A week into the new year, it’s time to look ahead to all of the musical excitement that this year has to offer. But first, it’s always fun to reflect back on the year I just had…
After 2012, I had been to 105 total concerts – which isn’t too many, I know – but considering I’ve been an athlete my entire life I have other priorities that take precedence over live music! 2013, however, was a milestone year for me in music as I fortunate enough to attend 45 shows, nearly twice as many as I saw in 2012. A lot of this is due to my first ever attendance of a camping festival (Summer Camp), and then of course my annual celebrations at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Let’s start with…
The Most Frequent Bands I Saw in 2013
Roster McCabe – 9 shows: I’ve written extensively about this band (now known as Night Phoenix) before, so this is nothing new. The Midwest “electro-rock” tours heavily throughout the year and I was able to catch them 9 times, putting my career tally at 20 Roster McCabe shows.
Umphrey’s McGee – 4 shows: No surprise here – my first UM show occurred in 2004 when I was just 12 years old. In 2013 I was at all 3 Scamp shows and also their set at Summerfest, making it 4 on the year. I have seen the improg group at least once every year since ’07.
Michael Franti & Spearhead – 2 shows: My favorite feel good musical choice, Michael Franti & Spearhead rolled through the Midwest in 2013 in support of his latest album, All People. I caught the “rebel rocker” at the Minneapolis State Fair in late August and about a month later in Madison with Moon Taxi.
Nahko & Medicine for the People – 2 shows: I had never heard of this band until about a week before they showed up in La Crosse, WI for a show at my favorite bar The Popcorn Tavern, which was a memory I’ll write about further down the page. A similar sound to Michael Franti and Matisyahu, Nahko just has a radiance of good vibes glowing off him that the rest of the band and crowd feeds off of.
Other notable acts: Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Moon Taxi, moe., Victor Wooten & Friends, Thievery Corporation, Blues Traveler, Dark Star Orchestra, 311, EMEFE, Steez, and Dark Star Orchestra covering The Rolling Stones.
My Top 5 Shows of 2013:
Of the 9 shows I saw Roster McCabe perform in 2013, why this one? Perhaps because it was only one set, which means it was a straight up dance party. Also, this was on Thursday at Summer Camp – the pre-party – so it was just a great way to set the tone for the entire weekend. The Camping Stage was a great spot right on the outskirts of the woods to draw in all the campers – and everyone LOVED it! The crowd didn’t stop moving through the entire – most of them unaware of Roster – but loved discovering a new band to get down to. They closed the set with a cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky that turned into a frenzy.
4) Umphrey’s McGee, 2013-07-02 Summerfest – Big Backyard
So many great things about this show. My hometown, in the front row with all my friends, Kevin Sinclair sit-in, Pink Floyd cover, 4 song encore (!!!) that included rarity Dear Lord, this show is a must download!
3) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 2013-06-28 Summerfest – Marcus Amphitheater
This was my 6th Tom Petty show, and possibly my last. A sell-out crowd at the Amp sang along with all the hits and had great energy, as always. Petty loves Milwaukee, he makes that very clear every time he comes (all 6 times I’ve seen him came at Summerfest) and even showed a surprising amount of improv jams in a couple songs!
2) Trey Anastasio Band, 2013-05-26 Summer Camp – Sunshine Stage
This would be #1 if not for the unfortunate fact that the show was cut short. Due to the extreme rainstorm. But wow. This was my most listened to show of the year by far. I can’t imagine a better band to make such miserable weather conditions tolerable.
1) Everyone Orchestra, 2013-05-26 Summer Camp – Red Barn
The lineup included Victor Wooten, Joel Cummins, Al Schnier, Vinnie Amico, Allie Kral, Alex Steele, Mike Dillon, Roosevelt Collier and a few other I can’t remember, all conducted my Matt Butler. This show just completely blew my away from start to finish. 100% improv! What else could you ask for from an all-star lineup?!
Conclusion and Looking Towards 2014
The only regret I have from 2013 is that I didn’t get to see my all time favorite band, Phish. I had tickets for all 3 nights in Chicago but unfortunately it didn’t work out with some other things that popped up. I have a good feeling they’ll return to Alpine Valley for 2 nights this summer though!
2014 will be a great year. Of course Summer Camp already has an amazing lineup announced and it will only get better. Particle reunited and is on a heavy tour for 2014 – don’t miss out on these guys! One of the founding bands of the electronic jam scene next to the Disco Biscuits and STS9.
Happy new year, and see ya on the road!
He’s been compared to the likes of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Some have said he’s the next Bob Marley. But no. He’s the first Michael Franti. Already with a worldwide influence, having played in Australia, Indonesia, Europe, Canada, Jamaica, all across Europe, and even Iraq, Israel, and the Occupied Palestenian Territories, the much anticipated release of All People will surely be a hit.
Since I first started listening to Franti about 5 years ago, he instantly became my favorite lyricist. His songs convey messages of positivity, love, and unity, while also taking on issues of war, poverty, and injustice. All People is no different, as the title itself designates it’s worldwide aim for unity.
The album-titled track starts the album off with a nightclub-esque dance tune that is sure to make everyone move with the rhythm. “11:59″ allows Franti to show off his hip-hop roots with a few rap verses. The previously released single, “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)” is an instant classic hit for Franti, right next to “Say Hey (I Love You).” “Long Ride Home,” “Closer to You,” “Let it Go,” all provide the listener with a perfect melody for a great sing along. “Life is Better With You” has captured my heart as a true great love song that should be played at every wedding for the rest of humanity. “Gangsta Girl” surprised me with a funky jazz rhythm as a good chance of pace. “Do it for the Love,” is probably my favorite song off the album that should be getting more attention. All in all, this album is another success for Michael Franti & Spearhead, giving the listener a chance to sing and dance along with the feel good Spearhead vibes, able to lift anyone’s spirits.
- All People (featuring Gina Rene)
- I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)
- Long Ride Home
- Life is Better With You
- Earth From Outer Space (featuring K’Naan)
- Closer to You
- Gangsta Girl
- Show Me a Sign
- I Don’t Wanna Go
- Do It For the Love
- Let it Go – Deluxe Edition only
- On and On – Deluxe Edition only
- Wherever You Are – Deluxe Edition only
- Say Goodbye – Deluxe Edition only
- Life is Better With You (acoustic mix) – Deluxe Edition only
Catch MF&S on tour! www.michaelfranti.com/tourdates
WATCH: MF&S perform “I’m Alive” on David Letterman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igrlJNW2DQo
WATCH: MF&S perform “Life is Better With You” with Warren Haynes at Mountain Jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02OPPoHxeiw
I’ll be seeing them for the 5th time at the end of August at the Minnesota State Fair. Can’t wait!
Here’s a little recap of my Sunday at Summer Camp. I began my morning with watching a random dude take a morning streaking run. If you were camped along the tree line across from the Moonshine stage, you probably saw him too at 9am. Nothin’ like making you’re last morning at Scamp more memorable.
Once I felt more wide awake from that sight, I headed to the usual 10am yoga. Like I said before, I LOOOOVE that Summer Camp had yoga at 10am. Because then I was able to make all session except for one. I never made it to the yoga sessions at other festivals since they were at 7 or 8am.
After catching some lunch, I headed over to the Field Day keg party and had a great time celebrating and getting to know all of the other teams and my fellow Yellow Teamers. I also was told that I was named MVP of the females on the Yellow Team, Woo! If you caught dodgeball, I was the last person standing for yellow with 5 men from purple starring me down like a piece of meat. It was a scary moment but fun at the same time. I also found out that my main squeeze Adam got MVP out of the males on the Yellow Team from when he won the only event for the Yellow Team which was arm wrestling. With being a first timer to Scamp, I really enjoyed having the option of participating in field day events, and I met so many great people through it too!
Then I began my afternoon filled with lots of bluegrass by catching some Greensky Bluegrass at the Moonshine stage. I moved on over to the Sunshine stage and caught the Devil Make Three, I’ve never seen them before and they were a fantastic three some! I continued on to get my next bluegrass fix at the Moonshine stage by catching some Yonder. I LOOOOVE me some bluegrass, such a great afternoon. Next I ran over to Michael Franti & Spearhead at the Sunshine stage. He put on an AMAZING show. I nearly cried 3 times because of how sincere he is and with the way that he connects with his fans. There was a young girl who was about 7 years-old who was standing side stage who he brought out on stage and Michael played a song that she requested earlier. The little girl was in complete shock and sang the entire song by his side, it was incredible. Here’s a pic of them singing together.
Then I caught some Victor Wooten. I’ve seen him once before, but man, he really knows how to get a crowd groovin’. Once he was done, I headed straight to the Vibetent to catch the band that I had been waiting all weekend for…Rubblebucket! As I waited for them to set up, I watched as a group of about 10 people came in with decorated white masks that said “Rubblebucket” on them. Then I realized that they had to be awesome since they had their own streetteam/true fans that came to Summer Camp to dance and cheer them on. When Rubblebucket started playing, everyone started dancing and I was amazed to see that they had a total of 8 people playing in their band! Once I danced my booty off at Rubblebucket’s show, I headed over to the Summer Camp Counselor Maria’s camp to catch her private show which included members of moe. and Greensky Bluegrass. It was an amazing show and here’s a picture of it
It was hard to leave all of the amazing friends that I met, but then I headed on to my last show at Summer Camp which was Jane’s Addiction. I’ve seen Perry perform before twice, but to see him with his original band Jane’s Addiction was an amazing experience. They made my night by playing Just Because and ending their set with everyone’s favorite, Jane Says. If you were at their set, one thing is for sure, Perry does NOT like glowsticks. When it was over, my man and I picked up some homemade delicious ice cream and sadly headed out of Summer Camp saying goodbye to Three Sisters Park about 10 times before I made it off the premises.
Love, hugs, and thugs,
Hey Summer Camp!
I cannot even begin to tell you that how much I wish I could start my Memorial Day weekend over and go back to Summer Camp. I had such a FANTASTIC-LY-GLORIOUS-ROCKIN-JAMMIN-BLUEGRASS-GYPSY-PUNKIN-GOOD-TIME at Scamp. There were a few acts that I missed and wished I had time to see at Scamp, but at the same time, I saw so many amazing acts and had so many great memories that will last a lifetime.
The highlights of my weekend include the following:
- Yoga yoga yoga yoga…and some more yoga
- Celebrating my birthday at Scamp on Thursday
- Thursday sound check of Umphrey’s McGee at the Sunshine Stage
- Cornmeal covering Ted Nugent
- Meeting and hanging out with fellow Scampers, friends and awesome neighbors (I seriously met someone everywhere I went!)
- Water water and more water!
- My fellow co-workers (the CITs and Camp Counselor)
- Making artwork out of my broken shade canopy
- Camping right by the Moonshine Stage
- Keller Williams playing “Freaker By the Speaker”
- Every minute of Gogol Bordello
- Primus playing “American Life” & “Tommy the Cat”
- Primus having 3 members of Gogol Bordello come out and play with them during their set! (truly a dream come true…) And Primus bringing out and playing with Bob Weir
- Seeing live at Scamp 2 songs that I put in my contest video for the Summer Camp Counselor position (CRAZY!)
- Wearing costumes!
- Umphrey’s Umphrey’s Umphrey’s Umphrey’s Umphrey’s
- Being a part of Yellow Team in the Field Day events (and winning MVP for Yellow Team)
- Hanging out with the founder of Food Patriot and volunteering my time with them by collecting signatures for their organization
- Friday and Saturday late night
- Someone singing to me the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes theme song when I was wearing my killer tomato costume (awesome!)
- Rockin’ out to some bluuues muuuzac with G. Love
- A streaker taking a morning jog through my campsite on Sunday
- Havin’ a bluegrass stompin good ol’ time with The Devil Makes Three
- Michael Franti’s incredible and touching set
- Rubblebucket’s dance party!
- Camp Counselor Maria’s campsite show with members of moe. and Greensky Bluegrass
- Jane’s Addiction’s amazing performance and Perry’s silly comments
- Ending summer camp with some of the best homemade ice cream I have ever had from one of the vendors at Scamp
- And of course, being your Counselor in Training at Summer Camp Music Festival 2012
The last day at Scamp of the Lone Pink Fuzzy Moustache…
These were only some of the highlights of what was an INCREDIBLE weekend. May our memories of Summer Camp 2012 live on forever…can’t wait to see everyone next year!
Now my challenge to YOU, the Scamper, is to see who can keep their Summer Camp 2012 braclet on the longest. I used to do this ALL the time with my friends after going to other music festivals. So far I’ve got a week down, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to take it off soon because of work, but I’ll try my best and you should too! Good luck!
P.S. Don’t forget to check back for my journey and reviews of shows in the St. Louis area throughout the rest of 2012 and into 2013! (If the world doesn’t end……hah, jk!)
Love, hugs, and thugs,
Your girl, Mo