So through my first two days here at Summer Camp, I’ve come to realize the culture that exists here. Three Sisters Parks has become its own city, separate from the rest of Chillicothe, as well as the rest of society, where everyone here is here for the same reason – to celebrate life and enjoy the music having a great time. Yesterday I celebrated life with several fantastic concerts, spanning nearly 8 hours of music.
I started out my day waiting in line for Umphrey’s McGee’s Golden Ticket merch event. What this was is they were selling 600 bags of random merchandise, with 24 of those bags luckily including a “Golden Ticket,” redeeming the recipient with random great prizes from winning 2 tickets to every show to a year to an umVIP pass for the rest of the festival for an on-stage viewing experience, among other things. Unfortunately, I did not win a Golden Ticket, but still got a solid bag of merch goodies including a t-shirt and a coozie. Stasik was there taking pics with fans and I was able to snap one.
Medeski, Martin, & Wood was next for me. I’ve never listened to the psychedelic jazz trio before this show, and was blown away by their chemistry and flow in their music. They were all on the same key throughout the show and kept the crowd dancing throughout their set under the beautiful sun.
I took a break after MMW to grab some food and head over to the Sunshine Stage to catch the first set of Umphrey’s McGee. The crowd was raging along in full force as the full moon began to shine in the east as the sun set in the west. Closing the set with a sandwich of one of my all time favorites, Nothing too Fancy, I felt good about stage hopping over to check out Roster McCabe. As always, they did not disappoint as I danced along with the smaller but energetic crowd at the Camping Stage before heading back to catch the latter part of Umphrey’s second set. I’m disappointed to have missed Dominic Lalli sit in with them for Bright Lights, another of my favorite song, but they still killed it the second set, and encored with Rebubula. Yes, you read that right, Rebubla by moe. Truly an epic moment in UM history that will be talked about for years to come of Summer Camp Highlights. – Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hze_chSCO5U&feature=youtu.be
After Umphrey’s I headed to see Nahko & Medicine for the People at the Campfire Stage. Medicine had the vibes with them tonight as they packed in all the love for music in a tight hour long set, but only left us wanting more. For those unfamiliar with this band, they sound a lot like Michael Franti and Matisyahu. Nahko even sang a few verses of Matisyahu’s “One Day,” but instead changed the chorus to “Today,” representing his message of making the world a better place right now.
^Nahko & Medicine for the People
After Medicine, I caught the final half of Big Gigantic’s set over at the Sunshine, a show I’ve been ready for for quite some time. Big Gigantic’s fusion of jazz and dubstep is unlike any other band I’ve heard before, and they truly feed off the crowd’s relentless energy. I am absolutely stoked to see them again tonight for the late night. After Big G, I headed to the Barn to catch moe.’s late night set. The Red Barn is such an intimate venue, I was truly captivated by that feeling of everyone in there just loving the music so much, and could tell that moe. felt the same way; they were relaxed and just having a good time. Unfortunately I couldn’t last long enough to make it through Yonder Mountain, so I called it a night after moe.
Today, as crazy at it seems, looks to be even better than yesterday; the best part I’ve learned about Summer Camp is that the next day is better than the last. I’m looking to check out Victor Wooten & Friends at the VIP Lounge, (a very nice perk of being a CIT!), Thievery Corporation, 2 sets of Umphrey’s then moe., and a late night with STS9 and Big Gigantic.
Friday was way to much fun. Woke up with an early morning bite to eat. The birds were chirping, the sky was blue, and all I could think about was Moe playing at 2! So after we had made our way back to the campsite and i had a quick change of clothes we decided to go do a little wondering around and find some people to hang out with.
2:00 rolled around pretty quickly, so we headed over to Moe. Thousands and thousands of people came in all different directions came flooding in before the first guitar riffs were firing up. Kyle came out on stage to announce the first Moe set of scamp and then the place got wild.
After Moe, we went back to the campsite to make a few adjustments before heading off to the wailers. Good jams even better times. So much funky reggae everywhere it was quite a site
Unfortunately, I had to pass on yonder this year because I lost track of time inside all of the fun we were having and just totally forgot all about it. We ended up walking around till about 8 when we started to head over for EOTO. A few people who have never heard of them before asked me what the show was going to be like. I couldn’t answer them because each EOTO concert is different than the last. Everything is just open jam an I just couldnt tell them what to expect except awesomeness.
Umphrey’s, Minnesota, to tribe oh my. Always moving forward never slowing down. Music, music everywhere. Always pushing forward and have the time of my life.
Big G was one of the best sets of the night. It was super loud and hype but was comfortable chill. Makes sense huh?
After everything was done we jumped around a lot going from tent to tent, through tons of trails running into people and objects all night. I would have to say that Friday was a total success and cant wait to see how my Saturday goes.
Until next time guys and girls, stay scampy!!
Saturday started to remind me of the monsoon that came through a couple years ago pretty early in the morning. The rain was coming down and the paths were turning into slip and slides. But the ponchos came out and life moved on. And what a life it was! Saturday’s line-up was off the hook and the scheduled late night of STS9 and Big Grizmatik had people roaming the paths looking for extra late night tickets all day long. Luckily…I already had tickets! But first…
The first show I actually saw was the Cornmeal show. One of my favorite bands. I’ve been going to shows for nearly 10 years as I went to school on the north side of Chicago. This set was a must see as Allie Kral (the awesome chick on the fiddle) will soon be moving on. There’s no way to tell how many more times anyone will get to see this particular group together and I’m glad I had one more chance.
I took shelter after cornmeal until KDTU, who I wish was at Summer Camp every year. Then another break to get rested for the 3 – 4 hours that I long for ALL YEAR LONG. Umphrey’s Mcgee > Moe. > Umphrey’s Mcgee > Moe. This epic back and forth between Moe. and Umphrey’s is in my opinion one of the biggest things that sets Summer Camp apart from the rest. Moe. and UM have been on 10 straight Summer Camp lineups together and it gets better every year. Summer Camp is uniquely set up that its actually possible to make it back and forth between stages for each set. Good luck doing that at Bonnaroo or ever some of the smaller Fests!
Although rainy all day, it cleared up a bit at night and left the late night sets alone. This was perfect, because I needed a couple of breaks from the energetic sets taking place in the barn. With the doors closed, IT WAS HOT, shoulder to shoulder (I think a few people may have snuck in! HAHA!) and the music was even hotter. I dance hard and even when Big Gigantic has teamed up with Griz and Gramatik, sometimes you just need a break! It was nice to be able to take a break from the heat now and then and check out the Ragbirds and Floodwood on the campfire stage while I was at it.
All in all, Saturday was an amazing day. I had a poncho though…
Ohhh wowy wow wow! Happy Tuesday and the first day of Scamp recovery friends. I must say that today is rolling around like a haze after a utopian dream. Until I make it out of the office to give you the extended version of my weekend, I wanted to at least give you the short and scrumptious of it all:
A quickie to get you through: What Made my Scamp one of the Most EPIC Experiences of my Life:
- Actually getting a moe. Rebubula cover from Umphrey’s Mcgee (first ever for me) and actually an old staple for UM to cover- check out fan footage HERE!!
- Hugging Gumby- yes Gumby was there. I have no idea where his damn pony Pokey was because I certainly needed a ride to main stage!
- Hearing moe. totally crush ‘In the Kitchen’ and later having the pleasure of hearing moe-rons talk about how much they couldn’t resist the urge to groove to it
- Boogyin’ down to Umphrey’s as they blew the doors off of a small church in the middle of a Chilicothe field…now that’s a rare moment in life. Church rage!
- Watching two naked girls covered in mud share a plate of lo mein and look the happiest they have ever been in their lives- mud, sun, good music, no clothes & lo mein = happiness (And while I was too far away to slug through the field and give you both a giant muddy hug, I felt exactly the same.)
Thank you yet again Chilicothe, IL. That was one of the most heartfelt journeys through the wild I’ve ever had….can’t wait to do it all again. More details, photos and juicy Scamp downlow to come friends….
Whoa! Thursday truly was a pre-party rager. Getting into Summer Camp was very smooth and everyone was clearly ready to party since the moment their cars entered the grounds. There was a nice mist flowing in when I first arrived in line, and it felt super refreshing and actually got me really pumped up! Every time the sun started peaking, everyone in line started getting rowdy.
My crew set up camp really fast in an awesome spot in the woods, and I was eager to go see some music with some awesome friends! I was able to catch a glimpse of Cosby Sweater on the Campfire stage and they killed it. My main goal Thursday night was to see Cornmeal since it would be my last time to see Allie play on stage and they killed it! Looking around, everyone in the whole crowd was dancing away with nothing but smiles. I was very happy that I was able to see them as that line up one last time. Right when Cornmeal ended, I wondered into the Vibe Tent and caught Positive Vibra8tions, and they killed it. I love being able to catch artists I have never heard of before, and even more so when they kill it!
Digital Tape Machine was up next and they are another act I have been waiting to see for a long time and they truly were awesome. Their set kept evolving and by the end it kept me wanting more. They really got the crowd pumped up for the weekend to come! This is the reason I love music festivals, and especially Summer Camp! You just keep going back and forth between awesome music and the stages are just minutes walk.
I went into the Red Barn at 11 to check it out in there and it was for sure a party. Minnesota killed it! He really had everyone going crazy in there, it was a rager. I love UV Hippo and was so pumped to catch them. The first time I saw them, I was hooked. They really kill it in the festival scene, and was so pumped to see them rage the Vibe Tent.
It was time for bed after that. It was an awesome first day of Summer Camp and I’m so excited for the awesome music to come. Friday is going to be a blast, announcing Moe and the awesome music to come. I’m really looking forward to Yonder, STS9, and Big Gigantic to name a few.
2013 Summer Camp Counselor
So I made it through Thursday night and it was amazing to say the least. I started off the night at Roster McCabe which just killed it. Majorly killed it, I woke up in a morgue this morning they killed it so hard. They did a cover of Daft Punk’s new single “Get Lucky”. When they started the first notes of “Get Lucky” my mind immediately jumped to that song, Though I wasn’t sure if I’d be so lucky. Sure enough what laid ahead was one of the best covers of that song I have heard yet.
After that we headed over to Digital Tape Machine. Also an amazing show. The energy in the crowd was prevalent. You couldn’t help but breaking into dance. I barely got any good shots of the show, dancing came as a priority at this one. I still feel the energy of it into the next morning. Though the show wasn’t done yet, we still had one show of the night to go to.
The last show that I hit up was Minnesota. This one man show is one that will put hair on your chest. He fuses an electronic feel with an acoustic jam. It was mind blowing. A perfect way to finish the night. Everytime I see this gentlemen her has such a strong stage presence, will be sure you to leave you smiling
Today I’m finishing up this blog, cutting it very close to Moe’s first set. Being the huge Moe-ron I am I am itching to get over there.
We are a mere 3 days away from raging with friends and some of your favorite bands. Let that sink into your collective craniums for a minute. Schedules are being filled out via Summer Camp Music Festival’s mobile app. Last second runs to general stores to secure camping equipment and the necessary items to make a grand totem that will make you stick out amongst the throngs of folks jammin to TAB come Sunday. In short…it’s about to be ON in Chillicothe and the weather is looking like it will be perfect. Mid 70′s no freak storms to make a mud pit near Moonshine. Tis gonna be epic…
But you know something that most festival attendees miss out on simply because they are chilling at their camp site eating a banana (which is portable by the way)? The opportunity to see Everyone Orchestra featuring Victor Wooten, Al Schnier, Joel Cummins, Vinnie Amico, Allie Kral, Mike Dillon, Roosevelt Collier, conductor Matt Butler and more.
In order to make sure you aren’t turned away in what each year is a great performance at the Red Barn make sure to find your Treasure Hunt card on the back page of the program to earn your entry into this year’s very special Make a Difference Everyone Orchestra set!
It’s really easy. Participate in helping inform yourself about efforts to keep our planet healthy, participate in a yoga or hooping workshop, or simply bring an old cell phone to recycle. Then make sure a Make A Difference Staff member punches your card. 3 is the magic number to get your hot little hands on a sweet prize. Don’t be that person turned away Sunday…be the person that is in the know and spread the word to your fellow campers.
Preparing for another ritualistic venture to Three Sisters Park; I can’t keep myself from reminiscing about last year. The whole experience was crazy, everything about it – from deciding to enter and making the video to announcing moe.’s first set. Entering the Camp Counselor 2012 Contest wasn’t even my idea to begin with – my friend randomly suggested it and I thought to myself “why not?” In all honesty I NEVER expected to win when I sent in my original video. It didn’t help that I emailed it merely two hours before the deadline would turn any chances of it happening to zero.
Summer Camp had always been special to me for many reasons – Summer Camp was not only the first festival I ever went to, but it was also the one weekend of the year which I could spend with my old best friends from college. When I, rather incredulously, realized I made the first round of candidates the significance and meaning of the prize began to actualize. I realized that winning wasn’t just going to be sweet because of the prizes, but because I was going to have the opportunity to experience unique moments that are literally, and as David Byrne’s would say, “once in a lifetime.”
The competition was pretty fierce. I was up against some great people; they all were smart, interesting and suited for the role. Luckily I had some good friends on my team and we fought harder and harder on each round. By the time it came down to the final three I even had my family in South America voting and telling their friends to vote as well. When the announcement was made and I read on the Facebook post that I won, I had to re-read it several times. It was exciting – I was going to get to meet and announce moe., interview some great people, and sit side stage for some great shows; the anticipation began to grow.
Within a few weeks I was finally on the trip to Peoria to be the 2012 Summer Camp Counselor. As soon as we put that rockstar parking pass on the rearview mirror and parked right next to the VIP entrance, I knew that weekend was going to be epic. Out of the many years of attendance, last year was the first time I had someone drive up to the car in a golf cart and take us (and our bags) up to our campsite. For the first time out of the many years of attendance I walked up to the backstage entrance behind the moonshine stage and demonstrated my “I can go back here pass.” I was nervous and terrified because I was going to announce moe.’s first set in about half an hour. Then I see Rob sitting in a golf cart, chillin behind his black sunglasses and he can see I’m nervous and I tell him why. “Oh you’ll be fine, it’s easy.” I smiled and said “Yeah, coming from someone who has just a bit more experience…”
The entire weekend was a blur of hectic sweetness. I couldn’t believe that suddenly it was Sunday. In those four days I had gotten to watch moe., Gigantic Underground Conspiracy and Umphrey’s sidestage. I got to partake in Wavy Dave’s birthday festivities and watch his cake melt in the 100 degree weather. I sat and spoke to Vinnie who gave me some drums instruction. I had the opportunity to interview the members of Gigantic Underground Conspiracy, G. Love, Wavy Dave and Kinetix. Umphrey’s signed their names to a poster which now hangs on my wall. The best moments however, were those unscheduled interactions with the people that make the festival what it is –getting insights and wisdom from Vinnie and Rob, singing Happy Birthday to Wavy Dave, talking to Ian, Rex, Holly, Danny, Graham, Nick, the Counselors in Training and the regular festival attendees who posed for pictures and gave me their personal take on the event.
Being Camp Counselor also experienced the festival in completely new way; in my effort to capture the energy of the festival, I met more people, took more pictures, and saw more varied bands than any other year. Looking back on it all I wish I had done even more. There is no real way you can prepare for the experience however, and it all happens so fast there isn’t much time to stop and plan. I wish I could relive the entire experience with the experience of it under my belt, but I can’t. All I can do is sit and reminisce about the wonderful 2012 Summer Camp weekend and smile knowing that it all actually happened.
It could happen to you too…YOU could be one of the few people on this Earth who get to live Summer Camp in this exceptional way…but you will never know unless you try.
Congrats to Kyle Hess, Camp Counselor 2013!!
For the rest of you: Start thinking of your 2014 Camp Counselor Video!!
See you soon!!
Can you believe Summer Camp 2013 is ONLY 44 days away? What do you think of the lineup the crew put together this year? Pretty amazeballs if you ask me. The festival mainstays of moe. & Umphrey’s are again front and center holding down headlining spots. But they share some pretty rarified company! The Wood Brothers and The Wailers were late adds that pleased many a camper. The only thing left to figure out is where everyone will be slotted with other great acts like Trey, Thievery Corporation, STS9, Avett Brothers, and YMSB.
I caught Thievery’s NYE show out in Vail as the ball dropped and we rang in 2013 at Dobson Ice Arena. Their mix of house electronic beats along side a live band with amazing female and male vocalists has been heard around the DC area for years. I’m thinking that the late night set with ZEDS DEAD is going to easily rival last years by Pretty Lights. Be sure to get your tickets to the RED BARN late nights while you still can. If not don’t worry they’ll have another set placed strategically throughout the awesome weekend at Three Sisters Park.
What sort of collaborations will we see this year at Camp? Will Trey get down with moe.? Will Yonder and Cornmeal team up? These are the questions that get people excited, and with 44 DAYS to go…let your imagination run wild.
Speaking of who is bringing rage sticks or totems this year? Last year saw some pretty unique creations, and I for one am gonna be scouting for the famous “STOP & GET DOWN” sign along with a host of others. I may give out prizes so be on the lookout for me and when you do see me throw up your best “rage face” for the picture.
I’m really thankful that this year i’ll have time in addition to covering the festival to hang with my band pals Family Groove Company, Old Shoe, Henhouse Prowlers, Afternoon Moon, Chicago Farmer, The Giving Tree Band, The Ragbirds, and Zmick. Friends are what makes the festival experience that much more special and its been almost a year since I hung out with my fellow CIT friends and Camp Counselor from last year. That’s a year TOO long for sure.
Let’s see besides seeing Widespread Panic this weekend at UIC. I’m heading out west on tour with Old Shoe as they play a few Colorado dates at the end of April. If you are around Fort Collins (4/17), Steamboat Springs (4/18), Denver (4/19), or Nederland (4/20) make sure you look up where they are playing on that Facebook thing and get on down to check them out pre SC2013! I’ll even share a tasty local beverage with you (if you are of age of course). Until we meet again at Camp keep your eyes peeled for the schedule and when its released start planning your romp through Three Sisters cause a good time starts with a good plan!
Saturdays are always some of the biggest days at Summer Camp. Almost everyone has had time to get to the festival and is out ready to rage in full force. Saturday was HOT! The mercury hit around 95 degrees but the bands were even hotter. I took the heat with chicken hat on and got to see quite a few bands. Here is a little bit of a preview of my day.
Family Groove Company
Kids These Days
Brain Damaged Eggman
Sun Stereo recreating the Beatles
Like yesterday, I will give you a brief synopsis of what where some of my high points of the day.
The first band that blew me completely away was a band I first heard within the last six months. The band is called Kids These Days and they are out of Chicago. The band is made out of young rockers that are barely out of high school, but don’t let that fool you. They have more talent and soul than people twice their age. Kids these Days has a very original sound I would call a sweet blend of funk, blues, jazz, soul, and hip hop. All 7 members of the band owned the stage the moment they set foot out there bringing an energy level that could boil blood. One of the things that first drew me to the band was the absolutely stunning voice of Macie Stewart who also plays keys, but I also have love for the horn section made up of Nico Segal on trumpet and J.P. Floyd on trombone. The horns provide that jazzy icing on the cake that brings all the parts in sync. They also function as “hype men” pumping up the crown and having a good time on stage. I love rock and roll but my roots are in the blues which is why I love to see Liam Cunningham up there ripping on blues guitar. I hope to see much more of these guys in the future.
The next show will be on the top of many Scampers best of list for 2012. The Brain Damaged Eggmen were formed from Jake, Kris, and Brendan from Umphrey’s, and Marc and Aron from Disco Biscuits. The two groups seamlessly blended their styles to form what 2011 Camp Counselor Nick Stock called Disco McGee. The sound was a dancy blend of Disco Biscuits groove and gut-punching Umphrey’s rock. They played many of my favorite songs including Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” I was lucky enough to witness Umphrey’s cover this song in Dekalb in 2007 and was excited to see it busted out again.
After the late night in the Red Barn I was wanting to keep the Beatles vibe rolling and also wanted to kick back and relax so I headed towards the Soulshine tent to see Sun Stereo recreating the Beatles. I have never seen these guys before and was glad to see that they are a home grown act hailing from Urbana, IL. They came out in full force complete with British accents that could fool a true Brit.
I also got to take some time between sets to check out the Field Day events and even participate in dodgeball. I regret to inform you that I am not very good at Dodgeball and got out almost immediately, but I had a lot of fun. If you have a competitive spirit the field day events are a great way to meet new people that you will be able to rage with at future festivals. It is also a great way to partake in the childlike fun of Summer Camp.
One more day left Scampers. It is going to be a great one, hold on to it while you can because you are going to miss it Monday. As always Rage Responsibly!