^ South Gate Entrance
Thursday, July 4th.
A great day for America. A great day for Summer. A great day for music. Dark Star Orchestra, the well-known Grateful Dead cover band notorious for covering exact shows, was slated to headline the Harley- Davidson Roadhouse stage for 2 sets on this fine Thursday night. I saw Phil Lesh and Friends at Summerfest a few years back (coincidentally, also on July 4th), and last summer a small bar band that covered the Dead (called The Greatest Story Ever Told), and I have the Closing of Winterland DVD. I am familiar with The Dead, but I don’t want to give off the impression I know them super well. Because I don’t. I recognized maybe about half the songs that DSO played that night, but I definitely recognize great music when I hear it.
It was so intriguing to walk through the crowd and see the variety of people there. There was the old tye-dye hippies who I wouldn’t doubt have followed GD around in the 80′s. There were the young barefoot hippies dancing in the aisles having a great time. There were the middle aged adults wearing their polos who just wanted to have a good time. And everybody had a good time. The show wasn’t that crowded (in general, all of Summerfest wasn’t crowded that night, as the 4th is their slowest business day) so I was able to mingle around and get all sorts of perspectives on the show.
DSO started shortly after 7:30 and the first set lasted til about 8:45 I want to say. I was curious to what show they were covering; I had heard that they usually have a sign somewhere up on the stage that had the date. There was no sign up there this night, though. The next morning I found out that it was actually an original show. Pretty neat! DSO opened with Samson and Deliah. I may have been the only one who didn’t know all the words to this song (seemed to be a common theme throughout the night). The grooves were flowing and the bleachers were shaking from the first chords and lasted throughout the night. I understand I was not a Grateful Dead show, but it seemed to me like you could have fooled the crowd. The fans were just as into this show as the phans at every Phish show I’ve been to. I loved the energy. Alabama Getaway was the second song of the set, another frenzy the crowd loved. Other first set highlights include Mexicali Blues, Ramble on Rose, and the closing segue of New Minglewood Blues > Deal.
The second set and encore spanned nearly 2 hours I want to say. And this set brought the fire with it. China Cat Sunflower with a segue right into I Know You Rider, two of my actual favorite GD songs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand this is actually a common second set opener for GD in their hey day. I say that because I have just one GD show on my computer, 1987-04-03, and the second set started exactly as that. Another highlight of the second set was Saint Stephen, another one the crowd went crazy for, as well as a raging epic climax to Going Down the Road Feeling Bad that segued out of seemingly nowhere into the Rolling Stones classic (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. The GDTRFB put me in such a trance that while I thought I was recording it, I realized I wasn’t. Oops. I did however, catch the segue that lead into Satisfaction. Hopefully my video captures how much the crowd was enjoying this show.
We all love irony, right? When I saw Phil Lesh on July 4th at Summerfest in ’08, he encored with Box of Rain. So what did DSO encore with? Easy Wind, and Box of Rain. Only makes sense.
DSO – original setlist (source: DarkStarOrchestra.net)
1: Samson and Deliah, Alabama Getaway > Greatest Story Ever Told, Hey Pocky Way, Mexicali Blues, Jack-A-Roe, Cassidy, Ramble on Rose, New Minglewood Blues > Deal
2: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Feel Like a Stranger, Scarlet Begonias > Drums > Space > Saint Stephen, Aiko Aiko > The Wheel > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad > (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
E: Easy Wind, Box of Rain
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnvNhEoyvUA&feature=c4-overview&list=UU9VVC7Hq_FJB0IzMXCrpriQ
Saturday, July 6th.
“You’ve got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret. You’ve got to bet on yourself, now, star, ’cause that’s your best bet.”
311 is one of my longest favorite bands. One of my older brothers introduced them to me when I was in 1st grade (I think) with the album Soundsystem. I loved it. To this day, 311 always remains in my playlist and I see them every chance I get. 4 shows now, each one of them at Summerfest. Things work out that way when you’re from the Milwaukee area. Although I always wish that they play longer, they really put on a true rock show and it’s always a blast. Always. They love Wisconsin (lead singer Nick Hexum is from Madison) and play what we fans want to hear. I would LOVE to see 311 headlining at next year’s Summer Camp. Make it happen! They are much more insightful and conscious than they appear (they get heavy \mm/) but their lyrics provide thought provoking issues. At the end of each show Hexum says some sort of variation of “Love yourselves, stay positive.” Each summer when they go on tour it’s called “Unity Tour”, because like all other bands at Scamp, they’re about bringing people together with the common ground of music.
Highlights of the show for me was the opener of Beautiful Disaster, a fan favorite, Freeze Time (my all time favorite 311 song) and the set closing of Amber, Down, Jackpot.
311 setlist (source: 311.com)
- Beautiful Disaster, Sick Tight, Sunset in July, Don’t Tread on Me, My Stoney Baby, Random, You Wouldn’t Believe, Champagne, Time Bomb, Applied Science, Who’s Got the Herb, All Mixed Up, Rub a Dub, Come Original, Freeze Time, Don’t Stay Home, Bass Solo, Nutsymptom, Amber, Down, Jackpot
E: What Was I Thinking, Creatures
Rub a Dub, Come Original http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY7xIQM7yXk&list=UU9VVC7Hq_FJB0IzMXCrpriQ
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.
Within moments of being around Adam, I knew that his relationship with music was unique. It is more than unique, it is exceptional – he contains a musical vibe that emanates from his very being. This aura executes actuality by transforming itself into rhythms and melodies in the form of neurons firing in his brain. He doesn’t force himself to make music, but music forces itself upon him to be created. It compels itself into existence, needing to be expressed and heard. For those of us who assume the title of “fan” or “aspiring musician,” it is bittersweet to see the innate capacity with which Adam Lufkin produces brilliant music. His first professional endeavor was uniting four other talented musicians to form the band Kinetix. Now he is expanding his sound with his good friend and fellow Kinetix member, Josh Fairman. Josh and Adam have branched and created Laskin & Robinson. This new undertaking combines a powerful blend of various genres: pop, rock, rap, reggae, funk and hip hop. Their sound is such a perfect mosaic that the reverberations originating when this duo performs cannot be defined and restricted by any one particular category.
Their first single, “Falling Down,” has finally been released – a mere two years after coming to life in Adam’s mind as he wondered the aisles of a grocery store looking for some fried chicken to ease the lingering Wakarusa hangover. The melody crept from the deepest part of his brain – the innovative genius working beyond his control. He began hearing the words accompanying the sound “when you’re falling down…yeah, yeah, yeah.” He kept hearing it and singing it in his head during the entire venture home. Upon arrival he immediately sat on his throne and laid down the drums to what he had created. As soon as he was done Adam began free-styling verses. The image of a train derailing vividly leading him to the first one: “you can’t lose track of what you feel…you can’t lose track of what is real…you can’t lose track and let your train…roll out of control.” The music, the images and the verses kept flooding his consciousness and that night the first single of Laskin & Robinson came to be.
Now, equipped with the artistic contributions of bassist Josh Fairman, as Adam plays guitar and both work on production they are officially releasing their music as this pioneering duo. Having met Adam at the University of Denver, Josh not only slaps bass, he is also CEO and founder of his own production company – Laskin Productions. In 2011 he also co-founded Scanhope Sound, a production studio in Littleton, CO which provides all types of recording services. Josh has a light-hearted and amusing personal liveliness. Simply watching him play demonstrates his enthralling personality as he rocks hard and flails his wild hair. His capacity on the bass is beyond description. Combining his persona with the magic workings of his fingers he creates smooth and powerful renditions. Josh’s hip rhythms complete Adams melodies and give Laskin & Robinson that original sound. Their songs are energetic and funky with upbeat rhythms, light reggae undertones and fun lyrics. They make even the most sedentary soul want to get up and boogie.
However awesome the music, what truly makes the tracks exceptional is their message. Underlying the seemingly playful words are powerful themes. If you listen acutely to the songs, the words take on another meaning. From the title and the beat one might gather that “Ass Work” pertains to shaking your bootie.
Yet if you actually pay attention you will realize that it is about working hard and realizing that you are truly actualized when you put all your effort into your endeavors: “w – o – r – k every day, play hard, work hard, to my craft I’m a slave”…”come to me you will find yourself to be twice your worth…cuz I’m a show you how to make your ass work.” In addition to “Falling Down” and “Ass Work,” Adam and Josh have released another original, “Top Shelf,” which features Corey Henry from Galactic. After a Galactic show, Josh was riding with Corey in his car when he heard the track. He instantly recognized that he wanted to partake. The next day Corey joined Josh and Adam in the studio. Laskin & Robinson’s latest release is their interpretation of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” As a testament to their laid back and easy going dispositions, all of their music is available to listen to and download for free. You can follow the band and become an official fan on facebook. From their posts and pictures you can see for yourself that this is something that you want to be a part of. Life is short but sweet so make your ass work and become an active Laskin & Robinson enthusiast.
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 =)
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