The beginning of the first day at Summer Camp is always nerve racking but extremely exciting at the same time. It’s mostly because if you’re the first at your camping spot, you’re spending most of your day waiting for your friends to get there while you reserve their tent spaces before your neighbors invade their future spots. This year, I camped in the exact same spot as last year which was on the Moonshine tree line. The first friend to show up was our friend Laura from Wisconsin who was one of our neighbors who we met last year. I was so surprised to see her since it had been a year and I didn’t know when she would be arriving to the spot! This year she brought along her friends Mindy and Ronnie from Minnesota. Here’s a pic below of Laura, Mindy and I at our camp.
The rest of the time I waited for the rest of my STL friends and then helped them get set up. Once we were finally set up and had dinner, we headed out to some shows. We hit up Digital Tape Machine and DJ SOLO. Then I chugged a coffee so I could make it to one of my favorite band’s late set at the campfire stage, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band! It was a foot stompin’ blues-rockin’ good ‘ol time! The played several great songs such as “Clap Your Hands”, “Sure Feels Like Rain”, and “Mama’s Fried Potatoes”. It was amazing! I was so beat afterwards that as soon as we got to our camp, I passed out. I had to make sure I would make it somehow to their second set in 7 hours!
Here’s some pic from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Summer Camp 2013 has FINALLY arrived and the Thursday party was a blast. It really set the stage for the rest of the festival…this year is set to be the best one yet! In terms of music, I finally was able to catch Digital Tape Machine. They put on a great show, as is expected from such a talented union of musicians. DTM consists of Kris Myers, Joel Cummins, Joe Hettinga, David Arredondo, Marcus Rezak, and Dan Rucinski; members from multiple Chicago groups including Umphrey’s McGee, Strange Arrangement, Liquid Soul, Land of Atlantis, and the Hue. The sound is a blend of electronica, jam and rock with a great variety to the style of their individual songs.
DJ Solo rocked out the vibe tent with sub dub steppy techno jams. I saw him for the first time at Universal Rhythm Assembly at the Peoria Riverfront two years ago. He caught my attention with his rendition of the Farmers Insurance slogan, “We are Farmers” and since then I have been a huge fan. Then I was able to catch Sun Stereo, a Summer Camp veteran that keeps bringing their talents center stage. This year they changed up their sound and really rocked it out. Veering from their more mellow sounds they bumped it up and even had a little dub stereo come through. They finished their show strong with a classic – Talking Heads “Burning Down the House.”
Some of the other things that are making this Summer Camp truly epic are the newly installed carnival rides. Yes you read correctly. If the music isn’t enough now you can really get your head spinning on some of their festival rides. Also there are significant layout changes with nice wooden fences around VIP. Clear paths and greater camping areas are making navigating Three Sisters Park a breeze. In addition, the paths have gotten much more colorful and bright with an amped up array of LED butterflies and designs all over. Yesterday was so great…can’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend has in store.
On Friday June 22nd we arrived at the Universal River Assembly for the second half of Family Groove Company, and I’m glad we made it because they eased us into a great night of bumpin’ with their upbeat yet chill jams. The night was warm and pleasant, it was the my first trip to the Peoria Riverfront and I couldn’t have asked for a better setting. The venue is a picturesque park running alongside the river with a large and beautiful fountain spraying dashes of water high in the sky, greeting you as you come in the main entrance. The sun was still barely hanging in the western sky when we were getting in and we could hear Family Groove Company rockin’ it out as we passed the children playing in the fountain.
Once “inside” the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, with the perfect amount of people to space ratio. If you wanted to get up close to the stage, there was no shoving through crowds; or if on the other hand you wanted to hang back, there were plenty of chairs and picnic tables to sit on. DJ Solo made it difficult to stay put though as he brought us some fun and heavy tracks. Among some sweet originals, including a particularly unique song that borrowed a line from an insurance company commercial – of all places – he pumped it up with a sweet cover of my favorite Darude song “Sandstorm,” and got the crowd ready for the headliners.
EOTO is a band that I have seen many, many, many, times. It is amazing that despite these numerous encounters I do not get tired of their shows. The truth is, and I have said this before, that they manage to keep it fresh unlike any other band I’ve seen. With only two members, Jason Hann and Michael Travis, one would think it would be difficult for them to keep up with the current music scene; however they not only keep up, they sail past most acts that may even have bigger lights and performances, bringing forth a percussion-loaded jam unlike any other. Plastic petals lined the stage, flashing colors and images to EOTO’s dub-stepesque beats. It is hard to describe their sound, I would say that they are a jam-band-electronica-bass mix, but it doesn’t matter what “genre” you call your own I am willing to bet you will LOVE this duo. When they’re not jammin’ out as EOTO they’re playing in String Cheese…need I say more?
On behalf of the entire Summer Camp staff and crew, thank you for an amazing 12th year! The weather was perfect, the shows were epic, and all of your smiling faces truly made this year the best one yet!
Want to stay connected and ready for Summer Camp 2013?
1. Connect with us on Facebook. Share your photos, tag your friends, and tell us about your experience at the fest this year!
2. Check out our blog. Our Camp Counselor and CITs will be posting about their experiences at Summer Camp, and at other shows throughout the year with Summer Camp artists.
3. Don’t miss our upcoming shows with Summer Camp artists! In less than 1 month (June 22-23) we have the 6th annual Universal Rhythm Assembly returning to the Peoria Riverfront with EOTO, Bootsy Collins, Family Groove Company, Brainchild, DJ SOLO and more!
We also have Umphrey’s McGee on the Riverfront on 7/5 and moe. on 9/3!!
4. Subscribe to us on YouTube so you can see all of our awesome videos from the weekend as we get them up, follow us on Flickr to check out all of our photos, and follow us on Twitter to stay connected all year long!
5. Relive your experiences by watching all your favorite sets of music in the Summer Camp archives on iClips.net! These are being uploaded now and will be available in the next few days.
Can’t wait to see you all next year!
Your Summer Camp Director