Its super early in the morning. You can smell the dew from the wet grass. Sounds of excitement is roaring everywhere. Summer Camp has officially started and people are pouring in!
Entering early Thursday was a great time. We were running everywhere through the woods looking for a spot. hundreds of others were fighting for spots trying to get closer to the 4 corners. We were a little late for that but still had a blast finding a new site to camp. After we set up the site and got everything in order we had to take a much needed nap.
When we woke up we refreshed ourselves with a little bit of food. I had a gyro that was delicious of course and my girlfriend had a meaty bowl from the Chinese food stand.
Around 5 p.m. I made my way to the church to meet the other counselors and to see where I would be writing for the next couple days. Its pretty nice. I have a/c and flushing toilets so you can start being jealous now. There was a press meeting where I learned about summer camp a little more than what i did.
We left the church after the press meeting and I went and got more food. I love eating and food and eating and food and food and eating with food to eat. After we ate, me and my girlfriend made are way to the general store to get our complimentary shirt and then to the VIP lounge to get our free beer. Because everyone loves free beer. Thanks SCAMP!!!
Walking through the trails all night. Meeting new people and seeing how they got here was awesome. I met this guy named Trent who was pretty sweet. He sat nest to us out in the parking lot when we were partying and i met up and saw him again when we made it inside. Our campsite neighbors is the grassroots gang so we really didn’t get to sleep a whole lot. Oh well, we are at summer camp, who needs sleep.
We took the rest of the night pretty slow, just relaxing and getting ready for the party to start. Went and saw Minnesota at the red barn to start our festival of right. After the red barn we went back to camp site to get some rest for another day tomorrow.
Well rested now, with a nice clean pair of underwear I’m ready for my Friday!
Happy Camping everyone!!!
Since I saw Rebelution at All Good in 2010 I had been itching to see them again. Unfortunately last year I was unable to catch their Summer Camp set but last night I finally got the opportunity to scratch and caught their show at Mr. Smalls Theater. As fortune would have it they stopped in Pittsburgh as part of their “Spring Greens Tour.”
Hot Rain kicked off the night. They are joining Rebelution for the tour. Hailing from Hawaii this upbeat reggae band stays true to their heritage and genre singing about love and beautiful women. They constantly interacted with the audience; uniting the souls which filled the venue in song. It was a fun way to start the show, check out their myspace page with free music here.
J Boog took to the stage next and kept the upbeat reggae jams flowing. Many people may not recognize him as the former B2K member that he is. He’s grown a bit since those days and so has his talent. J Boog maintains undertones of the R&B, hip hop background while bringing forth a new kind of sound.
Then Rebelution took to the stage, starting off their performance with one of my favorites: “Bright Side of Life” (check out the video!) Everyone started jumping and the whole place was jammin. The venue was the perfect size and so was the crowd. The vibes at the show were flowing peace and reggae love. It was spectacular. During the second half of the show they also played “Outta Control,” another personal favorite. Apparently a crowd favorite as well because the entire place beamed forth even greater energy for that song.
It is astonishing to think this band is almost 10 years old – haven taken off from Cali roots to become the great band they are today. Part of what makes them so special is their political consciousness and their call to action. If you haven’t yet, listen to “Courage to Grow.” You will find yourself inspired with new feelings of hope and desire for fulfillment. The band consists of Eric Rachmany (vocals/guitar), Rory Carey (keyboard) Wesley Finley (drums), and Marley D Williams (bass). I was actually lucky enough to meet and spend some time with Marley after the show. He was extremely nice and super down to Earth (not to mention very attractive!)
Rebelution has tons of music available to listen to and even download for free on their myspace page. The band will be touring in the US throughout the month of May and is then heading over the Atlantic for a United Kingdom run with one stop in Portugal. They will be back in Cali and Oregon in August. If you can make it to a show – do not miss out! It only took one show to make me a giant fan and I know it will only take one for you as well.
There is something truly special about those small festivals that have local bands and small crowds. From the very moment we arrived at Beesonstock in Cisne, Southern Illinois, we already became friends with our neighbors to the right; and within a few more minutes became friends with our neighbors to the left. Both nights we arrived towards the late afternoon; enjoying the waning daylight and just slightly cooler weather.
Probably the most distinctive characteristic was the size of this festival, having only one small, wooden stage where all the bands played. I also have to say it was nice to be able to bring your own food and drinks; especially when the whole weekend, including camping cost $20! With a total attendance of 650, the venue was comfortable whether you stayed near the stage or took a break by your car as you played Cornhole, Hillbilly Golf or tried out twin hoops for the first time. Again, this environment just promotes a friendly, almost family-like camaraderie among the attendees.
Mostly local bands play this event, some with great promise. To be honest of the line up this year, I only knew of one band, The Smoke Rings, and they ended the first night with a great performance. It is refreshing to see a woman, Stephanie Smith, rock out the lead vocals. Though the entire band’s talent is evident, especially when they play their originals. The other band that really stuck out on Friday was the South Street Jam Band, especially when they covered one of my favorite bands Tool, with a great rendition of “Sober.”
I was expecting the number of people to increase tremendously on Saturday, but though the number of people did increase, it really wasn’t evident until later on in the night. Even then, it remained the perfect number that allowed everyone plenty of space to get their groove on. The different bands each brought their own sound, and it was a great mix, guaranteed to satisfy any musical palate. Downstate brought a fresh reggae sound to the event, while Cluster Pluck was more traditional blue grass and then SMASH! gave us an electronica, Soundtribe-like jam.
Overall it was a great time and a ton of fun. I feel like I am a culprit of seeking out those bigger festivals with all the big names; but that I shall be no longer! That special something that these small local festivals have is something I urge all of you to check out for yourselves. You will meet some cool people, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and definitely find some new bands to follow. Rock on Beesonstock, Rock on.
As their name suggests, Kinetix is the quintessence of energy. The band exudes it; a commanding force of musical motion that they exert on stage and spreads to their audience. I have been an avid fan since I saw them at Summer Camp 2012 (check out their set here.)
Kinetix put everything into their show and I knew that they had the soul that distinguishes greatness in artists.
Their live performances have always demonstrated their versatility, range and captivating vigor, now we finally get to feel it anywhere on their new EP “Never Too Late.” Included are three singles, all different in their style but equally awesome and powerful. Kinetix is changing it up – evolving their sound and expanding their talent. Upbeat rhythms, strong beats and funky melodies make their new releases a reflection of their spirit. Hailing from Denver, the band has an exceptional relationship with Josh Fairman on bass, George Horn on drums, Chris Beck on keyboard, Jordan Linit on guitar and Adam Lufkin on guitar and vocals. Adam’s words resonate with significance and combined with the band’s instrumental capacity they are transcending genres and challenging the current music scene. In April Kinetix is traveling throughout the northern Midwest on their EP release tour so you will have the opportunity to experience their energy and feel it move you. In the meantime you can listen to and download their music for free on soundcloud and you will find yourself needing mo’ Kinetix love.
I have good news for all you Scampers in the southern Illinois and southern IN area that usually have to travel quite a bit in order to catch some of your favorite bands of Summer Camp. For myself, living in rural southern IL, I almost always have to travel nearly 4 hours
to Chicago if I want to catch my favorite bands. But now, we’re in luck!
I recently had the pleasure of attending an extremely energetic Kinetix show at Lamasco Bar & Grill in Evansville, IN. Located near the river boat casino (if you’re into that sort of thing), Lamasco has had several of our Summer Camp favorites, including Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, Kinetix, & Strange Arrangement just in the last month. They also have hula hoop clinics during the week!!
It’s a small venue, not a bad seat in the house, and the music goes late into the night, just like I like it. The whole experience is extremely laid back with the band interacting with the crowd the whole show and chatting with anyone and everyone during the set breaks. We spoke to George (drums) for a while while he cooled off from their first set. I asked him how he he came to play drums and he begins by telling us he began his music career playing the violin. However as luck would have it, he chose to play percussion in his music session at camp and there sparked his passion. George then dedicated time throughout his entire life to it, and here he is today, a great addition to this talented band.
The bar gets its great vibe from it’s general manager Amy Word who looks like she’s having a better time than anyone. She was actually putting Kinetix up for the night before they were off early to play Martyr’s in Chicago (which I heard was an awesome show as well – making the JamBase main page). Amy was super nice and made sure to talk the patrons – and dance with them too! We’ll definitely be hitting up Lamasco in the future.
As for Kinetix, they had great energy as usual, and didn’t miss a beat even though they’ve been touring without Eric Blumfeld’s voice after he had surgery a bit ago (however, he was still rockin on the keyboard). We all look forward for a speedy recovery, you rock Eric and we wish you the best! They played mostly covers with a few originals tossed in for good measure. It was an amazing show overall. Here’s the set list they gave me after the show, but I know there is no way it’s complete. They look like they have a great time on stage and flow from cover to cover, teasing different songs all the way through. The showed kicked off strong and never slowed down.
1. I shot the Sheriff > Own Mind > Sun is Shinging
2. It’s never too late > Cramp Your Style > Grassy Knoll
3. Duck Sauce
4. Mo Luv > Another Day
5. Cocaine Blues
6. What’s on Your Mind? > Afraid to Fall
7. Crazy Train
8. People (start hoppin’)
Check out a little glimpse of the show:
Therefore, last Sunday – tired from lack of sleep due to friends visiting for the holiday – both Derrick and I hit the road, driving over two hours to see Big G at the Canopy.
I had to be at work the next day – at 8am, so I was estimating I’d get about 4 hours sleep…did that in any way make me hesitate? No way. Nothing was going to let me miss this show.
The next day I was tired, cold, and had an aching, stiff neck. Was work on Monday painfully long and horrible? Yes. Was it torture? Yes. Was Big Gigantic worth it? F**K yes.
We entered the Canopy Club – one of our favorite venues- and Ana Sia was the DJ peering over her Mac. For me, it is always nice to see a female up on stage. She played some sweet beats – I especially liked her rendition of a forgotten high school favorite “What’s Your Fantasy” by Ludacris. She was focused the whole time – yet dancing the whole time as well. She definitely has talent – I am sure this is not the last time we will be seeing Ana Sia.
Ana finished up around 11. After a short break the place lit up and out walked Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken – or as otherwise known, Big Gigantic. This is a unique duo – based on sax and drums. A great mix. Throw in some bass and you got yourself a show worth driving 2 hours to see on a Sunday night.
Big Gigantic was stopping at Urbana as part of their Uprising Tour…ending with a New Year’s show in Chicago. The place was surprisingly jammed and even Gumby made it to the show. What really made this an especially fun concert was that they played many of my favorites – such as their Aloe Blacc “I need a dollar” remix and their Kanye West “Get em High” remix.
Some of the other great ones were “Sky HIgh,” “Lucid Dreams,” “Shine” (A Place Behind the Moon), and “Nocturnal” (Nocturnal). There were all kinds of fans, there was all kinds of energy and the whole place was just jumpin’. In case my pics aren’t doing it justice – I want to stress how great the light show was. They did a great job; it was original and perfectly synchronized.
One of the most amazing things about this band is that they are all about satisfying their fans – and one of the ways they do it is by giving us free music. That’s right – you can download their album “Nocturnal” for free on their website. So if you are not on the Big G party wagon then your missing out. Go to their site, download their music, come to a show and praise the ingenious drums-sax mix. If it’s just not going to happen in the near future, at least I can offer some consolation in telling you that they will be at Summer Camp next year. Yeah so if you didn’t get your tickets to SC yet – what are you waiting for?
Times have changed. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by information. Technology advances with leaps and bounds. Movies come out by the dozens. Music is growing and evolving at the same pace and there are so many bands and so many sounds and so many ways to listen. It can almost be too much – so much music that I find myself sifting and sorting through thousands of songs and bands to find only a handful that have the right combination of ability, style, and uniqueness to make me want to listen to more.
Kinetix is one of those bands. In preparing for Summer Camp and trying to make a schedule of the bands I absolutely had to see, I looked them up online and started watching some of the live shows they posted on their myspace page. Within seconds I could tell Kinetix needed to fit into my SC schedule. They had a funky rock rhythm and Eric Bloomfield’s vocal skill was apparent right away. I listened to all the live music they had posted and then immediately bought their album Let Me In.
The album had a different feel than their live performances. It was not as rustic or funky and had more of a pop/rock type of sound, however this only adds to their talent by demonstrating their versatility. “Big Screen” became my favorite off the album, with “Wishing Well” and “Let Me In” also standing out as great tracks. Each member is a great musician who adds their own flavor to the music. Adam Lufkin rocks out on guitar and then is also a great singer with unique rapper style vocals. George Horn is awesome on the drums – playing sweet beats to the wide range of Kinetix’s musical reach. Josh Fairman’s fun personality is apparent through the way he wails on bass (and flails that crazy hair of his). Jordan Linit is an awesome guitar player who brings so much energy to their performances. Finally, Eric not only sings but jams on the keyboard as well.
By the time Summer Camp finally arrived I was so excited to catch them live. It was one of the best sets at the festival. They’re energy was wonderful – it was great to see the band getting so into their music, having so much fun – especially considering the overwhelming heat that day. They mixed it up with some covers and some originals, but it was all converted to that funky Kinetix rock sound that made impossible not to start hoppin’. After their set I made my way up to them to see if they were up for an interview, which is posted in a previous blog and you should all check out. All five members were really nice, down to earth guys and it was a pleasure getting to meet them.
They have a myspace page and a facebook page and they post a ton of their music; make sure to listen to “Spinning Out” and “People Start Hoppin’” and definitely watch some of their live performances. I very much hope that they come play at Summer Camp next year. This is a band I truly love and recommend to all you music lovers. If you can make it happen – go to one of their shows, trust me, you don’t want to miss out.
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?
I was SOOO nervous…I was pacing; I was worried I would fall, I would trip, I would stutter, I would pee my pants…luckily none of that happened and I am so relieved. It was a great experience, such a natural euphoria to be up there in front of so many people and getting to announce one my my favorite bands of all time. I wish I could do it every year! As I have reiterated over and over, all the band members were ultra cool and made me feel comfortable going into it and that for sure helped. Thanks again, guys! You rock…in every way =)
Me and Joel Cummins, keys player for Umphreys!!
Ohhh, what a glorious time we’re having out here in the woods at Summer Camp! After three crazy days, three set of Umphreys & Moe, my heart is singing! I’m surrounded by hundreds of fun-loving, sexy people who have come to let their spirits soar in the glorious, funky serenades of an array of musical treats- from jam to funk to latin and steam punk.
Saturday at Summer Camp (aka, Scamp) was ridiculous fun- an upbeat reggae jangling morning as Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars perked everyone up, groovin’ and movin’ to the uplifting, spiritual tunes of their homeland Africa. The lead singers belted their messages of joy and hope in their native tongue, Krio, working the stage, grinding and dipping their hips to their up-chuck, reggae rhythms.
While gettin’ my groove on with the Sierra Leone Boys Holly (aka; my Boss) called me and asked me if I could run up to the little white church on the hill and cover a private Umphreys jam session. “Ummmm, yes please!” (pun intended) I hightailed my ass over to the church, mingled with the boys and the fans then proceeded to go inside the adorable white chapel and rawk face with a private UM Church-Style serenade. They killed it (as always) ripping heart-wrenching drum and bass then tickling all the senses with their bouncy flutter jams, rolling in and out of hard rock into funk jam. 100 people huddled in the packed-out chapel, drinking free brews from Chicago brewery Goose Island, standing atop church pews and bangin’ their boots and bare feet and rockin’ their sweet new UM-VIP gear (given out courtesy of the boys.) I love that about Umphreys. Their always willing to jam out small-town bars and talk to their fans after shows. I think I saw Ryan Stasik’s fine self wandering around Scamp, rockin’ his sa-weet handlebar moustache. I’ll have more details on all the juicy inside stories later. For now, enjoy this glorious picture of myself and Mister Ryan Stasik.
Moustache Love with Ryan Stasik, bass god for Umphreys!