Saturday was stupid hot musically and temperature wise. I now understand why adventurous campers stay in the woods during the day. It was a different world in the trees. One dub step dude was dragging a stone tied to a string and talking to it telling “Stoney” to “watch out” for those behind him. While some people were fried, most slabbed on the 100SPF sunblock so as not to look like Joan Rivers turkey neck by the end of the festival. After lathering myself up I headed out in search of something cool.
I thought Afternoon Moon could help in the coolness area so I headed over to check out their Camping Stage set. The fellas from Chicago delivered in front of their “Mooners” despite the heat. Jordan and his brother Joe promised their fans this was one not to miss and I have to say they threw down. I spent a few songs cooling off under the canopy of the woods before going to check out Family Groove Company, the coolest band since Miles Davis peed his pants over on the Moonshine Stage.
Jordan Wilkow of Family Groove Company told the crowd basking in the sun in front of Moonshine Stage to stay hydrated and held up a beer. Janis “Ice” Wallin and Adam Lewis in unisoned choreography spun their guitars. The family got slightly larger as the band added a horn section for certain songs in the set Set highlights included originals in “White Picket Fence” and “A Misdemeanor’s Worth” and the band covering Wilco’s “I’m the Man Who Love’s You” and Tower of Power’s “Squib Cakes.”
That song must have got my girlfriend Liz and I hungry so after scarfing down some tasty Minglewood Fired Pizza we doused the red pepper flake flames with a few 312 brews and headed to check out ALO. This was my first time checking these guys out and I have to say it was nice to lay back on the lawn and groove to them. Since the “crowd was in the right mind” as ALO lead guitarist explained they played a special song about “Monkeys” dedicated to Phil Lesh. Transitioning into a long fast funky chunky monkey jam the band played a variety of lively classic tunes. The band closed with “Maria” and reminded us that we had a lot of good music coming up.
Gigantic Underground Conspiracy are a combination of musicians from Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee. I spotted Camp Counselor Maria Iriart taking in one of her three on stage sets as they played Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” This was foreshadowing of what was to come later in the Red Barn set for Brain Damaged Eggmen.
Over at the Soulshine Tent a private little chat with Chuck Garvey from moe. was taking place with Rock the Earth. He brought with him drummer Vinny Amico who talked about a variety of socially conscientious issues they worked on with Dave Matthews. They also talked bout how moe. was actively involved with humanitarian efforts with the Red Cross as well as donating to environmental charities through working with the Rain Forest Network.
Chuck also answered a few questions on song writing and he said at times it could take years to craft one before it was ready to unearth. He explained while it was “fun to play Led Zeppelin it was also nice to write” even though he’s extremely critical of his songs. Chuck and Vinny played a song written on an airplane with an alternate acoustic version of “Summer Women.” Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee came up to answer a few questions as well. The tri-panel each told of their favorite places when not on the road. For most it was home. Chuck said Florida, Vinny the Adirondack Mountains, and Brendan his hometown of Chicago as he could have a zen moment having the city at his back looking out into the nothingness that was Lake Michigan. The best part of it all was that they closed it out with “Bell-Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton with Chuck on lead vocals and Brendan singing background vocals. Don’t judge a band by its name is something we all remember when it comes to moe. and Umphrey’s McGee.
Next we headed to the Camping Stage and checked out our good friends Old Shoe play their inaugural Summer Camp. “Welcome Home” opened the set and lead into “Let Yourself In” as the sun fell behind the horizon. Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” was sandwiched in between “Joe’s Song” and “Days Rain Night.” Playing mostly original work off the bands last album Let Yourself In and a forthcoming unnamed release the sunset backdrop of the newly renovated stage was just what we needed to properly kick off the evening. We hung around for Midwest Hype who went on right after Old Shoe, and though we’ve seen our friends from Laporte/Muncie area plenty around Chicago were hit with a wonderful surprise when the fellas paid tribute to Adam Yauch aka MCA the recently departed Beastie Boy and musical pioneer.
Laying down on the grass for some Umphrey’s McGee covering Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” around 10:30pm was the perfect way to celebrate a job well done by the Shoe gang. The light show was spectacular but Liz and I had Red Barn late night passes to see Brain Damaged Eggmen. So we split off from the group and decided to meet up later at Hot Buttered Rum playing at the Campfire Stage.
Brain Damaged Eggmen in the Red Barn was epic. It wasn’t too crowded though it got a bit toasty towards the end of it. Giant beach balls were fisted skyward as glow sticks and elaborate light displays enhanced the surreal atmosphere. I love both Pink Floyd and the Beatles and Brendan Bayliss thanked everyone for letting them entertain this side project.
Setlist: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Another Brick in the Wall, Baby, Your a Rich Man >Obscured by Clowns>Tomorrow Never Knows, Have A Cigar> Breathe> Comfortably Numb>I Am the Walrus>Dark Side of the Moon.
We caught up with the Shoe Family for Hot Buttered Rum and were able to take in everything from “Like the French” to covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Round and Round” and Beatles “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Sitting by the Campfire around 4am I decided for the sake of not having too bloody of a Sunday it was probably best to hit the hay.
I have come to find out that Summer Camp is much much more than just the music, as each day goes by I realize the importance of community and the connection we all have with each other. I woke up in a daze, with only about 2 hrs of sleep and basically stumbled on over to finish up another days worth of blogging. About mid way through I found that Rebelution was playing over at the Sunshine stage. I was only able to catch 20 minutes of them but man, they were great! I really love Rebelution. They have that super catchy sound that can make anyone groove. I spent most of my day just chillin at the campsite playing at my practice pad watching the beautiful people go by. I went and checked out Gigantic Underground Conspiracy and wow, their drummer just tears it up! After that I was able to see both sets of Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Umphrey’s played a kickin’ cover of Tom Sawyer. Overall, Saturday was quite relaxing. Summer Camp is really what you make of it. If sitting around and relaxing is your thing, cool. If your really into show hopping, go for it. There are so many things to be doing that there’s no way you can be bored here. There’s just no way! As for Sunday, I think it shall be my day to just live and let go. It’s the last day of Summer Camp. Gonna take it for what it is and live it like there’s nothing else. I hope all you Scampers will do the same!
Finally. The moment has arrived. We are all one in the mad land rush that’s eerily akin to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Chillicothe’s newly established settlers staked their claim as the gates opened on Summer Camp 2012 and a flood of wagons were corralled up hills and down. Wind swept plains and swaying forests made staking that choice spot extremely important. Those who aren’t adept at knot tying need not apply.
Our CIT group met up Wednesday night to try and snag that premium spot along a tree line. Abby, Jason, Marisa, Maria, and myself all finally had a chance to put a face with a name and figure out logistics. For our blogging services Summer Camp graciously provided 2 Deluxe VIP camping passes so we were headed over yonder to throw down tents, then hopefully to the VIP bar around the corner.
After camp was secure and setup Abby, Mo, Me, and our +1′s (Luke, Adam, Liz) all walked the grounds in their purest state. Lightly touched with just the right amount of food vendors, and visual effects it was a treat to see everything before the gates opened. We could see a spectacular light display from Moonshine as last minute sound checks occurred. Shakedown street was rounding into form, and we met some cool hoop vendors near Vibe Tent. Thursday was Marisa’s 24th birthday so they actually gave her a present in the form of a collapsable hoop! Festival spirit alive and well. We turned in for the evening to prepare for a big morning where we’d meet with Camp Director Holly to talk about coverage, press, and our role as a representative of Summer Camp Music Festival.
Thursday started off with a bluster as tents were tossed like shoes in the laundry and poles were snapped leaving canopies looking like abstract art forms. Abby and myself went around with our +1′s and surveyed the changes to the site on our way to the white Church where our meeting would be. Along the way we checked out Appleseed Collective on the Starshine Stage whose old timey swing with just the right amount of indie flavored bluegrass and was the perfect way to kick off some dust and do some foot stomping hoe down action.
We also saw Zeta June passing back from the Camping Stage and I noticed a Familiar shirt adorning the bass player. What would Janis do (WWJD?) indeed.
Holly then took us around on a tour of the grounds on her golf cart and provided us with our complementary case of 312 beer. Now that was a thoughtful way of reminding us to stay hydrated! Dust and vehicles running about made having a bandana a necessity unless one enjoys a mouthful of dirt. We washed off our wookfoot near the Vibe Tent on a inflatable slip and slide and signed up for Field Day games. These exact bandanas are also available at the merch tent.
We stuck around Starshine for our good friends Family Groove Company and to me that was the first highlight of my evening. Summer Camp veterans Adam, Janis, Mattias, and Jordan put on quite a show. Special guest in Cornmeal’s Allie Kral joined the band for an encore cover of “Benny and the Jet’s.” As Chickenhead and I watched with numerous friends I felt a sense of relaxation and understood why people say this festival is different and special. Janis and Allie showed true camaraderie that was just awesome in a musically sense as they dueled as equals on fiddle and bass respectively.
Family Groove Company with Where’s Ronny! Note: Janis pre hair flip in background.
I headed back for a few hours of “work” and a quick bite to eat at the campsite. It was pretty interesting seeing the woods fill. People were hacking away with saws and weed wackers to clear the undergrowth and make room for their tents.
Chickenhead getting accosted by a pink bird of paradise.
Fully charged on a freeze dried meal of lasagna we made a bee-line for the Soulshine Tent for a epic saga that was the Superjam lead by Zmick with members of Old Shoe, Family, Groove Company, Jaik Willis, Strange Arrangement, and Cornmeal. There were two sets the first with Brad Miller (Zmick), Matt Robinson, Paul Priest, and Joe Day (Old Shoe), Janis Wallin and Mattias Blanck (FGC). They opened fittingly with “Soulshine” by Gov’t Mule with Joe Day saving something special up on vocals and keys. Paul Priest got the crowd whipped into a frenzy with Phish’s “Sand” that psychedelically played with the audience and was complimented greatly by the tent lighting. They broke out a super funky “Ragweed Jones” with Janis laying down a mean low end. Cornmeal’s Wavy Dave Burlingame helped bookend the set on banjo sitting in for the Grateful Dead’s “Big River” and “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band.
The second set line up included Jaik Willis, Dan Andree (Henhouse Prowlers), Dan Huber and Paul Priest (Old Shoe), Adam Lewis and Jordan Wilkow (FGC), Joel Hettinga (Strange Arrangement). Jordan took us to a beach in Brazil with a rendition of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Guitar solo’s by Adam Lewis raged past 1:30am with the band playing “Cissy Strut” by The Meters. Jaik sang a lengthy version of “Stir It Up” by Bob Marley and beat boxed scat rapped battle style with Dan Andree on fiddle of Henhouse Prowlers. It was quite fun to see if Jaik’s vocal prowess could match Dan’s lively bowing. Since both are friends I’ll be Switzerland and say it came out equally righteous.
One nice thing that happened during the Superjam was a brief rain shower around 1am. This made the walk back to the campsite much more enjoyable as the dust settled down considerably. Physically exhausted by 3:30am, and with a long weekend ahead of me, I wanted to grab some shut eye to prepare for a full Friday.
For the uninitiated summer festival go-ers and seasoned veterans alike, one thing is certain once you have your golden tickets in hand. The excitement leading up to a music festival is palpable enough to make even the most “Type-A” dudette or broseph lose their rationale & logic when prepping for the adventure. Fear not my fine fellowed hipster-hippie-groove-loving friends. I gotcha covered on what to remember from the night before you lock the door and gas up the VW, to the time you hit the road that will assist in making your trip and time at your destination as pleasurable as your favorite jam. Read a bit further and all mysteries shall be revealed.
Prior to departure:
1. The night before you leave you need to check the weather and find out the average highs and lows at your arrival destination. It wouldn’t be a choice road trip if you to packed ONLY summer clothing and end up experiencing seasonably cool night time temps, or the freak monsoon that hits Chillicothe once every 100 years. Remember the scouts motto and “Be Prepared”.
2. Pack only the clothes you will need while you are there. Simply put if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. Being prepared doesn’t mean being a “Druish Princess” and packing like Rose on her voyage across the Atlantic. You only need one bag and maybe a backpack tops for the 3-4 days away from home. Wisely you must use that space, young road-i.
3. Take a short stroll to the local $1 store where you can normally find trial samples of different health and beauty items like; shampoo, razors, toothpaste, travel tooth brush, deodorant, and mouthwash. This isn’t Woodstock circa 1969 and deodorant and hygiene exist and are appreciated by your fellow automobile trip inhabitants.
4. One of the most important items, make sure you have Tylenol and Antacids. You never know when headaches or stomach upset might occur. These items along with the sample items from the $1 store will fit nicely in an overnight bag.
5. Before you turn that light out and crawl into bed, make sure you put the bag in your car. It saves time in the morning in the event your alarm clock malfunctions and you run out the door empty handed. Circling back and losing even an hour can dampen the collective spirits and make that person look like a clueless kill-joy.
Preparing the car for the road trip
1. Put together a First Aid Kit. Bandages, scissors, alcohol wipes, tape, gauze, a red colored flag, matches, flashlight and q-tips. Minor nicks and cuts in the wilderness can become infected and you don’t want to be the one person at the fest that caught gange-green from opening a Pringles container at 2am.
2. Check your trunk. No not your caboose. Your car trunk. Be sure to have a spare tire, tire iron, car jack and jumper cables. You never know when you might have a flat tire. When you are rolling into Camp at the magic hours before dawn in a huge caravan you don’t want to hold up the party by running across that random nail in the road. But if you do and have these essentials you’ll be fine (make sure you also know how to change a tire…).
3. Make sure to let your family or a friend know that you are leaving. Then leave a number or tell them where you are going in case of emergency. It’s just common courtesy and all together a smart precautionary move.
4. Have your oil and tire pressure checked before leaving. Check the water in the radiator too. This is a must considering you don’t want that vintage VW wagon to break down on the road.
5. It seems like everyone carries one nowadays but make sure to carry a cell phone and extra charging source. I recommend going to a local outfitting store and grabbing a solar charging option so you can be smart as well as green. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere without a way to phone home.
6. Most of all make sure that all your things are in the car, put the keys close to the door, and pick out something comfortable to wear on your trip. Nothing is worse than driving 8-9 hours in pain because you think upon arrival you’ll be selected to the next cover of Rolling Stone by wearing uber cool, but uncomfortable threads.
Also key to remember. You need to make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before, because chances are you won’t be getting much shut eye for the next few days of sun drenched fun.
Wuddup fellow Scampers! What a helluva journey the last few weeks have been! As one of your beloved Counselors in Training for this year’s delicious Summer Camp expedition, I welcome you to the madness! With only three grueling 24-hour sessions left until the horns, tu-tus, bag-slapping shenanigans begin, I invite you to let your inner Scamper start dancing this morning! Don’t be shy now people. It’s time you started infecting everyone around you with those disco butterflies grooving around in your belly on the reg. Click the name of the guitar masters, key shredders and bass overlords < UMPREY”S MCGEE > and prepare to bring the boogie train all up in your workplace.
For your ascension into the mother-land of groovery, aka Summer Camp, let’s review a few dance tips to get your headspace right and your backstroke tight:
- Nodding your head will not do. I say it will not do kind sir. Once your head starts nodding, you know the bass has hit you. It is now time for further movement. Start slow if you must but let your body get all wobbly. Fall into it like the first time you made love- all clumsy and silly like.
- Infect lone white boys afraid to make the move with your new-and-improved groove. Don’t be scrrrrd. Tap your neighbor on the back, nod your head and keep the conga line flowing. This shit is infectious!
- Ladies, hula-hooping is hella fun when you’re in the sun on an Umphreys high—but be careful that you don’t knock any of your brothas and sistas down with that whirly twirl. You know you have skills and we do too but make sure everyone has space to get their two-step on.
- Dressing up is always fun! If you don’t have one yet, you best make a quick trip to the Dollar Tree and find something that makes you feel as wonky as an Easter Bunny on Christmas morning. Head gear that makes you look like Tony the Tiger, a wonder woman bra and cape to keep everyone in check while flying around Summa’ town, one of those fake horsies on a stick…er…umm..whatever makes your man-humps sing Disney songs.
- Glow toys. Even though it seems that these things would have disappeared long ago—they have never lost their appeal, and for good reason. When the lights go out and the boom boom comes on, a little zippity-doo-da with that greenish-orange disco ball, stirs something deep inside. Do your thang you sexy Scamper. (P.S. The Dollar Tree has a ton of those too- for only $1)
Catch you on the fly side ~Tiffany
I’ve been working as a freelance music reviewer for awhile now. I started small reviewing shows for local musician friends, and worked my way into reviewing the likes of Cornmeal, Hot Buttered Rum, and Family Groove Company and interviewing Ben Folds and Steve Kimock. Music has always been involved as part of my everyday life, and I love writing about what I am experiencing because its something I am passionate about and comes naturally. I’m going to keep the ball rolling at Summer Camp so i’m able to provide you with an inside glimpse into some of your favorite artists.
I don’t have a calendar OR a sundial, so i’m glad there’s Facebook to tell me how many days are left until Summer Camp! I’ve been outside of the office for two weeks now, and aside from growing a beard and getting pimped out for SCamp I’ve kept busy by scoping out various bands on the lineup (Henhouse Prowlers, Old Shoe, Chicago Farmer, Afternoon Moon, Elsinore) as they tune up for next week. Let me tell you they are just as excited as fans to throw down and get rowdy!
I’ve also been getting acclimated in the language of Summer Camp. I’ve learned about the evolution of a great festival and seemingly how people are always searching for the elusive Carl. I commissioned a forearm tattoo of the SCamp map for accessibility during the festival…but then found out they switched things around so had to scrap that idea. I started busting out my camping gear and thinking about sundries that will provide sustenance to keep my crew going strong throughout the summer day(ze). Our group always likes to bring stuff that’s portable and can provide a quick boost of energy that will keep us raging responsibly throughout the musically jammed weekend. Although, I hear the onsite food vendors are top notch as well, and surely will be grabbing some Minglewood Wood Fired Pizza once or twice…maybe thrice throughout the fest.
Also released this past week was 2012 Field Day schedule. I have fond memories of “capture the flag” from my younger day camp years, and have been formulating a strategy that will allow Blue Team to bring back old glory to its rightful home! I used to be pretty fast back in high school (400m in 49s) and we all know that speed kills.
If you see me walking around make sure you stop me and slap me some skin, tell me what you are excited to see, what your crew does to make your Summer Camp experience your own. T-minus 6 days people until the start of one helluva time!
Hola fellow SCampers!!!
As we approach the weekend we have all been anxiously waiting for, I wanted to take a minute and give you guys a better idea of who I am and what I am going to bring to Summer Camp this year. First and foremost I want to introduce you to the people I am coming to SC with; two of the main people who you will see in my vblogs are dear, close friends of mine who actually introduced me to Summer Camp six years ago and have been there with me every year since, Derrick Lawless and Steve Bannister. Two super chill, awesome people who I met in college and am proud to say will be a part of my life for the rest of it. Come Summer Camp 2050 we will be there rockin’ it out like ever before. There are other friends of mine who are coming, Matt Weiler, Brian Buss, Christina Fountain, and Jake Kuykendall, (if you meet anyone of them, buy them a drink!) most of them are also friends from college who share the love for good music and good times.
One of the reasons that Summer Camp is the ULTIMATE most AMAZING festival is the line up. Every year I think to myself “man there’s no way this year’s line up is going to be as killer as last year’s” and every time I am proven wrong. I not only get to see the bands I already love and follow throughout the year; but there are always so many new bands that I fall in love with.
Some of this year the sets that I am looking forward to seeing for the first time are Gigantic Underground Conspiracy; an awesome compilation of artists from several bands who are sure to put on some jams you most certainly don’t want to miss. Tedeschi Trucks Band, I have always wanted to check them out and for some reason or another have never gotten the chance, with that kind of talent I know it’ll be an amazing show. Sun Stereo a sweet local Champaign-Urbana band with a distinct and fresh jazzy-rock feel, check them out in advance on facebook.
The bands that I have seen many a time before but cannot wait to check out are Lotus, went to their Halloween weekend show in Pittsburgh, PA this past year and it was out of this world good, if you haven’t checked them out – seriously it’s a show you don’t want to miss. Eoto is probably one of the bands I enjoy seeing live the most – they NEVER disappoint and manage to keep every show super fresh. Lastly can we say Talking Heads cover band? This Must be the Band is definitely one of those I gotta check out, can I put a request in? Let’s hear the Talking Heads song your band is named after =)
Alright so I have limited space and limited time and there are tons of bands I am dying to check out (like two bands not mentioned above who are among my all time favorite bands and who I get to see every year 3 days in a row ONLY at Summer Camp? that’s right…moe. and Umphrey’s), but I can’t talk about them all. So to let you know more about myself, I grew up on the Beatles, it led the way to harder rock and then jazz, such as Zeppelin and Dave Brubeck, and from there evolved further to include jam and electronic rock. I appreciate all artistry and talent, but I have a soft heart for drummers as I like to pretend I know how to jam on my used Evans drum set. I love Summer Camp for various reasons, but one of the main ones is that it was the first music festival of my life. Music has always had such an influential role in the essence of my being and there is no other festival that I feel as in touch with the tunes I love as SC. This is not your impersonal mob fest, you come to Summer Camp once and you feel like part of an extremely, extremely, large family forever.
On that note, for you first timers let me tell you some of the things I make sure to pack. For all you ladies, TP is a MUST. As glorious an experience as port-a-potties are, most of them run out of toilet paper and the best thing to do is be prepared, bring some and put a few squares (can you spare a square?) in your pocket. Next bring some trash bags, it is a privilege to use Three Sisters Park and we need to be responsible, have plenty of trash bags not just for garbage, but you never know what the weather could bring and you’d be surprised how dry one of those can keep you. Glow sticks are essential, not only do they add to the beautiful sea of lights at night on the main stage but they provide a great atmosphere for campsite hangouts. With all the great shows playing all the time, you are destined to catch some day shows and when the sun is strong some sun screen is essential! I have seen way too many people painfully red from neglecting to get their rub down, so SPF 50 it is! Finally, make sure to bring your crazy. This is a once in a lifetime experience to let go of everything that ties you down and let your true inner-self soar, so bring a happy spirit and leave your worries at home!
As your Summer Camp counselor I want you all to seek me out, let me make this your best Summer Camp yet. I want encompass the sweetness that is Summer Camp, and the only way I can do that is with your help. You fans are what keep SC alive and I want to show how we bridge the gap between the fans and the bands. Summer Camp is so much more that just music. It is about you living life; lets celebrate it.
I am going to promote some special Summer Camp spirit; my fellow moe.rons and I will be awarding fellow scampers that show special spirit throughout the festival. For example we will award the sweetest campsite, the person with the wildest outfit, the dude/dudette with the most innovative accessory or the neatest jam shout, and many many more; so let us join together and make this year the best Summer Camp EVER woop woop!!
SCampers for life!
Summer Camp Counselor Maria
Every year, it seems like Summer Camp is so far away, and then these last few weeks fly by in no time. Can you smell it? It’s almost here! Here are a few things I’m super excited for…
- The entire Campfire Stage line-up. It is sick. Chicago Farmer, Greensky Bluegrass, and then Hot Buttered Rum in the wee hours of the morning? I just saw them at the Vic with Cornmeal on 4/20 and I truly fell in love with this band. They are not to be missed. For what is thought of as a smaller side stage, the Campfire Stage is pulling some pretty serious weight this year.
- Weir, Robinson, and Greene Acoustic Trio. I am beyond excited to hear these guys collaborate, and I can’t wait to hear what kind of set they put together. Late afternoon on the Sunshine Stage is the perfect slot for this set. Also, if you don’t know Jackie Greene, click here and check him out – he’s (in my opinion) one of the best lyricists around right now.
- Morning yoga at the Soulshine Stage. Confession: I’ve planned to do this every year and have never actually gone. I’ve even brought my yoga mat and everything… but let’s admit it, 10am is a tough time to be up and moving at a festival. Everyone that goes says it changes your day – gives you energy, and re-centers you for another day of raging and music. So this year, I will make it happen. (Probably.)
If this is your first time at Summer Camp, or a festival in general, here are some tips:
- Don’t forget your ticket. Really. Every year I see sad people in line realizing they forgot it and are 3 hours from home. Triple check it, people.
- Bring baby wipes. Showers are available, but baby wipes will save your life.
- Print out the schedule! Yes, they give you one at the gates, but every year by Friday afternoon there are 10,000 people asking to see a schedule. I don’t know how thousands of them get lost every year, but they do – print out a backup, and you will be everyone’s best friend.
- Forget about a map. You’ll figure out where you’re going in no time, and there will always be a friendly face to point you towards the next stage. Just let go, and you’ll figure it out.
- You cannot pack enough of the following items: bottled water, glowsticks, hair rubber bands (for girls or long-haired boys), sunscreen, an extra pair of party pants (in case you dance yours into oblivion), and smiles.
- If you forget any of the items mentioned above, there is a grocery store right down the block from Three Sisters Park. If you’re traveling from afar, I’d suggest stopping there for your ice & perishable food right before you head in to the greatest weekend of the year.
That’s all! So start packing and get pumped, because I have a feeling this might be the most epic Summer Camp yet…
Abby Mager, CIT 2012
You know sometimes when you listen to an album and it feels like the lyrics to each song are narrating your life story at that exact point in time. Well right now, David Byrne must be the fly on the wall playing Best of the Talking Heads and reading my mind. To help you understand what I mean, observe the course of events leading up to this once in a lifetime chance to get into the heaven that is Summer Camp.
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”
That was me in a nutshell at the beginning of April. I wasn’t in a shack, but I was certain my life vehicle wasn’t driving in the right direction in the land of cubicles. My passion was hearing live music not climbing some synergistic hypothetical ladder. So, I stepped off the merry go round. I wanted a place where the music didn’t stop and my creativity could flourish. I wanted it to be the Seinfeldian “Summer of Dave.”
My core group of friends in Chicago are part of two bands, FGC a seasoned SCamp veteran, and Old Shoe who are first timers to Chillicothe like myself. The best way to start the summer I wanted was to be at Summer Camp to see them perform. After entering the contest to be part of the camp counselor program I thought my perspective of the different festival experiences, both from the collective eyes of bands I know, and my own could provide a unique glimpse into Camp life. What I hope to provide for all camper experience levels is a genuine voice and accurate account from the point of view of both performer and fan.
People who live near Chicago are truly blessed for one reason and its not the weather. This city draws so much great musical talent to its wind swept shores. Homegrown acts like Umphrey’s and Cornmeal to left coasters like Hot Buttered Rum regularly stop by to say what up while on tour. I’ve been fortunate to scope a lot of the 2012 lineup this year before they hit the stage just because of this allure Chicago holds over musicians.
In my spare time I attend an average of about three to four shows a week. Burning the candle at both ends responsibly is my modus operandi. With venues such as Martyrs and the Vic in my backyard its actually tough to avoid all the good midweek music. Luckily, as it happened I ran into the right set of circumstances that left me reviewing shows for a few music publications. Coincidence or fate stepped in and corrected my course and set my path towards a dusty moonlit road in Chillicothe.
I’m ecstatic to experience the aura I’ve heard surrounds the festival. For a festival going on its 12th year the SCamp team has managed to keep their core fans happy while adding national talent and handling expanded ticket sales. That usually takes someone at the heart of it all making sure values are upheld and everyone is on the same page. So the first thing i’m doing when I get to camp is finding Jay to shake his hand.
While its no secret that UMphreaks and moe.rons are the foundation of the festival the lineup keeps evolving each year. The multi-genre acoustic funk artist that calls himself Keller Williams will surely be on my top must see acts. As will be the case with legend infused Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio. Transcendental folk artist Elephant Revival is an act gaining attention and I’m relishing the chance to hear their fiddle laden harmonies. Yonder Mountain String Band and the Infamous Stringdusters will not leave me strung out. I’ll stay close to home and the lake and check out some homegrown bluegrass in Cornmeal. Then move on over to the funk-defying sounds of Family Groove Company in addition to a bevy of spectacular windy city acts sprinkled throughout the schedule. Chicago Farmer is the type of story teller that relates to people from all walks of life and i’m gonna scope Cody’s Sunday set for sure. Confirmed are rumors of a superjam collaboration called “Shoe Groove Z” taking the stage Thursday with Old Shoe, Zmick, and members of Family Groove Company as special guests. I hear the red barn late night will be where is at for Brain Damaged Eggmen as members of Umphrey’s and The Disco Biscuits celebrate music of Pink Floyd and The Beatles. Hopefully i’ll also get a chance to brush shoulders with the husband wife super couple that makes up the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Been really looking forward to hearing new songs off their new release Everybody’s Talking due out before camp starts May 22nd. Where else would a Talking Heads fan be, but front stage center for This Must Be the Band’s late night soulshine tent appearance? DJnoDJ also performs Daft Punk which should be a great listening experience at those wee morning hours moments before the rooster crows.
Schedule wise there is so much greatness that i’m thinking you’ll be hard pressed to please everyone. But that’s life and sometimes you run into difficult choices. To me that is a good problem to have happen and too much good music should not dissuade from your overall satisfaction when its all said and done. Breathe deep and let the great wealth of talented open air performers smack you across the face ever so gently. There is nary an act on the bill who can’t handle a large crowd as opposed to a cramped recording booth. Part of the allure of festivals such as Summer Camp is you are almost guaranteed to see some magical sit ins and collaborations. I’m going to keep close to the musician workshops at the Soulshine Tent to capture those moments first hand for you throughout the weekend.
The David Byrne fly on the wall keeps whispering to me that he isn’t sure where we’ve been, but one things for certain i’m going to Summer Camp. The world is blooming and we are floating above it with nothing but glass blown 1000 year old flowers to show life during festival time can leave you with memories that remind us this must be the place. Such a wild, wild life sometimes. Hope you’ll share in my Summer Camp of Dave.
See you at camp friend,
For those of you who don’t know, the foundation of any good music event is the street team. If you are on one, you understand what I mean. If it wasn’t for the people on the street, spreading the word, how would anyone find out about that concert? Now imagine putting together a festival…how many concerts are there? There’s got to be at least 50. And since that’s 50 times the size of one show, well we need 50 times the street team. So I implore you Summer Campers, get your street team act together. Go out to your community and tell them about summer camp.
Recently, I made a video for the Umphrey’s show that came through Denver. Check it out here and put something together of your own for Summer Camp.