Can you believe Summer Camp 2013 is ONLY 44 days away? What do you think of the lineup the crew put together this year? Pretty amazeballs if you ask me. The festival mainstays of moe. & Umphrey’s are again front and center holding down headlining spots. But they share some pretty rarified company! The Wood Brothers and The Wailers were late adds that pleased many a camper. The only thing left to figure out is where everyone will be slotted with other great acts like Trey, Thievery Corporation, STS9, Avett Brothers, and YMSB.
I caught Thievery’s NYE show out in Vail as the ball dropped and we rang in 2013 at Dobson Ice Arena. Their mix of house electronic beats along side a live band with amazing female and male vocalists has been heard around the DC area for years. I’m thinking that the late night set with ZEDS DEAD is going to easily rival last years by Pretty Lights. Be sure to get your tickets to the RED BARN late nights while you still can. If not don’t worry they’ll have another set placed strategically throughout the awesome weekend at Three Sisters Park.
What sort of collaborations will we see this year at Camp? Will Trey get down with moe.? Will Yonder and Cornmeal team up? These are the questions that get people excited, and with 44 DAYS to go…let your imagination run wild.
Speaking of who is bringing rage sticks or totems this year? Last year saw some pretty unique creations, and I for one am gonna be scouting for the famous “STOP & GET DOWN” sign along with a host of others. I may give out prizes so be on the lookout for me and when you do see me throw up your best “rage face” for the picture.
I’m really thankful that this year i’ll have time in addition to covering the festival to hang with my band pals Family Groove Company, Old Shoe, Henhouse Prowlers, Afternoon Moon, Chicago Farmer, The Giving Tree Band, The Ragbirds, and Zmick. Friends are what makes the festival experience that much more special and its been almost a year since I hung out with my fellow CIT friends and Camp Counselor from last year. That’s a year TOO long for sure.
Let’s see besides seeing Widespread Panic this weekend at UIC. I’m heading out west on tour with Old Shoe as they play a few Colorado dates at the end of April. If you are around Fort Collins (4/17), Steamboat Springs (4/18), Denver (4/19), or Nederland (4/20) make sure you look up where they are playing on that Facebook thing and get on down to check them out pre SC2013! I’ll even share a tasty local beverage with you (if you are of age of course). Until we meet again at Camp keep your eyes peeled for the schedule and when its released start planning your romp through Three Sisters cause a good time starts with a good plan!
Summer Camp 2013…will we hear the Main Squeeze? Let your voice be heard.
Set: Sign, Seal, Delivered, I Wish, All I Do, Too High, Livin for the City> Boogie On Reggae Woman> Contusion> Sir Duke, Love In Need Of Love Today> Higher Ground.
There are no certainties in life, but good music speaks volumes. I know this much…Summer Camp could used to get “squeezed”. The Main Squeeze, hailing from Bloomington, IN recently relocated to the Windy City and have been showing off their chops honed overseas in China, and down in Manchester, TN at a weekly Martyrs residency on Chicago’s north side.
For the third installment the quintet decided to bring out even more funkiness to the mix with a tribute to the sweet voiced lyrically masterful legend himself Mister Stevie Wonder. Corey Frye did major justice to the Rock Hall of Famer by elevating his vocals to near perfect harmonies. His energy and enthusiasm to the craft and a musical mentor are apparent in the passion he put forth throughout the set. He even donned the trademark shades and cracked a joke midway through the set jesting “It’s so dark with these on, I don’t know how Stevie did it.”
Speaking to keyboard/keytar player Ben “Smiley” Silverstein he explained due to a uppity neighbor near their practice space that liked peace and quiet over a late night rehearsals, they only had one real “run through” before the show! Amazing. However, these guys are professionals and know the songs backwards and forwards so the night went off without a hitch. Playing together for 3+ years they really have a comfortable flow and feel of when each should step out front to solo.
Having checked out Janis & Friends Stevie Wonder Tribute set at Abbey Pub for Halloween I was eager to see how their set stacked up, both from what songs they played and how they put their “twist” on what now are such iconic songs. They only thing that was missing besides the costumes (YouTube Jaik Willis as Big Bird for a laugh) was a horn section. Yet The Main Squeeze had a number of healthy keyboard solos where Silverstein really shone. Paired with mean electric guitar fills and a bass that kept the low end tight I really enjoyed this evening immensely.
The moment Charlie Otto sauntered onto the Vic stage, politely asking you to listen to a tape he wanted to play, you were magically looped back to 1984. Not Orwell’s 1984, but David Byrne’s where big suits, spandex clad fly girls, and lamps are perfectly acceptable dance partners for the evening if the mood strikes.
This Must Be The Band is one of the only Talking Heads cover bands in Chicago. More importantly they also are the most adept at conveying an accurate representation of the actual band members down to their mannerisms. Charlie Otto is to David Byrne as Day-Lewis is to President Lincoln. He simply owns the characters likeness so much that one can almost forget who is onstage until, out of costume, Otto reminds taking a few requests once the performance portion of the evening is complete.
Byrne (Charlie Otto) opens wearing white shoes with the familiar drum cadence of “Psycho Killer” and is alone onstage with his acoustic and boom box. As the gunfire puts him into a spastic whirl stumbling like the last scenes of “Scarface” he is joined by the core members of the band in each of the first four songs. With each successive song, Byrne is cumulatively joined onstage by Tina Weymouth (Jamie Jay) for “Heaven” (with Lynn Mabry (Tawny Newsome) providing harmony vocals from backstage, second by Chris Frantz (Alan Maniacek) for “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel”, and third by Jerry Harrison (Jim Dinou) for “Found a Job”. Performance equipment is gradually wheeled out and wired up to the bare stage between and throughout the performances, as Talking Heads continue to be augmented by several additional musicians, most of whom had extensive experience in funk: back-up singers Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt (Kasey Foster), keyboardist Bernie Worrell (again played by Dinou), and percussionist Steve Scales (Pat Sweeney). The first song to feature the entire lineup is “Burning Down the House“. The energy when the first lyrics burst onto the full fervor crowd is palpable. Lighting is key and TMBTB nailed it on one of the most important tracks. Certainly the song built to a crescendo perfectly and the crowd responded by singing the chorus throughout. The audience also held a fixation upon a singular white balloon as they toyed with it which fit the evening’s jovial atmosphere. Like Byrne it flitted about on a whim seemingly unable to find a comfortable resting place. Otto truly captures Byrne’s idea that music should be experienced and not just listened to and TMBTB’s devoted fan admiration can be viewed as a sign they represented to the highest level of flattery.
Byrne leaves the stage at one point, to allow the Weymouth–Frantz-led side-band the Tom Tom Club to perform their song “Genius of Love“. There was much funky love laid down by Jamie Jay and Alan Maniacek, and the dressed to impress Wedding Singer themed crowd let loose their inner 80s in a spectacle not soon to be topped.
Without a cast and crew equally dedicated to representing the others involved the project would fall flat and not have as great an impact. Many can sing and act like Byrne, but few groups are lucky enough to interact with a full band while blocking the stage movement in perfect choreography. Every run in place, arm condor swing, and crawl on the floor with a microphone move are executed without a forced feel. One thing I read Byrne wanted to achieve by giving a full view of everything happening on the stage was to ensure that interactions between the performers would not be lost with choppy camera shots. TMBTB is not mimicking the movement onstage, they become it and live it live through the audience.
True to the DVD version TMBTB played three tracks “Big Business”, “I Zimbra”, “Cities” before inviting the stage crew back onstage to take applause and join them for a song and a few requests. The umpteenth installment of their annual gig recreating “Stop Making Sense” sold out before the doors opened ensuring TMBTB has “Found A Job” at least for one evening each year. Otto’s side project Savvy is scheduled to play Martyr’s 11/30 along with Dozens and Magic Box.
Inspiration takes many forms. What motivates one musician may tire and bore the next. While Lera Lynn and the Wood Brothers primary motivator surely is bringing heartfelt music to the masses, one thing they also share is a healthy obsession with whiskey. Whether the Lion’s Pride Rye helped whet the whistle of Ms. Lynn, or let’s Chris perform his interpretive dance moves any easier is for the audience to judge. However, a few things were laid on the line the day after Halloween when they played Chicago’s Lincoln Hall. Foremost, these performers formed for a 8 night tour in November a symbiotic relationship nary seen these days on a bill. They seemed to feed off the energy and genuine good nature which made what went down all that more special for those in attendance.
Lera Lynn set list: Happy Ever After, Comin’ Down,I’m Your Fool,Refrain,The Frey,Fly,You & Me Alone, Bobby, Baby, Standing on the Moon
Lera Lynn, the darling from Athens, GA can play her custom converted ’57 Kay acoustic like she sold a piece of her soul to a fiddle playing Beelzebub. Her slender frame hides a powerful voice that carried over the hushed crowd of four hundred respectful Chicagoan’s. There were no catcall’s, only appreciation for a throwback to a different era. One that is undoubtedly popular, but increasing removed from the radio scene which is a shame. June Carter, Patsy Cline, Lera Lynn? She is that talented and at the same time bashfully humble. She jested to the crowd what a treat it was to play with the Brothers Wood due to their unknowing grandeur and renown. Modest to a fault she sings about feelings larger than herself, but that have touched her profoundly in her short time on earth. The good one’s can pull a lyric from a simple chord much like a wizard in a Potter movie pulls a memory from the ear of a student at Hogwart’s.
Rocking back in forth in her high heeled boots and knee length dress she is comfortable engaging people and letting them see a glimpse. It could be the drinks ordered from her adoring fans sent stage side that loosens her lips, but she quickly finds a melody and like her journey to date elevates to echelons normally not expected to be heard from a potty mouthed bourbon drinking southerner. Yes, she curses like a sailor but where it could be thought crass on some for some reason it isn’t this night. The dichotomy in stage presence and song penmanship aside the women has a way about her and captures the ear and eye of all in the room as they gaze at a concoction of sassy sweet and sultry sounds. The name of her recent album “Have You Met Lera Lynn?” begs a worthy question. If not I suspect you will soon. Her cracked rear view mirror isn’t as omnipotent as Hootie’s, but her busted front windshield and tour with the Wood Brothers should make her a household name soon enough.
Wood Brothers set list: Sing About It, Up Above My Head, Atlas, Pay Attention, Twisted, Neon, Postcards From Hell, Spirit, Honey Jar, Fox On The Run, I Got Loaded, Mary Anna, One More Day, Glad, Down, Shoofly Pie. E: Luckiest Man, PYT (w/ Lera Lynn)
The Wood Brothers, Chris and Oliver, brought their soulful sibling harmonization as well as their shiutar player, Jano Rix, to the friendly confines of Lincoln Hall for the night. Although they now call New York and Atlanta their respective home these days their roots as well as instrumentation track back to growing up in Boulder. Bluesy folk goodness emanates from Chris’ upright bass as he tells the crowd that Chicago truly is his favorite town. There is Oliver jesting “there he goes”, but there’s an tone of honesty in his voice just like the music that makes even the most skeptical mind believe.
On “Postcards from Hell” lyrics tell of a bluesman who won’t flinch in the eye of temptation and plays his music for the necessities in life and sheer desire. The song epitomizes what I can only believe was a man the brothers came across in the travels and found in him a kindred spirit to which they could relate.
“You never heard a soul so pure and true
It’s flowin’ right out of his hands
He can sing sweet as a choir girl
Or he can sing a house on fire
I’ve seen him callin’ up the angels
And use a breeze for a telephone wire”
If the brothers are the personification of whiskey drinking angels then its the perfect juxtaposition to the openers “cursory” notes. Although you know its not as easy as it seems the chord progressions and time changes effortlessly synch perfectly like the brothers knew they were meant to travel the land spreading good music throughout.
If your faith is still undetermined then Oliver has some advice for you…give it “One More Day”. It’s during this ditty that he and Chris let loose during a solo portion and let the music take them as they take turns using their bass and guitar respectfully as dance partners. Chris straddles his upright as Oliver takes a solo and crouches down like the music is in his gut trying to get out and find a good home.
It’s clear that this is their congregation. During the encore they bring out a cover of ”Pretty Young Thing” performed aptly with the backing vocals of Lera Lynn complete with whiskey in tow. When these brothers were young they were prodigies in the company of mentors. Now that they are settling into life, but still young at heart, its apparent that like fine whiskey their music is getting better with age.
When the hardest working man in the Jam scene comes to town touting the Jimi Hendrix Experience one tends to tune in and listen. Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule have been doing “Mule-O-Ween” since 2007 and decided 2012 would be time to bust out a legend that wasn’t Mayan related. The Riviera Theater stage was adorned with Jackass-O-lanterns (pumpkins carved with mule designs) and there was that familiar smell of Halloween throughout the venue.
Gourds weren’t the only one’s dressed to impress with a large contingent of the crowd donning their midweek best which included Hans Solo, John Lennon, and Axel Rose as the notables. Some came straight from work with little fanfare for festive pagan rituals. But one thing they did come ready to devour is hearing sweet sounds from one southern gentlemen and his skillful guitar mastery.
The first set was a throwback to Gov’t Mule’s Summer Camp Moonshine stage set as they played “Fallen Down> The Other One Jam” complemented with the lyrics to the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”. “Thorazine Shuffle” off Dose (2001) was also a treat to here for long time Mule fans. Warren spoke to the crowd telling them they’d be right back in the holiday spirit. Time to reload the beverages…
One of the only musicians that could pull off the soulful voice of Hendrix and intricacies of his now groundbreaking style the second set was a collection of rare and famous Jimi classics. On “Little Wing” which Haynes pulled out for the last song of the encore he played a white Fender Strat which was strung upside down in the classic Jimi lefty style. Though the mega classics of “Fire” or “Voodoo Child” were absent, highlights from the evening included “Castles Made Of Sand, Stone Free” as well as the opener of “Are You Experienced” into “Freedom” complete with strobe lighting effects that were timed perfectly to the band coming onstage to a raucous frenzied fanfare. As I made my way to the exit I noticed more than a few Mule aficionados had passed out in their costume on tables. Somehow I feel Warren and Jimi would both approve.
Set One: Blind Man In The Dark, Wold Boss, Larger Than Life, Gameface , Fallen Down > The Other One Jam , Kind Of Bird , Captured, Thorazine Shuffle
Set Two: Hendrix Interview, EXP > Are You Experienced?, Freedom, One Rainy Wish, Up From The Skies, Crosstown Traffic, Bleeding Heart (Peoples, Peoples, Peoples), Angel, And The Gods Made Love, Castles Made Of Sand, Stone Free , Rainy Day, Dream Day/Still Raining, Still Dreaming , 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) > Machine Gun > 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be), Axis (Bold As Love)
Encore: Happy Birthday Jam, Sco-Mule* , Little Wing
 Mountain Jam Teases
 Gimme Shelter Lyrics
 Get Up Stand Up, Wind Cries Mary Teases
 Third Stone From The Sun Tease
 with Chris Neal
 with Chris Neal, Smoke On The Water, Dance To The Music Lyrics
For a small town man from just south of Peoria, Cody Diekhoff sure has adapted to life as Chicago Farmer. The one man folk singer was an appropriate choice to open up for The Ragbirds as just a few days earlier his reincarnation folk hero Woody Guthrie celebrated what would have been the legend’s 100th birthday. There was plenty to celebrate for Cody as well as he and his wife Kymber recently had a milestone anniversary of 5 strong years together. Although he jested that he never liked love songs having only penned 8 (6 being about revenge he mused) during this special evening he dedicated a few sweet stories of the time they met, and even one song about “true love” in “Nothing Better To Do.”
His fast talking approach on stage lays in stark contrast to the pace of his upbringing in Delevan, a town of just 25 people. Still his lyrics, like Guthrie’s, are timeless and can be taken in by folk of any size town as his set at SPACE in Evanston demonstrated Sunday.
He tells the audience “Who On Earth” came after he was asked to write a protest song to stop mountain top coal mining in West Virginia. Being that he was from the flat lands of southern Illinois he drew his inspiration partly from the Occupy movement with lyrics that hit home like “it seems poor criminals are kept on a leash, and rich criminals are catch and release.” While his message is politically charged he is never polarizing. It seems as if he simply wants to make you think about what’s right in the grand cosmic scheme of things. Who makes the rules and why should someone get ticketed for going 57mph. Arbitrary rules set by folk no different than you he figures determine right and wrong and access to the pearly gates.
The reason for his success I believe, nay reckon, is accessibility. During “Workin On It”, he teaches a lesson on how to speak like a “folk singing hillbilly from the upper midwest side.” He gets the crowd into the refrain having them repeat in hillbilly dialect “Im-ma/ Werk-in / Ah-oOn / It” that brings the room together and sets a comfortable tone for the evening. What he can’t teach them, however, is what he has learned during his journey. He does his best, however, to relate it spinning yarns about how upon his first time playing Subterranean’s open mic night a bum asking for change offered him some instead after seeing the look on the artist’s face. He “busted the roof” off of all 8 people in the place and gave the CD proceeds from the evening to the vagrant who gave him an even better gift in the song “Hero”. Those days are long gone as he now has an contingent of loyal fans to keep him company during his travels.
A casual off the cuff jokester one moment he never strays far from his humble roots or foundation of family, and honest people doing a respectable days hard work. In these days where prefabricated pop rules the airwaves…that in and of itself is a breath of fresh air. With his in-laws front row “looking up his nose” as the Farmer put it, he surely made them proud, setting the table for the main act The Ragbirds. Oh and he threw in “Illinois Anthem” that recounted the tales of a wayward ex just for a good measured revenge song. Gotta love that twist Cody puts on life.
The Ragbirds are a world music act out of Ann Arbor that put a folk spin on life with their music. With the positive infectious floaty voice of Erin Zindle front and center they easily captivate a room. Good storytellers never force a subject of discussion on an audience and neither does Zindle. Quirky but cosmically centered she suggests that her band’s music comes from inspiration from the moon, but that maybe she is personifying the moon as herself.
Juxtaposing and analyzing her stance on self psychoanalysis the band launches into “The Frame.” What’s nice about the group’s playing style is they pull from different musical elements and play multiple different instrument arrangements. Rare does one see the electric kalimba much on stage and it complements the rangy swinging number greatly.
In “Lemon Grove” Zindle shares that the winter is a great time to store lyrics until they can be put to melody in warmer weather when the music comes to her. This number proved just that. It of course is also about the moon. Curious tunnel vision on song influence aside one can’t help but grin and let it melt away as the Ragbirds perform the old african tribal dance “Moribayassa” which the lyrics are featured by the sirens in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?”
Zindle likes a good dance. On “Tarantella” she bounces and strums a variety of instruments next to her guitarist brother T.J. and percussionist husband Randall Moore. She tells us its important to sing and likes times where she can be alone with her thoughts to create. Old tales use to say ancients believed dancing got poison out of the soul and they urge those feeling brave to try their hand for the tango influenced number with Zindle on violin.
A great version of The Talking Heads “Nothing But Flowers” kept Zindle with bow in hand. It felt right to hear the earthy group cover a song recounting Eno’s dystopian future. During the set they also expertly teased the Beatles “Norwegian Wood” and a number of Paul Simon tunes. With a number of summer tour dates still left make sure to catch both these acts the next time they are around.
Chicago Farmer plays Whippersnap Music Festival in Rockford. More can be found at http://www.chicagofarmer.com/shows/
The Ragbirds can be seen in their homestate of Michingan. Complete tour schedule is at http://www.theragbirds.com/.
The past harmonizes. Everyone on Earth has a doppelganger. Both axioms proved to be true upon my second time seeing the Grateful Dead reenactment group, Dark Star Orchestra. As I stared onto the stage at guitarist Rob Eaton’s mouth gaping Bob Weir face, I thought to myself, “how was tonight any different than if i’d been born a child of the 60’s and gotten here through a more natural twist of fate?”
Time is obstinate — it can twist and contort, but ultimately remains constant in a relative state of mind. On this particular hazy post liberty influenced weekend, as the Chicago heat toned down from triple digits outside, inside the Park West Theater Dark Star Orchestra did their best to raise the temperature by recreating one helluva Grateful Dead set whose original audience experienced during a time and space at the Auditorium Theater on 5/13/77.
One could contend the spring of ’77 is arguably one of the best runs to be a Deadhead and if you looked around the venue last Saturday and judged by who was onstage and in the audience you might have surely thought you stepped into a wormhole that transported you back 35 years to that golden era. This particular show saw the band perform the very first “Jack-A-Roe” and had a wonderfully rare first set close with “Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain.”
Those who tell me they don’t like seeing bands that only cover one specific group with no original tunes have their right to an opinion. But imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, why wouldn’t you want to close your eyes and let your mind expand on a cosmic journey from one of the legendary groups that influenced thousands? Oh and who, by the way, changed the course of history along the way creating an entire genre. You’d have to be on a close minded ship of fools to believe you couldn’t enjoy DSO even one tiny iota.
The likeness both in playing style and appearance is palpable. During “Cassidy” the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It didn’t matter that it was Jeff Mattson and not Jerry Garcia to me onstage because this was my reality — not 1977 Dave. Besides I would like to think Jerry would like his music to live on through such a dedicated group of musicians. A Deadhead is the harshest critic when it comes to judging an audible incarnation of a legend. The artistry and skill in one’s craft needed to be able to pull off such a feat is beyond comprehension. Not one person dancing and whirling in the crowd that night knew or cared. Original hippies and neo-hippie clad youth all shouted the chorus to “Goin Down The Road Feeling Bad” with the same exuberance.
Lisa Mackey, who plays the role of Donna Jean Godchaux, returned from a brief hiatus for the bands Colorado stint. She donned her trademark headphones, spun, and whirled, lending vocals to “Stella Blue.” Later as the set closed she provided a treat on harmonica for “Next Time You See Me.”
The highlight of the show, chalked full of classics as it was, however was “The Other One” jam. Coming out of “Drums” people exploded when Rob belted out the first verse nearly 13 minutes after the song began. The past run in Chicago had DSO playing the Vic which while having a larger capacity room diminishes the intimacy factor slightly. Park West was perfectly suited to cater to a crowd that appreciated the musicianship more than the ability to consume. The high domed ceiling where the disco ball hung allowed for those with laser pointers to add to the spacey spectacle. Past and present collided and for one more Saturday night in one of the best Grateful Dead cover bands 1900+ shows it harmonized to perfection.
Monday 10AM - Made it out of the tent graveyard post festival zombieland that was Chillicothe’s Three Sisters Park. Our neighbors must have partied too hard because they left a completely intact upright 15′ X 15′ enclosed canopy at their site. We provided the land with these tiki torches which were nice ambience, but rather unwieldy to transport back home. I heard a ton of stuff gets donated to local charities so i’m hoping they end up on some townies back porch next to a hammock or something.
Monday 3PM - Arrive home, immediately eat a large Chicago Bagel Authority bagel, shower for 40 minutes solid, and begin to sleep a ridiculous amount of time before unpacking the rest of our leftovers from SCamp. Inventory excess was had on tie-dye duct tape, and Armor vienna sausages (which we are planning to give away to some hungry soul at the next festival since they have the half life on par with Twinkies). Pay it forward with the sardines as well! Karma and brownie points or caramel brownie bites are all good.
Tuesday 1AM- My sleep schedule is all wonky so I write a bit about my groups Sunday fest activity and upload video blogs until I get tired again around 4AM. I remove the dirt that somehow escaped the 40 minute soap barrage earlier and it starts to hit me. Another year is in the books for Summer Camp. Some of us go back to the real world. Some of us go on to the next festival. However, for one brief weekend we were together celebrating our veterans as well as the fact we are able to be with dear friends and hear wonderfully crafted music.
As I reflect back on my first Summer Camp as a CIT I am thankful for the camaraderie shown by all my new friends. Maria Iriart, Abby Mager, Jason Harper, Mo Miller, Tiff Narron, and Alex Fornes are some good folk and despite life getting hectic we’ve all said we’re going to try and keep the band together for next year. Holly was a great Camp Director who was a blast to see do her thing flying all over the place. I was able to meet Jay Goldberg the first night on the way in and shake his hand and thank him for keeping such a great festival vibe and not letting it get out of hand. I’ll surely benefit from this experience simply by expanding my group of friends that share the love of Summer Camp.
Sunday brought with it even hotter temperatures as reluctantly the festival was on its final day. No sooner had I finally settled into camp life suddenly there was a realization to make this last one count. My crew broke out the icy pops and chilled in the shade listening to some Greensky Bluegrass on the Moonshine Stage. This group is in rarified air in the bluegrass community and Sunday they played two scheduled shows.
Keeping it in a bluegrass state of mind I hopped along to Sunshine stage for Devil Makes Three which surprised and impressed me as a first time listener. Then we headed over to Moonshine to catch a few songs off of Yonder Mountain and Tedeschi Trucks Band in the early evening time slots. Loved the power behind TTB’s “Bound For Glory.” I couldn’t stay long as I was hunting around for my Summer Camp artist pals to interview and give a recap of the happenings and memories from their 2012 Summer Camp experience.
Luckily, I was able to snag interviews with a great wealth of Summer Camp talent. Check out each one: Rock the Earth, Chicago Farmer, Matt Robinson and Mike Kaiz from Old Shoe, and an entire trifecta of Jaik Willis (JW part 2, JW part 3).
After a quick stop at the church to download my pictures and video blogs for your viewing pleasure I went back to Maria’s campsite in the woods where moe. and Greensky Bluegrass gathered to play her a special private show. My headlamp came in handy as they positioned me 5 feet in front of the band so they could see their instruments. An acoustic version of The Band classic “Up on Cripple Creek” was the highlight here in my opinion. Or it may have been the intoxicated random walking through “Okay, Alright” and the band mockingly mimicking his movements in jest.
After the woods disbanded I went back for more with a bit of Pretty Lights where a sea of rage sticks and glowing orbs bobbed and danced. A golf cart was taken over by six people who used it as if they were on Soul Train. I managed to squeeze out just in time to hear rumor of something crazy going down with Galactic at the Starshine Stage. Apparently, IndigoSun’s saxophone player threw down a monster solo during the set to thunderous applause. Good coming out party for those guys for sure. I caught up with Jason (aka Chickenheadfan) at Jane’s Addiction in the VIP section. It was great to hear some early 90s classic rock although some in the crowd with glow sticks were perplexed as a playful Perry poked fun at them. The entire band stays in peak physical condition and the stage set up is pretty wild with four 20 ft hight female statues standing back to back while video of ladies writhing about plays on 10 ft video screens. Jason and I shared stories of the weekend and how lucky we were to get the opportunity to meet and experience such a great event together. We both vowed that next year would be even better when we could have more time to party with our Counselor/CIT crew.
As I sat in the grass near Moonshine reflecting on what we had accomplished a magical “moe.ment” happened when my friends Old Shoe had the video for their song “Take that Road” played in front of a few thousand fans as we waited for moe’s last set. Natalie Wade did some great original work HERE and she and the band deserved the recognition for all their effort (check out the guitar solo special trippy effects at 1:39).
After moe. gave real energy to the evening with their performance it seemed everyone made their way over to check out This Must Be the Band at Soulshine Tent. A few thousand people stuffed the tent to the point it was bustng at the seams from the heat that was collectively trapped inside. Talking Heads is the perfect way to unwind and I saw numerous Summer Camp artists wandering about the crowd partying with all the campers. “And She Was” and ”Cities” were highlights that rose the temperature a few degrees.
We met up with FGC’s Janis Wallin to take in some Campfire Greensky Bluegrass to end the evening. Popping into the Pretty Lights late night show it was like someone condensed the golf cart party earlier that evening into a small little ball. Rage sticks must be some sort of dub step mating ritual…you know Darwinism and the boldest marked gents get all the birds. ”How ornate your stick good sir, now let’s raise it up and down in a celebratory motion.”
Earplugs inserted into their proper destinations I omitted from my sleep the sounds of non-stop VIP bar DJ’s spinning to 7am, and the constant brah’s yelling “WOOP, WOOP” from their tents before puking in the forest. I appreciate them not wanting the liquor to go to waste but for the sake of not leaving your 20′ by 10′ canopy behind Monday morning stop the Jameson shots and for that matter DUB STOP. One last post Summer Camp post for me before I must bid you adieu. I’m going to keep Summer Camp fresh in your minds for next year by reporting killer shows I take in up in Chicago. That deserves one of those brah’s “WOOP, WOOP’s!”
Cody Diekhoff talks about his experience at Summer Camp Music Festival.
Click DUB STOP to listen.