky enough to catch up with several friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also am meeting new people every time I wander off from my friends, and it made me realize that at Summer Camp you are never alone cause we are all a big family. It was also cool to talk to Adam Alexander, a great photographer covering Summer Camp again this year. I owe him one because he is the one who took the photo of my in my chicken hat last year that was used as the camp caption challenge contest, and all my profile photos. Check out his photos, he rocks.
Make sure you check out my photos from the festival on the Summer Camp Flikr page
Follow @chickenheadfan on Twitter to stay updated on where I am at the fest.
Thursday “pre-party” sets at Summer Camp Music Festival have always, in my opinion, produced some of my favorite sets of the entire festival. Last night was no disappointment. After we got camp situated we hit the shows almost right away.
The set that popped my Summer Camp cherry this year was Spread hailing from Carbondale, IL. They have been a staple at the festival the last three years after winning the Summer Camp battle of the bands competition. They came out in full force playing some of their originals like “Chocolatte Magna Cum Latte” and even busting out a song made famous by the Grateful Dead, “Corrina, Corrina.” The will be playing numerous festivals in the midwest this summer, and often play in both Carbondale and Chicago.
The next set I caught after a brief break at my campsite to re-hydrate was Family Groove Company. As always they brought the party. Let me just confess I LOVE Family Groove Company! I don’t think there is a band that exist that is more fun to watch than Family Groove. You can feel the energy that is flowing through the band not only by the music coming from them but by the smiles on their faces! They killed it as always playing many of their best numbers including a personal favorite of mine “Professionals Here.” The intensity level kicked it up to 11 when Allie Kral of Cornmeal stepped out to play a few including “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John. I also got to check out the show with fellow Family Groove fanatic and CIT Dave Weckstein. The set ended with one of Janis Wallin’s infamous stage jumps.
As I was leaving FGC I was drawn in to the 312 Vibe Tent once again by some of the funkiest bass I have heard in a while. Spare Parts was bringing the jazz-funk to Summer Camp, they are a band to I hate to say I am not that familiar with but see that changing now. I was blown away by there sound. I am from Chicago and will be seeing them there ASAP as they frequent the local live music bars.
Digital Tape Machine was the next to play. I am a huge Umphrey’sfan and I love their side projects as well. They are self described as video game music, and I think they are selling their selves short. Their music is video game inspired, but is so much more than the typical 8-bit electronica band you have heard.
Cornmeal took the stage after dark and played an amazing set. The love for bluegrass music is alive and well here at Summer Camp. Cornmeal has been a staple here for years and the fans love them. Everyone in the crowd was on their feet dancing the whole show.
On the way to the Red Barn we caught a song from Floodwood just as they were bringing up Allie Kral from Cornmeal. It seems like everyone wants to play with Allie! She always brings the extra energy to the show!
The Werks was the last band I saw last night in the Red Barn. I really enjoyed the music they were playing. Again, this is a band I am not the most familiar with but am soon to become a super fan. I also was able to meet another summer camper with a chicken obsession, only they had their chicken strapped to their totem.
What has also made my Summer Camp extra special so far is all the Love I am receiving from you guys! I wear the Chickenhat to meet new people and have fun. If you see me out at the festival come and say hi, take a picture, give me gifts, whatever you feel like. You all are amazing and I love ya’ll!
Happy Summer Camp!
Hello again Summer Campers! We are now only days away from what everyone has been waiting for since May 29, 2011, Summer Camp 2012! In my last blog I told you how to set up camp like a chicken. This time I am going to tell you what things you need to bring to Summer Camp to party like a chicken.
Chickenhead hat – For me, one of the most important things I bring to Summer Camp is my signature Chicken hat. If you see me at the festival come and say hi and take a picture with me. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date of where I am at at the festival, give me tips on shows, post pictures, or make fun of me. Whatever you choose.
Costumes/Weird Clothing Items – Besides my Chickenhead hat you might see me in numerous other costumes that I am bringing to Summer Camp. I think costumes are one of the best ways to have fun and express yourself at Summer Camp. I will be appearing in: (in no particular order) a silk shirt with berries on it, McDonalds French-Fry costume, hamburger hat, inflatable sumo-suit, a kilt, and whatever awesome things I may find over the next couple days.
Toys – This year my friends and I all threw down to get some fun things for Summer Camp. I suggest teaming up to buy with your friends because the more you buy the cheaper you get it for. We bought 300 glow sticks, 22 sky lanterns, 20 LED balloons, and 6 tubes of glow paint. We will also be bringing a laser light machine, kaleidoscope, 2 muppet style puppets, 1 frisbee, 1 bottle of glow-in-the-dark bubbles, and whatever I pick up in the next couple days.
Instruments – Music is the foundation of Summer Camp and when you aren’t seeing any performers it can be fun to make your own music or jam with other campers who brought their instruments. There is also the infamous Summer Camp drum circle that plays till dawn at the Campfire. We will be bringing ukuleles, bongos, a djembe, guitar, and nose flutes.
As you might have noticed I have will be continuing to look for fun things the next couple days, I truly believe that the search for fun items to bring to Summer Camp never ends. Send me a shout out on Twitter or Facebook if you have any tips for last minute fun/weird things for me and other Campers to bring with them to make it the best Summer Camp Ever.
Facebook – Stay connected
Greetings from CIT ChickenHeadFan Jason! With each tick of the clock Summer Camp is getting closer! Like most of you, I have been working hard the last few weeks gathering all the necessary toys and equipment that it will take to make this Summer Camp the best one yet! My friends and I have been to many festivals and have learned a lot along the way. Each year our campsite gets better and better so I would like to share with you some tips I have learned to make sure your site is eggsellent (chicken pun intended).
First you need to buy (or borrow) the right equipment in order to be prepared for anything the festival life will throw at you. Here is a list of what I think is necessary to make your campsite the best that it can be. After all it will be your home for four days.
Tent – This will be your only shelter for a few days in case you plan on sleeping. I have a three-season tent that can get a little hot, but protects you better from the weather. It can get hot around 10 am so if you want to sleep a little after your late night shows you will want a tent with proper ventilation. Also it has been known to rain at Summer Camp so a tent that is waterproof and has no holes is ideal.
Comfortable camp/lawn chair - You will need a place to rest your buns after raging all day. It is also a good place to catch a quick nap in the afternoon. Cup holders are nice, and the smaller it collapses the better. You can even bring it to a show if your legs are feeling weak from all the dancing you did the night before.
Canopy - The sun is HOT, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to camp in the woods. The canopy is a necessity in my book. It will provide you shade in the afternoon sun, and shelter from the rain. It also looks cool when you cut open glow sticks and splatter them all over the canopy! This year we are going big, a 10×20 portable car-port shelter! I have already practiced setting up. Being able to set up camp quickly makes all the difference.
Hammock - This might seem like a luxury to some, but nothing will help you relax at Summer Camp more than a hammock. It also can be a lot of fun if you have a friend swing you around in it! Bringing a hammock does make the search for a campsite a little more difficult, but the woods are full of trees that are the perfect distance apart. Hammocks also attract many people. Do not be surprised if you wake up to find a random person sleeping in the hammock every morning. Great way to meet people!
Cooler - You will need to drink water sometime, this will keep it cold. Coolers also make great benches. One lesson I learned the hard way is that a 200qt. cooler holds a lot of stuff, but is a pain in the ass to carry to your campsite. Two smaller coolers do just fine!
Grill – Grills or other camp stoves are nice to have as well. Portable propane grills are the easiest to use because you do not have to bring charcoal or worry about hot coals. If you need that charcoal flavor it is permitted but remember to be safe and smart when disposing of your coals.
Food/Drink – You can bring food into the festival. In terms of food, unless you are a chef the easier to prepare the better. Hot dogs and hamburgers are Summer Camp staples. For lunch sandwiches like PB&J and ham and cheese are the best choice. There is food available from vendors at the festival (I suggest trying the brick oven pizza and breakfast burritos), but bringing your own will help save some money. For drinks, first and foremost, WATER. You can’t get enough! Soda, juice, tea, lemonade are also nice, but bringing your own alcohol is not allowed, so don’t even try!
Wagon – This is one of the most important things you can bring to Summer Camp. Getting the prime camping spot (I prefer somewhere in the woods) is key to having a good Summer Camp experience. The right wagon will get you to that spot quicker and easier than the competition. This year we bought a gardening wagon with air filled rubber tires that can climb mountains and the ability to hold 400 pounds. The standard “red wagons” have never held up for us.
Decorations: Decorations are not only fun, but they can serve a practical purpose too. Ifyou want to find your campsite again you need to make it a landmark.You can string lights up, fly some balloons, throw streamers around, or you can duct tape a mouse mask to the tree and light off smoke bombs in it. Whatever you do just make it your own!
These are what I believe to be the most important things to keep in mind when planning your campsite for this years Summer Camp Music Festival. If any first times S Campers have any questions or if any crafty veterans would like to chime into this discussion online follow the links below.
Continue this conversation on twitter with @chickenheadfan using #bagawk #scmf12
Become my friend on Facebook.
See you soon,