And now… your closing line up… for each night of Summer Camp Music Festival 2014… drum roll please… LIVE BANDS IN THE RED BARN!!!!
Every year Summer Camp picks the best of the best for their Late Night Shows in the Red Barn, sometimes even mixing and matching heavy hitters from different bands to form a super-group of sorts. But not this year… no, this year Summer Camp HQ decided to give us more of what we love! With many of the best acts on their line up taking over the Red Barn each night, the hardest part will be deciding which late night is right for you.
My purpose is to provide counsel in moments like these, so the following paragraphs will give you all the background you need in order to make the decision as to which ticketed Late Night Shows are right for you. Choose wisely or miss out…
Friday Late Night Show
Friday’s Late Night Show in the Red Barn will feature a gypsy sideshow better known as Beats Antique. True to their gypsy style, this group’s sound doesn’t really have a genre to call home. They are ethnic, earthy, yet electronic and very dance oriented. They put on a show as if it were a theatrical performance with belly dancing, costumes, and a consistent flow of chaotic energy being delivered to their audience.
Also on Friday’s Late Night bill is Summer Camp and Late Night veterans LOTUS! The news of their triumphant return to the Red Barn has put a smile on my face, and the fact that they get this coveted late night spot is beyond righteous. This band’s sophisticated style has earned them respect by everyone in our scene. They bridge the gap between jam and electronic music. There is something graceful about the way Lotus plays, like they are building a peaceful connection between their instruments and our ears. I have to be honest here, I never know the names of Lotus songs when I hear them live. All I know is they do something to my soul where I can’t help but fall in love with every note. This band has a way of taking me to the other side of Jupiter. After seeing them over a dozen times, I can promise you this: Lotus always delivers. I am going to go ahead and say this late night will probably be one of the best sets of the weekend. In fact, I’d bet a late night ticket on it!
I am pretty sure Camp Counselor Kyle agrees with me on this – thanks to him for creating the video above!
Saturday Late Night Show
Saturday is guaranteed to be one of the most stacked single days of music in the history of Summer Camp, which means that a lot of energy will have to be conserved in order to rage proper all the way into the wee hours of the morning. The Red Barn will once again be flipped upside down for a late night show that starts off with Gramatik. This is the only DJ on the late night line up, and he probably could headline the barn all on his own but he is actually co-headlining this stage with the funk machine better known as Lettuce!
Lettuce is dirty… and I mean that in the nastiest way possible. Who could forget how we danced our asses off as rain soaked into our souls during their day set at the Moonshine stage at last year? The waves of funk washed over the crowd as if we were bobbing in a sea of funky goodness.
This set was so funking good Lettuce decided to return in order to lay down the beats that make funk prosper. Us fans are attracted to their anything goes style and distinct flavor in the world of funk. This band produces a synergy between its members where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Lettuce is a super group through and through. When Pretty Lights decided he wanted to tour with a live band this past fall, these were some the musicians he tapped to be on the roster. Their late night set is guaranteed to sweat out a day’s worth of rage. So, Lettuce turnip the beet that Saturday night, shall we?
If you still need some convincing, Camp Counselor Nick Stock’s advice just might seal the deal:
“If you are going to see Lettuce I suggest you bring a shovel to pick your jaw up off the floor. This musical powerhouse is producing some of the best live funk happening today. If you enjoy getting slapped hard by the dirty funk find yourself in the crowd for Lettuce at Summer Camp this year…. wait it’s late night? Bring two shovels.”
Sunday Late Night Show
On Sunday night, our fest headliners, Umphrey’s McGee, will be downsizing their Summer Camp stage production to give every Umphreak more of what they signed up for. If you haven’t read my blog posts before, you may not be aware just how much I love this band. This year’s Summer Camp will mark my ten year anniversary with Umprhey’s McGee. Their love for their fans is unlike any other band and we just can’t seem to get enough. We are addicts and rawk is our drug of choice. So why not give us just one more hit to seal the deal and blast us off into Umph ecstasy?
If you are not an Umphreak you should probably skip this show. Summer Campers will get to see Umphrey’s throw down some of their best material during their headlining slots on Friday and Saturday nights. That should be plenty for any newbie trying to get a feel for what this band is all about. But if you are just as obsessed as I am with this band, good luck scoring a late night, and may the odds be ever in your favor…
Check out a fan shot video from Umphrey’s Summer Camp late night set in 2010:
Be prepared when tickets for these Late Night Shows n the Red Barn go on sale (dates should be announced soon), because they will sell out in seconds! I know firsthand how much this sucks (and getting shut out can make you bitter), but when you finally DO get your hands on that coveted late night ticket, it is all the sweeter!
If you really want the ultimate Summer Camp experience, you could always lock down a late night by purchasing a VIP Upgrade to the fest. Those tickets go on sale on Friday at 10:00 AM Central.
And don’t forget, the Late Night Shows in the Red Barn are just a portion of what Summer Camp offers after the sun goes down! Stay tuned for our thoughts on what’s always an incredible Thursday night in the Red Barn, as well as the nightly Late Night Campfire Jams, the never-ending party over in the Late Night Vibe Tent, as well as the always entertaining Late Night at the Soulshine Tent! I know i’m eagerly anticipating announcements for each of these too…
Lotus tops my list of bands that I have to see if I get a chance and since I was back in the Pittsburgh area I had to make it to this show. I had already had the pleasure of seeing Lotus at the Canopy Club earlier this year. It’s really an awesome experience to get to see a band at several stops along their tour. I’m hoping to catch them one more time before festival season is upon us.
Stage AE is a great venue, easy to get a drink, and the downtown Pittsburgh atmosphere is really one of the best in the country. Stage AE sits just a few hundred feet from the meeting of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers which merge at the point to form the Ohio River. The view of the city, river valley, and rivers could not be more incredible. It is really a beautiful place to see live music. As a side note, Pittsburgh is also home to Mr. Smalls Theater and The Rex Theater which are always hosts to lots of great music including Lotus at Mr. Smalls a few years ago.
As opposed to the last time they were at the Canopy Club, Lotus just played one set in Pittsburgh, which was awesome because I go to hear extended versions of several of the songs they played the Canopy back in November. The place was as crowded as I’ve ever seen Stage AE and the energy from the audience was great. The show kicked off with Wax which of course was a crowd favorite from the 2007 album Escaping Sargasso Sea. Wax is THE song that plays through my head when I think about Lotus. It’s an tune they’ve been playing for awhile and it really is the quintessential song to represent Lotus’ “sound.” Classic rock, funk, heavy metal, and contemporary electronic beats. I was lucky enough to hear it at both shows I’ve seen this tour!
The show ended with an Umbillical Moonrise encore that definitely left everyone wanting more. The relaxing and smooth roll of this song is however an inspiring note to leave a show on. This song really gives you the feeling of something bigger surrounding you as the guitar bounces around the room and the crowd sways and cheers. It’s amazing to be with so many people and all be on the same page. Music and people like this are one of the greatest things in life and I’m so glad I get to share so much of my time with good bands and people. Lotus is a must see.
Here is the set list, including a live recording by Bean that is incredibly high quality. Thanks really have go out to the awesome tapers everywhere! Thank one when you see one!
Set List: Wax - Blacklight – Sunflare - L’immueble > Massif Opo - Lead Pipe > Dowrn - The Robots - Through the Mirror > Greet the Mind - Marisol - Flower Sermon
E: Umbillical Moonrise
You know that band that whenever you see them, they never let you down live? For me, Lotus is that act!
I was able to catch Lotus bring the heat in Rochester, NY at the Water Street Music Hall on January 30th. I was extremely excited for this show as I haven’t seen them since the end of August. Seriously, I stand by what I said above. They are always amazing live, and Lotus is an act you need to make sure that you see at Summer Camp this year!
Lotus is made up of Mike Rempel on guitar, Jesse Miller on bass and sampler, Luke miller on guitar and keys, Mike Greenfield on drums, and Chuck Morris on percussion.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw lotus, I was blown away! The first time you see any act, it leaves a huge first impression. If you see an act live that’s just horrible, odds are if they come around again, you’ll skip it; or perhaps you will be just going back into it hoping you saw a bad show. Lotus of course left a great impression on me and continues to do so. For an added bonus, not only are these dudes amazing musicians, but they are so unbelievably humble if you ever have the opportunity to speak with them!
FUN FACT: Lotus is considered a multi-genre band incorporating rock, electronica, jazz, jam, hip-hop, funk, and many other influences.
Opening up the show was one of my favorite acts to see around the Western New York area, Papi Chulo. He for sure got the party started! He literally rages so many different styles of music including dubstep, electro house, glitch-hop, drum and bass, and much more. I was grooving his whole set, and if you like to boogy, you should check out this live track when he opened up for Bonobo.
Lotus was up next and they blew me away for the millionth time (seriously, I lost count how many times I have seen them live).
Bellwether, Aschon, Neon Tubes, Opo, Wooly Mammoth, Bubonic Tonic -> Tip of the Tongue.
Debris, Golden Ghost, Livingston Storm, Different Dream, IACTMN -> Wax
It was a very awesome first set. I was in the photo pit for the first couple songs, and then the rest of the show I ventured into the balcony which I rarely do at venues, but it was really glorious for this show.
Highlight songs for me at this was Opo, Bubonic Tonic, and Livingston Storm! I was really hoping to hear Spirtualize as I haven’t heard it in a long time, but that didn’t make or break their top notch performance.
Lotus also has a visually stunning light show. Around the summer time, they added these light bars to their already stellar gear and personally love them. When they get into those intense jams and the lights are all dark except for these multi colored bars that go from top to bottom / vise versa, it just looks beautiful. It really adds to the intensity of their jams! Closing my eyes during certain parts and just really letting the music hit you can be just as equally stunning!
If you ever get the chance to see Lotus, I HIGHLY recommend it! When they rage Summer Camp in May, I REALLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you do not miss their set!
Check this video out from when Lotus played Summer Camp in 2011:
UPCOMING LOTUS TOUR DATES:
February 7 – Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
February 8 – Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
February 15 & 16 – AURA Music Festival – Live Oak, FL
March 21 & 22 – BUKU Music + Art Project – New Orleans, LA
March 28 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA
March 29 – Buckhead Theatre – Atlanta, GA
April 11 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 12 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 18 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD
April 19 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD
April 25 & 26 – Euphoria Festival – Austin, TX
May 23 – 25 – Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL
I’m sure by now you have seen the initial line up for Summer Camp 2014 (which, by the way, features just a FRACTION of the over 75 bands that will play). For me, just knowing moe. and Umphrey’s will be there every year is enough, but let’s take a closer look at all of the other awesome artists that will be raging into Three Sisters Park this May!
I will never forget the first time I saw Bassnectar live. It was an experience for sure. The craziest part of seeing him that night; it was right after Furthur played. So after seeing Furthur’s epic performance, going into something like Bassnectar literally blew people away. I remember going into a Porta Potty right next to the stage and it was literally moving with the bass. I have seen Bassnectar (Lorin Ashton ) countless times since and I had a blast every single time.
Lorin’s stage energy is great and his production set up is always top notch. Bassnectar for me is one of those acts that are meant for a festival. Sure, he’s fun in a club setting, but raging with thousands of people at Summer Camp is going to be a night to remember.
Check out when Bassnectar killed it at Summer Camp in 2010:
Bassnectar fun fact: When starting out, Lorin’s stage name was DJ Lorin. He released his first album in 2001, and it wasn’t until 2002 that he founded his stage name, Bassnectar.
Trey Anastasio Band
If you were at Summer Camp 2013, I’m sure Trey Anastasio Band was on your wish list to return this year! I don’t like letting the weather ruin my fun, so I still (along mannnny others) got down to Trey on Sunday of Summer Camp 2013, and i’m sure he’ll pick up right where he left off this last year! I’m so extremely excited! For those that don’t know, Trey Anastasio is Phish’s lead guitarist and vocalist.
Trey Anastasio’s Band is made up of Russ Lawton on drums, Tony Markellis on bass, Cyro Baptista on percussion, Ray Paczkowski on keys, Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet and vocals, Natalie Cressman on trombone and vocals, and of course, Trey Anastasio on guitar and vocals! One of my personal favorite songs is “Architect”. This team of amazing musicians is one not to be missed.
Trey Anastasio Band fun fact: Trey Anastasio Band first made their debut in 1998. What started off with only 3 members has grown into the wide range sounds of what TAB ( Trey Anastasio Band for short ) is today.
Primus is one of the most unique acts of any band I have seen. Part of that for me is the vocals and talent of bassist / vocalist Les Claypool. The rest of Primus is made up of guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander.
Although I have been listening to Primus for a long time, it wasn’t until 2010 that I had my first chance to catch them live. When the lights dimmed and the mysterious intro music started, I grinned a large smile and I knew I was in for a treat. What I actually saw throughout their whole set was something I have never seen before in a live act. Les Claypool is a very interactive vocalist. In between many of their songs, he goes on a hysterical banter with his interesting voice. Normally I can do without artists talking in between songs, but I actually embrace it! Many people that witnessed Primus at Summer Camp in 2012 claim it to be one of the most epic sets. Well, they are ready to party it back up at Summer Camp this year, and I for one am smiling ear to ear once again!
Check out Primus live when Bob Weir sat in from Summer Camp 2012:
Primus fun fact: Primus has a catchphrase, being “Primus sucks!”. When fans say this, it often confuses new listeners. In 2011, Les did say that he got tired of fans saying it.
Yonder Mountain String Band
YEEEEHAAAWWWW! Yonder Mountain String Band. YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND! Seriously, I NEVER get tired of seeing these guys live. They are what got me into bluegrass. It’s hard to explain to people that aren’t familiar with these guys, or bluegrass in general, how hard they rage live. Their foot stomping fun is comprised of Jeff Austin on mandolin and vocals, Ben Kaufmann on bass and vocals, Dave Johnston on banjo and vocals, and Adam Aijala on guitar and vocals. I’m not sure if it’s because of the lack of drums in the band (and I don’t say that in a negative way, I love it), but the way the audience dances at a Yonder show is awesome. It’s almost as if everyone dances as the drummer keeping the beat.
Seeing Yonder this past year at Summer Camp two times was a very cool. My favorite of the two was their barn set. If you were one of the lucky ones to see them perform in the barn Friday night, you know how special it was. Especially late night ( although seeing them around 6 PM with a full sun is awesome ). I can’t wait to see what the guys bring to the stage this year at Summer Camp.
Check out this video of Yonder late night in the Red Barn at Summer Camp 2013:
Yonder Mountain String Band fun fact: When Dave Johnston and Jeff Austin first met, Dave asked Jeff to join and sing in his band, The Bluegrassholes. It was then that Jeff revealed he had a mandolin, and Dave said bring it along; “just play it fast and loud!”
Lotus. LOTUS. LOTTTTUSSSS! I’m pretty sure that’s what muttered out of my mouth when I saw they were on this years line up. Lotus has and always will hold a special place in my heart. I have seen these guys so many times I have lost count, and I have never seen a bad set by them!
Lotus is made up of Mike Rempel on guitar, Jesse Miller on bass and sampler, Mike Greenfield on drums, Luke Miller on guitar and keyboards, and Chuck Morris on percussion.
I think what I love most about Lotus is the way that they build up their sets until your face is officially melted off. I’m not kidding either. When they get into their epic jams, I loose my mind. The whole audience is connected into the band, and the band into the audience and everyone is just feeding off each others energy. Not only are these guys amazing musicians, but if you ever get the chance to speak with these guys, they are very down to earth. For me personally, Lotus at Summer Camp is what’s on my mind. I will be seeing them perform multiple times in between then, but nothing is better then Lotus raging Summer Camp!
Check out this video of Lotus playing “Backlight Sunflare” at Summer Camp 2011:
Lotus fun fact: Jesse and Luke Miller are brothers. Also, Lotus has done many themed shows. On October 31, 2008 at the TLA in Philadelphia the show was billed as “Live Fast Die Young: the 27 Conspiracy”. Each of the 5 members dressed as a rock star who died at the age of 27 (Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Pigpen, and Jim Morrison) and the show featured covers by each of the respective bands.
Comprised of String Cheese Incidents Michael Travis and Jason Hann, these dudes know how to bring the energy! What really sets EOTO apart from other electronic artists is their music is created without prerecorded loops! It’s all improv, and all loops are created right then and there! Onstage, they use Abelton live as their primary software for looping. Every time I have seen EOTO has been a much different.. not in bad way! Their stage set up is called the Lotus Flower and utilized 3D mapping to project really cool art work on to the set up.
EOTO fun fact: EOTO originally started out as End Of Time Observatory, with the members often calling themselves EOTO. Many Japanese fans explained EOTO means “good sound” in Japanese, and the band decided to officially stick with the name EOTO instead.
Keller Williams is a “one man jam band” hailing from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Using loop recording, his live shows mimic a full four piece act on stage. If you close your eyes at one of his shows, you often forget there is only one guy up there making music. It takes a lot of talent to do what he does, and he does it very well at that!
Keller uniquely blends bluegrass, folk, rock, reggae, electronica, jazz, and funk all together into an epic dance party. Keller often plays Grateful Dead songs which is always a plus in my book! I was able to catch a couple songs when he played as Keller Williams with More Than a Little right before Umphrey’s on Friday Night this past Summer Camp. It was so good!
Keller Williams fun fact: Keller Williams never took any lessons. He is a self taught musician!
The funkiest group returns to Summer Camp! If you have seen them perform before, then I know how happy you are that they are returning on the line up! They were so amazing at Summer Camp this past year as they funkified the Moonshine stage! About half way into their set, it started raining pretty good, but it felt so right in that moment and time! Everyone got crazier and really started dancing around like wild animals!
Lettuce is made up of Eric Krasno on guitar, Adam Smirnoff on guitar, Neal Evans on keys, Adam Deitch on drums, Erick Coomes on bass, Sam Kininger on sax, Ryan Zoidis on sax, and Nigel Hall on vocals. All of these guys are so talented! They have all found success in other acts as well, all touring in different groups around the world when not playing with Lettuce. They are an act to NOT miss when Summer Camp arrives!
Lettuce fun fact: In the fall of 1994, the band reconvened as undergrads at Berklee and attempted to play at various Boston jazz clubs, walking in and asking the club owners and other musicians if they would “let us play”, giving birth to the name Lettuce.
Beats Antique is an American experimental world fusion and electronic music group. They were formed in California in 2007. I like to heavily emphasize the world fusion part… If you have seen them or at least even heard their music, you understand what I’m referring to. Their shows are so outrageously unique! Made up of David Satori, Zoe Jakes, and Tommy Cappel, Beats Antique is another act I recommend checking out! Their shows somehow remind me of a Cirque de soleil show. They feature belly dancing and many different characters/costumes dancing about.
Beats Antique fun fact:
Zoe Jakes began belly dancing in 2000, but is a lifelong dancer, having 10 years of jazz and ballet dance experience under her belt. Her belly dancing is a blend of traditional belly dance with tango, popping, and indian dance.
Hailing from Chicago, Future Rock combines elements of Electronica, Progressive House, and dance rock. The band consists of Felix Moreno on bass guitar and synthesizer, Mickey Kellerman on keyboards and synthesizers, and Darren Heitz on drums and synthesizer. Future Rock was so cool in the Red Barn this past year. They brought the heat in there!
Check out this video of Future Rock late night from the Red Barn at Summer Camp 2013:
Future Rock fun fact: They once performed as Aphex Rock, performing a full set of music by Aphex Twin.
Other Summer Camp 2014 Artists
The other acts announced in the first round are Bro Safari, Wick-it the Instigator, Family Groove Company, This Must Be the Band, The Floozies, Henhouse Prowlers, DJ SOLO, Manic Focus, The Delta Saints, IndigoSun, Robotic Pirate Monkey, DUGASMUSIC, Sun Stereo, The Black Cadillacs, Old Shoe, Chicago Farmer’s New Feat with Old Shoe, Positive Vibr8ions, Caroline Rose, Brainchild, and Bone Jugs N Harmony. And there are many more to come – over 75 bands on 7 stages!
All I can say is WOW! Summer Camp always finds a way to keep making adding fun to the party year after year! Get your tickets now! You don’t want to miss this!
If you happened to miss the official video announcing this first round of artits, make sure to check it out below:
Lotus is one of my favorite bands and has had several amazing sets at Summercamp so I was pumped for them to be at my favorite venue, the Canopy Club!
I probably say this every other post, but the Canopy Club is one of the most intimate and impressive places to see a show. There is hardly anywhere I’ve ever been (excluding tiny places) where you can get so close to the artists without even trying. This show didn’t disappoint and I decided to take a different angle with this post and just show you the light show.
We weren’t lucky enough to have Lotus in 2013 but I found a couple of awesome clips of their performance from 2012 which was great. They played the Sunshine stage and totally tore it up with set that included some crowd favorites and a lot more metal than we are normally used to from Lotus.
As far as this show, I vividly remember all the purples, blues, and greens and the way the colors put me in a perfect place. The light show and the music are always one with Lotus and they always seem to top themselves. I also got to hear a few of my favorites Uffi and Bush Pilot from the Encore.
I included the set list below, but I haven’t found a place where you can download the show for free…
Set One: Harps, Break Build Burn, Wax, The Oaks, Bubonic Tonic > We Are Now Connected, Uffi
Set Two: Through the Mirror, Lucid Awakening, Different Dream, Umbilical Moonrise, Flower Sermon
Encore: 72 Hours Awake, Bush Pilot, age of Inexperience
The devastation caused by flooding in Colorado has effected many members of our Summer Camp community. Nearly 2,000 homes are unlivable and hundreds of families lost everything. Many are now forced to rebuild their lives and spirits with whatever wasn’t destroyed by waters that tore through their neighborhoods. Being washed out of your home is a mighty large pill to swallow but, in all reality, this type of natural disaster could happen to anyone, regardless of where you live.
Back in the day people used to donate their own time, money, and energy to support a cause. They would stand in the streets with signs and volunteer at shelters in order to change the world around them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. These days most people sit around and watch tragedies unfold on their TV sets, in the comforts of their own home. They might talk about it at school or work, commenting on how sad it must be, passionately saying, “Someone should do something about it.” Somewhere along the way our generation has lost the courage to stand up and do something about it themselves. They assume someone else or maybe even our government will take care of these tragic situations that happen around the world.
This is not the case within our Summer Camp community and this is what sets us apart from every other festival. Summer Camp is more than a festival, it is a family. I personally know at least 5 Summer Campers that have had their lives flipped upside down by this natural disaster and their accounts of the devastation are heart breaking.
Luckily, we are a community that supports each other in times of need. Across the board Summer Camp artists, Make-a-Difference nonprofits, and even individual Scampers are donating their money, time, and energy towards flood relief and rebuilding efforts.
Many Summer Camp artists and bands have stepped up in unique ways to help aid devastated Colorado communities.
One of our favorite late night acts, Lotus, was right in the thick of it when the flooding occurred. Their September 13th Red Rocks show had to be postponed due to the rain and lack of safe roadways to the venue. They immediately turned this upset around by hosting a benefit show that same evening at the Armoury in Denver in order to raise funds for the Red Cross. Lotus’s opening acts and Summer Camp Alumni, Minnesota and Break Science, also hosted a last minute fundraiser that raised over $5,000 for United Way’s Flood Relief Fund.
STS9 has taken a different route by donating all proceeds from merchandise, along with live recording sales, to help raise over $10,000 for Colorado. Many other bands have been holding food and supply drives during their shows for those displaced due to evacuations. Some bands, like Yonder Mountain String Band, have chosen to donate 100% of proceeds from their Colorado shows towards rebuilding communities effected by the floods. Just by enjoying these shows, attendees will be contributing to flood relief efforts: a win/win situation for all involved.
Big Gigantic is hosting Flood Relief Benefit shows this weekend, Sept. 27th and 28th at the Fillmore in Denver and at Red Rocks Amphitheater, respectively. They will be donating a portion of ticket sales directly to Conscious Alliance’s Flood Relief Fund along with collecting supplies and food for those washed out. Big G will also be hosting a Big Gigantic Cleanup Day with details still to be determined. This act has really stepped up in a BIG way for their home state and Summer Camp favorite nonprofit, Conscious Alliance will be bringing the food and supplies collected to hundreds of Colorado families directly effected by the floods.
Now you may ask yourself, “What can I do?” and the truth is A LOT! I am a firm believer that grassroots efforts can truly make a difference and I know from first had experience that everyone has an ability to change the world in their own special way.
There are tons of opportunities where you can personally help Colorado. While donating money may be the easiest solution, you can also contribute by hosting fundraisers and supply drives. Setting up these types of events isn’t as difficult as you might think. You would be surprised how many businesses or even family members would be happy to support your cause if you just took the time to ask. Garage sales, party hosting, and benefit car washes are all easy ways to bring in money. Organizing a “split the pot” at your favorite bar or a bake sale at your school is easy as pie, literally.
You can also donate your time. Simply sending an email out to your friends and family with a link to a charity you believe it like Conscious Alliance can help raise more money than you might expect. Better yet, taking the time to roll up your sleeves to help clean up would make the world of difference to those who have to rebuild their lives and homes.
I personally wanted to do something to help a family I knew had lost everything in the Colorado floods. So I had the idea of holding some sort of raffle during my birthday party in Chicago last weekend. Since most of my friends and family would be there, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do some good in the midst of opening presents and blowing out candles. I got in touch with Umphrey’s McGee to see if they were interested in donating a couple of prizes for our raffle. While Umprhey’s had already announced they would be contributing a percentage of ticket sales to flood relief, they were more than happy to gift us some awesome merchandise for the raffle. With just a few t-shirts, a signed poster, and some DVDs, we were able to raise over $400 for a family who lost everything in Lyons, CO. This is an example of grass roots at its finest.
For those of you living in Denver, on October 14th Umphrey’s \UM/ Mondays will be hosting a fundraiser where they will be raffling off a variety of items for flood victims. This group of Umphrey’s fans have been getting together at their favorite Denver bars to listen to live Umphrey’s and drink some heady beers for over a year. They knew this weekly event was a perfect opportunity to get their community involved in flood relief. They are now accepting donations through their Facebook page or you can just show up to the fundraiser! Awesome prizes and an awesome time is guaranteed!
Visit Help Colorado NOW to donate directly to Colorado counties effect by the floods or come out to one of our many Summer Camp community events to support the cause. Or, better yet, host your own!
Let’s show Colorado just how much our Summer Camp family cares!
Do you smell that crisp September air? You know what that means; the sad realization that the 2013 Festival season is coming to a close. But hey, as Dr. Seuss said, ” Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ” Looking back at the festival timeline from May until now, I have a grin from ear to ear!
If it was possible, I would travel America during the festival season going from one to the next. For now, that is not possible as other life commitments don’t allow for that. These are the reasons though that festivals mean so much to me. They allow you to connect with other like minded individuals and set yourself free from outside worries that life throws at you. The feeling of arriving at a festival is something extremely unique and my whole body craves it.
For me, I was lucky enough to hit up four festivals this summer.
Starting off, I went to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville, OH May 10-12 for a weekend of Papadosio. The weather wasn’t what you want for a festival; it was cold and rainy. That never gets in the way for me of having a great time. As long as you look ahead and prepare for the weather at a festival, you should be golden.
It was a very enjoyable weekend. Papadosio played amazing as usual, and their new light set up they have been using really zones you out into their sets. Other acts that were there include Broccoli Samurai, Fletcher’s Groove, and Color Wheel.
Check out a clip from Papadosio playing at Spring Dance:
Spring Dance really got me primed up for the most amazing festival experience I have EVER had, being Summer Camp! It was the furthest drive I took this summer for a festival, taking about 11.5 hours and 700 miles! Nothing makes me happier then being on the open road, and even more so when you know where the road leads to.
Summer Camps line up always has something for everyone! My top 5 favorite acts I saw were moe, Umphrey’s Mcgee, STS9, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Gramatik. That’s actually hard to write though, because I did not see ONE bad act at Summer Camp! Looking back, I am upset that I missed out on Nahko & Medicine for the People! Their newest album, Dark as Night, truly has been my favorite album this summer.
Being the Summer Camp counselor was not only an honor during that weekend, but is an experience that has kept on going since then. My best memory of that whole weekend was being in moes trailer and having them along with Victor Wooten perform a private set to my brother, my sister, my girlfriend, and myself. Checkout a clip of that performance here:
I also had the opportunity of announcing moe right before they took the stage for the first time on Friday!:
I had so many other memories from that weekend that keep my soul smiling. Another one that sticks out was being on stage for Umphrey’s McGee on Friday:
The crowd at Summer Camp was amazing too! It’s clear that Summer Camp is a more than a festival, it’s a family! Even during the craziest of rain at Scamp, I held on to my smile because I was with the Summer Camp family and NOTHING could stop us from having a good time!
I had a nice solid month in between my next festival, Electric Forest, which ran from June 27- June 30th.
Electric Forest was another glorious festival. Their line up is a little more electronic, but what really drew me there was 3 nights of String Cheese Incident. I had never seen them before going, and it’s been a mission of mine for a very long time! They blew away my expectations!
Electric Forest was another festival that had a strong community feel. Everyone was very awesome! Even more so then the music, the community can make or break the feel of a festival.
My top 5 acts of Electric Forest include: String Cheese Incident, Lotus, Empire of the Sun, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and Railroad Earth. The only thing I did not care for about EFF, was that general admission gives you a very small plot of camping space. We barely were able to fit everything we had in the area; however I understood the size of the festival and that it was necessary to fit everyone in.
Ah yes, last but not least, my most recent and sadly my last festival of the season, Summer Dance.
Summer Dance takes place at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, and for me, this was the first and last location for my summer of festivals which was awesome! Summer Dance took place from August 30 – September 2. The line up was awesome which included 2 nights of lotus ( 4 sets total ), One More Time ( Daft Punk Tribute ), Broccoli Samurai, Future Rock, Orchard Lounge, The Manhattan Project and more!
It was an awesome way to close out the festival season. One of my favorite parts of Nelson Ledges is they have a quarry in which you can swim and jump off into! It’s so refreshing and it’s awesome that you can swim and listen to music at the same time.
Here’s a clip of Lotus raging this year at Summer Dance:
And with all that awesomeness, that’s all she wrote for this year in my book! It was an awesome ride and I can’t wait to do it all again next year hopefully adding even more into the mix!
Although this is the end for me, there are still tons of other festivals happening this season, including Catskill Chill, Lockn’, Night Lights fall Music Festival and more!
Even though it’s all coming to an end, there is something we can all agree on that is fun in the fall; MORE MUSIC! All of the fall tours are starting to flow out every day and I’m liking what I see!
I hope everyone else’s festival season was as good as mine! Until next year…
-Camp Counselor Kyle
Nominated: Christian Hannon
“After I graduated high school and left my hometown, I wouldn’t have imagined keeping in touch with Christian Hannon for years to come. We were teenagers set on different paths and fair-weather friends. We would see each other via mutual friends on weekends, occasionally exchanging conversations about electronic and improvisational music. I expected him to vanish from my life after I left home for college.
Four years later, I was a college graduate and Christian and I had maintained constant contact, despite going to schools a thousand miles apart. We had attended at least one music festival together every summer following my leave from home for school. The people we surrounded ourselves with for each trip varied, but Christian and I remained constant friends and travel partners. We decided to make the dreaded 18-hour drive from Charleston, SC to the Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL for the second time, since we attended SCamp in 2011 and had so much fun. The results of that decision were the best road trip and music festival of our lives.
We left Charleston at 6pm on Wednesday with three friends in a completely packed Suburban SUV. Christian and I each drove six hours while the others, who excused themselves saying they couldn’t drive the extra-large vehicle, slept and read. The sun set as I drove northbound through South Carolina. As I drove, Christian sat in the passenger seat keeping me awake and entertained with conversation, and I did the same for him. We sang along to Michael Jackson and grooved to Break Science and Pretty Lights until the sun came up over the vast Indiana cornfields. We arrived at the festival at noon the next day, completely exhausted from having driven all night, sleeping only 3 hours in the morning.
6 hours and many heavily burdened car trips later, we sat down in a campsite that was better than any of us had hoped for. We managed to find a spot in the woods, making cooling off especially easy under the natural canopy of branches and vines. I was so excited to be at our destination, I took off and bought the group a set of tiny hats from a vendor. Nobody had moved when I returned, let alone Christian.
We listened and watched in complete awe as Umphrey’s McGee, Primus, and Lotus made Friday night the best night of live music I’ve ever seen. We never separated from each other, although when one of us wandered too far in the crowd, it was easy for Christian to spot my 6’6” red-haired, tiny-hat wearing head. When we returned to the campsite, Christian had been robbed of $300. He was completely broke for the rest of the weekend. Knowing that he would find a way of making the money back, I lent him $500 in good faith. The next day, Christian came up to me and handed all of the money I had lent to him back. He had met a couple fellow artists and sold their pins and t-shirts for 4 hours before doubling the money I had given him. We made our way over to see our favorite band, Umphrey’s McGee. As we walked up to the stage, Christian bought me a delicious beer and gave me a giant hug. I wish I could relive those five minutes. We laughed at our great luck all night and enjoyed a night of music just as good as Friday, which I had never experienced at any music festival before.
Christian and I live on opposite ends of the east coast now, and we don’t get to see each other often. When we do see each other, the experience we had for the past two years in Chillicothe, IL is always brought up at some point. My Christmas gift to him this year will be an early bird ticket to Summer Camp, because last year turned out to be the trip of my life. I think about how much fun another Summer Camp with Christian will be all the time.”
So yesterday was amazing! I was running around all day trying to catch all the awesome music but there is just too much and I had to miss out on some great sets. However, I did manage to see quite a few; and get some interviews!
Kinetix JAMMED hard; they were so energetic and pulled out some great covers, such as “With a Little Help from My Friends” by the Beatles, and “Crazy Train” by Ozzy. Marcus Rezak from Digital Tape Machine made an appearance and added some killer riffs to the performance. After the show the band was up for an interview and we asked them a few questions - watch the video. They were all really cool people and if you still haven’t checked out their music what are you waiting for?
After that interview I was able to catch the end of Cornmeal and they put on such a great show (as always). The way they play is so alive; it didn’t matter that the sun was mean, every single person was dancing their feet sore. Especially the CornStalkers; a wonderful group of dedicated fans. Afterwards I had a chance to sit down with Wavy Dave and ask him a few questions; check out that video too!
Primus brought they’re usual madness to the stage and had a great light show. Lotus followed suit and put on a great performance, also with some killer lights. They are serioulsy the masters of transitions…they flawlessly flow from one rythm to another and one song to another.and then bring it all together for one final groove down.
As I had mentioned before, Summer Camp isn’t just about the music but also about having fun with your friends and just enjoying the experience of being at camp. This weekend is our yearly reunion with all my friends from college and catching up and story telling at our campsite took us past the late nights, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to see Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s or Haha the Moose, but based on the reviews I heard around - both put on great sets.
Can’t wait for tomorrow. As always, this weekend is going by way too fast.
On Friday at Summer Camp Music Festival things really begin to pick up. For me the day started off writing my blog from Thursday and going to the press area to upload all my photos. One of the coolest thins about being a CIT is that you get a peek at the inner workings of a music festival, and you get to see just how much hard work is put into making Summer Camp run smoothly year after year. Friday I had a busy day checking out music and spent little time at our campsite. My crew and I were able to catch:
Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s
Indigo Sun at Grassroots tent late night
I want to go over some of the high points in the day for me musically. First Keller Played an amazing set including “Tweaker by the Speaker” and “Doobie in my Pocket.” Things got kicked up a notch when Al Schnier of Moe came out and played guitar on “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The feel good sound of Keller is the perfect music for a mid afternoon set at Summer Camp.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a great show at the Campfire Stage between Umphrey’s sets. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch them would not disagree that the tuxedo sporting band has been the sharpest looking band at the festival so far. The band’s name coms from the legendary New Orleans venue, Preservation Hall. Anyone who likes New Orleans Jazz will love this band.
My favorite set at the festival has so far has been Primus. They busted out some of my favorites off their new album like “Moron TV” and “Eyes of the Squirrel.” What made the set so memorable was when Bob Weir came out to perform “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead. This jam lasted for 10+ minutes and was full of energy and passion. Any time you can see a member of the Dead perform you know you are in for a treat.
Lotus was another highlight. Their performance last year in the Red Barn was one of my favorite at the festival. This year I feel the headliner spot on the Sunshine stage was well deserved. They did not disappoint playing songs like “It’s All so Clear to Me” and “Greet the Mind.” We stayed in the back for this set and chilled. There was a lot of space, and I felt like dancing so I got my groove on and enjoyed the show.
We are camped in section B like we always do. This is my favorite spot to camp because you get the Camping Stage right there to provide you with good music all day long. I am really digging the new location and size of the camping stage this year. It was always one of the smallest venues on the festival grounds even though it has consistently provided some of the best up-and-coming bands on the festival scene. It is the perfect place to stop by if you are always on the prowl for new music.
Besides music I have been lucky enough to catch up with several friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also am meeting new people every time I wander off from my friends, and it made me realize that at Summer Camp you are never alone cause we are all a big family. It was also cool to talk to Adam Alexander, a great photographer covering Summer Camp again this year. I owe him one because he is the one who took the photo of my in my chicken hat last year that was used as the camp caption challenge contest, and all my profile photos. Check out his photos, he rocks.
Make sure you check out my photos from the festival on the Summer Camp Flikr page
Follow @chickenheadfan on Twitter to stay updated on where I am at the fest.