We’re excited to announce that the 2012 Summer Camp On The Road Tour is taking off this February and coming to a city near you! The On The Road Tour finds the top local talent in each city and allows our loyal Campers to pick their favorites. The artist with the most votes each night receives a spot on the 2012 Summer Camp line up! Here is the schedule:
2/17/2012 Iowa City, IA
2/18/2012 Des Moines, IA
2/23/2012 Chicago, IL
2/24/2012 Chicago, IL
2/25/2012 Urbana, IL
3/1/2012 Columbus, OH
3/7/2012 Madison, WI
3/8/2012 Carbondale, IL
3/9/2012 Bloomington, IN
3/10/2012 Indianapolis, IN
3/15/2012 Denver, CO
3/16/2012 Boulder, CO
3/17/2012 Ft. Collins, CO
3/22/2012 Minneapolis, MN
3/23/2012 Lawrence, KS
*dates subject to change
The Summer Camp Director
Kyle Hollingsworth has a great relationship with Summer Camp. He came this year and along with Adam from Family Groove Company hosted a home brewing class on site. So it was interesting to have both on hand for this event. Having been to the first two Brew Fests hosted by Kyle Hollingsworth I knew I couldn’t miss the third in Chicago. Family Groove Company has played a total of 8 Summer Camps slowly working their way up the lineup.
This was the finale to Kyle’s Hop On Tour, which began at the pair of KHB shows out on the Front Range. It all benefitted Boulder based nonprofit Conscious Alliance. He had been giving out golden tickets in posters throughout the tour for an opportunity to share a beer with Kyle at setbreak. As well as hosting meet and greets at breweries around the country. This was a chance for everyone to get in on the fun. We arrived and took in the layout. It was a decent sized room and the fest featured twelve craft breweries including Stone, Magic Hat, and my old hometown microbrewer Bent River.
The afternoon also included a two set show by local jam powerhouse Family Groove Company. FGC started the first with their classic brand of Janis fueled funk. They have an interesting integration of both instrumental songs and Jordan Wilkow lead jazzy numbers. I was impressed with their musicianship all around. I had seen them several times back in my college days but due to the fact that they rarely make it out to Colorado now it has been a while since I’ve caught them live so I’m a little rusty on their solo setlist. I can tell you that they straight jammed and brought a power and dynamic that turned the heads of the boozy patrons and quickly transformed the room into an all out dance party.
Kyle came to the keys as Jordan stepped down. Taking the lead Kyle opened up his portion of the show with a Taxman jam. Kyle is pretty much always in a good mood at his beer fests and today was no exception. He busted out his now classic Song In The Key of Beer and segued nicely into a rocked out version of Way That It Goes. It was an interesting change up from not only the KHB version but also what SCI has been doing with this song on the Roots Run Deep tour. Additional highlights included a funky version of Let’s Go Outside and a set-closing take on Billy Preston’s Will It Go Round In Circles. Kyle bid adieu as he obviously had places to be.
At setbreak I wandered over to check out Conscious Alliance’s silent auction. They had a ton of awesome gear on hand including signed posters, a Summer Camp running jacket, and an autographed copy of moe.’s Smash Hits CD.
Family Groove Company came out for another set as the room slowly cleared with kids that had gotten warmly drunk on the high ABV beer selections. They closed their show with a funked out Subterranean Homesick Blues. It was truly a fun afternoon, which again reaffirmed my belief that this is a not to be missed event. Whenever they offer up a chance at a Kyle’s Brew Fest I just jump on it because they are always such a blast. I would suggest that if one comes to venue near you, go. As we headed home to get ready for one more night of String Cheese we were left with warm feelings and happy thoughts. Thanks for yet another great event Kyle and Family Groove Company.
After a great night of music with the String Cheese Incident in Chicago we decided that we just hadn’t had enough. Mikey and I got dropped off at the House of Blues for Sexfist. Also known as the Henhouse Prowlers this group of bluegrass dynamos brought the heat to their SCI after show. The Henhouse Prowlers played Summer Camp in 2009 and this last year in 2011. I didn’t get a chance to see them, mainly because I was so busy with my duties as Camp Counselor. So this was a great opportunity to see this incredible group. As the snow began to fall we entered the nearly empty club. Luckily for us they hadn’t started yet. Within a few minutes of our arrival we watched as four gentlemen dressed in suits saunter out onto the stage.
They eased into the show demonstrating their prowess on the strings. Fast picking and solid harmonizing seem to be the hallmark of this band. As the room slowly filled up never reaching more than about fifty or so souls I felt lucky to be there and witnessing this great music. Heavily immersed in the old timey sounds, they also brought a freshness and zeal that made for a truly interesting experience.
Highlights from the show included a zipping version of Mr. Charlie that kicked off the dust on the show weary crowd. Additional highlights from the show included Old Home Place, Midnight Moonlight. A mix of classics, covers, and original picking tunes what we witnessed at The House of Blues. For their encore the band walked off the stage and played unplugged. They treated us to a sweet version of I’m Blue I’m Lonesome before calling it a night in the wee hours of the morning. This was my first time seeing this group and I was truly impressed with the entire package. From their attire to their pick of venue to their overall style, this show was the gem in the doughnut of my weekend in Chicago.
We are so excited that the following artists will be joining our hosts moe. & Umphrey’s McGee at the fest this year.
Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio
Hot Buttered Rum
Family Groove Company
The Giving Tree Band
And this is just the beginning. We will be announcing so many more artists in 2012! Make sure to get your Not-So-Early Bird Tickets now before they sell out. Our Not-So-Early Bird Layaway Tickets are also now available.
Have an amazing weekend!
Your Summer Camp Director
A Day In Of The Life
Well, a weekend actually. My Umphrey’s Red Rocks and Blue experience actually began on Friday July 1st when I picked up some of my Chicago peeps from the Denver Airport. It was great to have the Midwest peeps back with me again and the buzz of excitement that could be only an Umphrey’s show was already building. We went out Friday night and Saturday night and caught my good friends, the Fox Street Allstars as they brought their band of rock and funk to my favorite Denver bar, Herb’s Jazz and Blues. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Fox Street Allstars, please do so. They are good friends and tour around with the New Mastersounds. We all know those cats can throw down and let’s just say Fox Street holds their own.
Anyway, Sunday came and it was time for Red Rocks. By now the crew had increased to about a dozen. We had a van pick us up for the show, SAFETY FIRST, and headed out. We got to the lot just before doors, hopped in line and went into the venue. It was a slow to grow crowd and we were able to put some tarps down in the sweet spot, rows 24 and 25, just left of center. We got in touch with another crew of peeps and had our group of 30 or so rollin all together.
Up first were the New Mastersounds. They looked so funny packed in all tight on top of one another. Appearances, and Eddie Roberts’ new hair cut aside, those euro boys really held it down. I love seeing them play and I’m so happy they have become friends with the UM guys and that gives me more chances to see them. Up next was the Easy Star Allstars performing some of their originals as well as some of their dub covers. A really fun show, something must have gone wrong though with the timing because they were just about to start their bong rip influenced “money” from dub side of the moon when they got cut off. Regardless they hold it down and always put on an amazing show. Nevertheless it was time for UMPHREY’S.
I know I have mentioned before how Umphrey’s are my favorite, and this show at Red Rocks really reinforced that for me. First set began as the sun was really setting. Jefferson Waful would pretty much dominate everything that happened the whole night. When he gets to set up a rig like the one he had this night, with some 60 odd moving lights, well, he can really create some textures that are of unsurpassable beauty and I applaud him for his efforts. The music though, boy the music. This was a really special show for me for a lot of reasons. I was with some of my best friends in the world both from Denver and Chicago and I was actually privileged to be able to introduce 2 other friends of mine to UM…what a first show to see.
I’m not sure about everyone else but I am really stoked on the way these new tunes are coming together. We got Puppet String in the first set which is just an awesome song full of metaphors vocal harmonies and soaring guitar riffs. Dropping into a dirty Hurt Bird Bath was probably a really good idea, and the plunger ending was a great way to send us off to set break. 2nd set was amazing as well. Divisions and Haji were my personal highlights as those songs have the tendency to tug on my heart strings. Ok, I’ll say it, I was crying during both tunes…I can’t help it…between the scenery, my environment (inside my body), my people, the lights, the songs, it was all too much. Not tears of sadness , but almost of connection and shared experience. Leaving his lyrics open to interpretation, Brendan really allows people to connect with his music, simply amazing. Finally, the encore, Pearl Jam’s Release, with huge vocals, Brendan’s voice seemed to flow over the entire crowd and wrap them in a blanket of emotion connected to the song. This song is especially meaningful to one of my best friends, Ben Burstein, and for me to see him see this song was very special as it helps me understand what his world is about a little more.
With the show over we headed back to the van. Between our 14 and another limo of 18, we were about to continue the party at my place where an ice cold keg of PBR was waiting for us. Upon arrival, my roomie Kari was getting things ready and we were about to rage. The Fox Street boys, my roommate Jordan and his band Kinetix, and s couple other special guests who later got locked in our backyard for half an hour, were all getting down together. The tunes and the beers were flowing and we were all so happy to be home safe with each other just living the life. I think we all got to settling down around sunrise. Epic, epic night.
Waking up on the 4th we all could barely do anything considering the night before. But, in the true spirit of an Umphreak, we rallied and raged. We got up to Boulder about an hour before the show, grabbed a bite to eat on the Pearl Street mall and headed into the Boulder Theater. Crew and I headed straight up to the balcony and to our surprise, all the seats had been removed. I later found out they went out for cleaning, but it was great up there. Super roomy, awesome sound, unadulterated view. From everything I hear people talking about, they loved the Boulder Show more than the Red Rocks show and if you are into a dancey night of Umphrey’s I’d have to agree. With such a small room and everyone being such a big fan, there was a lot of energy flying around in the boulder theater. Between Booth Love, the Triple Wide, Wappy, and In the Kitchen, the dance force was out in full effect. For me, however, getting to see Murph come out and play Comfortably Numb was the highlight. Every single person singing along, it was phenomenal. Check out this video by my buddy Ben: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUkG5a2hXTM
With all that we had experienced I continue to realize how lucky we are to get to see a band like Umphrey’s. And just as every note they play can ring for only so long, seeing a live band is a fleeting endeavor. We never know how long they will play or what the future holds. So whatever your band is, go see them. Go see them as much as you can because tomorrow, you might not be able to.
Cervantes Summer Celebration June 10th (Ape Tit feat. Members of the Big Motif)
For those of you who live in Colorado, you know how fun a place Cervantes can be. And when they decided to have their Summer Celebration party this year featuring a bunch of local bands, I was ready to go…plus I just moved 3 blocks from the venue, both awesome and dangerous. Anyway, The Summer Celebration party featured a bunch of local bands. The first band I saw was Big Wheel Electrosoul. Awesome live hip hop featuring my good friend Mr. Charles Parker Mertens on the bass. Normally I don’t get into the hip hop too much, but whenever there is a live backing band I’ll give it a chance. I was glad I did. Holding down great beats with socially conscious lyrics, Big Wheel Electrosoul is one not to miss.
The last band I saw, yes I’m skipping to the end because my personal highlight came mid-show, was Whiskey Tango. I guess you’d call the grass rock or something as they have a traditional bluegrass lineup with the addition of a synth and drummer with full kit. These guys rock and for sure know how to hold it down. Once again, I don’t normally get into the bluegrass but these guys were really good. I’ve seen them before and I’d see them again. With driving beats supporting a twangy vibe of excellent songwriting, this band will be doing their thing in Denver for years to come.
The highlight of the evening, however, was a band called Ape Tit. Yes, as in the breast of a gorilla. I thought it was a play on words of “appetite” but I was wrong. This band features a local Denver guitar player paired up with the drummer from the Big Motif. If you know the Big Motif or saw them at Summer Camp, you know these kids, and I mean kids, are super young. It’s always a treat to see the entertainment on stage have big black “X”s on their hands, always wondering, where is this kid gonna be in 10 years when he’s had an opportunity to be exposed to all the music scene has to offer? Some people don’t make it, but if this performance was any indication, the kids from the Big Motif have their heads on straight and will be around for a while. Ape Tit was great. Hip Hop and break beats with layers of delayed guitar put over it. All fine in it of itself, the show really took off when Big Motif’s bass player joined in and took the event to another level. If you get the chance to see Ape Tit in Denver, do it, if not, catch the Big Motif and see these young kids before they are a ticket to tough to get.
Counselor In Training