Day Three at Summer Camp also known as Field Day was one for the books. It is perhaps the most classic of SCamp lineups with the moe. and Umphrey’s McGee tag teaming the headline slots of the evening. But first it was time to get dirty. I got up and went through my morning routine, getting ice, and getting ready for the day. I made my way to The Church to charge batteries and post for the festival. I got a chance to really meet up with the CITs and chat a bit with them about their coverage. The CITs this year brought their “A” game, and really stepped up the level of coverage from last year. They had some solid support that allowed them to hit it hard. I have to say the entire program has really come a long way. Last year the CITs and myself as Camp Counselor were largely left to our own devices. This year they had help with interviews and to really fan out across the festival to bring a wide array of perspectives to the blog. It was great to see them along with Maria really take on their role in a big way. It made me miss my crew from last year.
It was off to Field Day, and to represent for the Purple Team. As the Online Purple Team Captain I felt it was my responsibility to get out and participate in this incredible aspect of the festival. Last year was the inaugural year and the Red Team took away the honors. This year the Yellow Team had a strong presence, but time would tell who would take the trophy. The first event of the day was Sunrise Kickball, which due to the fact that I was up late for Ha Ha The Moose was not an option for me. Actually as I was crawling into my tent I heard a couple of my neighbors getting up to go see Stasik and kick a few balls. The Saturday competition began with Capture The Flag. Last year Purple Team won this one and I wanted to make it happen again. We were a man short and I actually grabbed a SCamper who happened to be walking by. That kid was simply amazing. He singlehandedly snagged two flags before he was tagged out. We were down to just two men and managed to retrieve the Yellow Flag for the win. Next up was tug-o-war. We quickly won the first round against Red and it was a final between Purple and Blue. The Purple Team pulled it off giving us a solid lead to start the day.
I ventured off to see Umphrey’s McGee playing a private show in The Church as part of their VIP Picnic offering. I asked Vince if I could slide in the back to witness the fun, he very nicely obliged. It was a small show with maybe a hundred or so hardcore Umphreaks in the building.
SET I: Slacker, Booth Love, Mamu, Wizard Burial Ground, A Go-Go
ENCORE: Much Obliged
Here’s a short video Maria this year’s Camp Counselor snagged from the show.
The sound was intense as it blasted off the walls of the small enclosure. It quickly became warm as the faithful fans danced away the afternoon. I would say that it might have been the hottest set of the weekend, most certainly in temperature. The highlight of the show was a bust out of Mamu, which UM has not played in four years. All in all I was truly thankful to have witnessed it given the fact that it was a last minute addition to my Summer Camp experience.
Afterwards I headed back for Field Day and watched the Purple Team go undefeated in Flip Cup. It was looking like this rag tag group of fans might just pull it off. Next up was Dodge Ball and it was a tight race. It came down to one Purple Teamer against one from Yellow who happed to be a member of a certain family known for frequenting the rail as a unit. Obviously people were rooting for the kid, but in the end he was hit out and the Purple Team was victorious. As long as Red didn’t win Arm Wrestling the Purple Team would get the title of 2012 Field Day Champions. Luckily it was Yellow who won their only event of the weekend and Team Purple took the trophy. I was pretty stoked, but it was time to head out and catch some live music.
I headed over to the Soulshine Tent to see Marc Ross of Rock The Earth hosting a performance and discussion with Chuck Garvey. I entered to see The Ragbirds finishing up their set and was happy to see them. I caught them last year and they have such an amazing energy and vibrancy to their performances. Lead by Erin Zindle whom I had a chance to chat with at The Floodwood show at the VIP bar the previous evening. She is simply stunning playing a djembe to a bubbly crowd. She has a sugary voice that fits tightly into their organic, World sound. I saw the last three songs of their set and was happier for it.
Marc hosted an interesting conversation with Mr. Garvey that included not only their views on the environment but also a detailed discussion on Chuck’s musical roots.
SET: Where Does The Time Go, Suck A Lemon, Hi and Low*, Bell Bottom Blues**
*w/ Vinnie Amico
** w/ Vinnie Amico and Brendon
You can watch the entire set and discussion at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09emXkCHnwY. Thanks to foosman1 for posting.
Non-profits have always had a prominent place at Summer Camp. When thousands of people gather in one locale it’s an opportunity for us all to learn together. That’s exactly what this was, and I want to personally thank Marc for hosting such an awesome event.
I met up with Amy at the Rock The Earth show and we headed over to The Campfire Stage to see Denver locals The Lumineers. We have both been infatuated with this band as of late and it just so happened that we had to travel a thousand miles across the country to see this local phenomenon. They are an acoustic stick of dynamite pulsating with energy and charisma. It’s only a matter of time before they absolutely explode on the level of Mumford & Sons or The Avett Brothers. Bully to Summer Camp for having the foresight to include them on the lineup. Highlights from the set included “Flowers In Your Hair” and their single “Ho Hey.” I reluctantly left a few minutes early to go and see Gov’t Mule on the big stage.
Warren Haynes is the hardest workingman in jam. He is a member of Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers, Phil & Friends, various other Dead-related Projects, and he has a solo band. I have always been impressed with his playing as well as his work ethic, and Mule was a solid addition to the Summer Camp lineup.
SET I: Kind of Bird, Temporary Saint, Gameface, Beautifully Broken, Trampled Under Foot, The Other One Jam, Hunger Strike> Dear Mr. Fantasy> Hunger Strike, When The Music’s Over
The set is available for purchase on Mule Tracks.
The “Beautifully Broken” was soul melting and showed us the tender side of Mr. Haynes. Matt Abts on the kit was an absolute machine bringing his complete prowess to the performance. Teasing “The Other One” before a “Hunger Strike” sandwich that contained Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” was stunning. His southern style was an excellent touch to the fest, and I’m always happy to see The Mule.
It was time for the main event, a bare-knuckle boxing match between moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. I raced over to the pit so I could shoot the McGgee.
SET I: Tango Mike> The Floor> Through The Cracks, Bridgeless> Utopian Fir, August, 1348> Bridgeless
SET II: Depth Charge*, Hurt Bird Bath, Comma Later> Nothing Too Fancy, Tom Sawyer, The Triple Wide> Hangover> 1348
ENCORE: All In Time
*First Time Played
You can listen or download the show on Archive at http://archive.org/details/um2012-05-26.mk4_16bit. Thanks again to tonedeaf for posting.
Again it was back and forth shows with sets splayed out like a fine double-decker sandwich but I will start with UM. The master shredders pulled out all the stops for their Saturday night at Summer Camp. Kris just kills the kit every time blasting on the double petal like a man running for his life. The “Tango Mike” into “The Floor” opener was almost scary as I hopped around the pit taking photos. Their first set seemed to fly by but the newly debuted “Through The Cracks” with it’s funky swagger stayed with me. They utilized “Bridgeless” as the crux of the rest of the set, but I left before they made it back to it for moe.
After moe.’s first set I returned to The Sunshine stage to get a bit more of the Umph. The first time played “Depth Charge” was a sinister kick to the shins that featured some stellar guitar work from Jake. The “Nothing Too Fancy” stretched to well over fifteen minutes and saw the band really building towards something. It nice to see the “ADD Band” let a jam grow naturally. However the obvious highlight was the Bayliss sung version of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.” I ended up heading back for moe. during “Hangover.” As much as I love me some Umphrey’s, moe. keeps pulling me back.
moe. began their Saturday night with the Chuck sung “Wind It Up” and they most definitely sounded like they were ready to play.
SET I: Wind It Up, Big World> Ricky Marten> Californ IA> Moth, Happy Hour Hero*, White Lighting**> George
SET II: The Road, Paper Dragon> Haze, Shoot First> Meat> Billy Goat
ENCORE: Plane Crash
*w/ Warren Haynes
**First Time Played
You can download the recording on Archive http://archive.org/details/moe2012-05-26 – Thanks to Travis Souza for posting.
Al got snappy on “Big World” before the whole band blasted off with “Ricky Marten.” “Moth” would have been the highlight of the set had Warren Haynes himself not stepped out for “Happy Hour Hero.” His southern slide guitar really altered the jam on this song. It was a great juxtaposition to see a bunch of Yankees jamming with the south’s incomparable son. Next up was a new song with Rob on vocals entitled “White Lighting.” I think it’s great that both moe. and Umphrey’s are comfortable enough to debut songs at Summer Camp. It’s a great Petri dish for fans to get a taste of new tunes, and it seems like every year one of them is introducing something fresh. They ended with an extended “George.”
For the second set we headed up to watch moe. from the side stage. It’s a vantage point I will never tire of seeing them from. The hour and half set was full of massive jams including a twenty-five minute “Meat.” Few jam bands these days can even stay on a song for that long, so it’s great to see moe. really going deep on this track. They kept it up with a big “Billy Goat” to close out their second set. They encored with a predictable but always welcome “Plane Crash.”
It would have been easy to call it a night right then and there but the draw of seeing Umphrey’s Biscuit performing songs by Pink Floyd and The Beatles was too much to pass up. Billed as The Brain Damaged Eggmen, Magner and Brownie from tDB joined Kris, Bayliss, and Jake from UM for this exceptionally rare performance. Joel came out as a front man for a version of “In The Flesh” as well.
SET I: Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band> In The Flesh> Another Brick In The Wall> Jam> Fearless> Tomorrow Never Knows, Have A Cigar> Jam> Breathe, Jam> Comfortably Numb, I Am The Walrus> Jam, Brain Damage/Eclipse
Additional highlights of the show included a powerful “Fearless” and a sick “I Am The Walrus.” They ran through a wide array of songs from each band’s catalog adding the twist that only an Umphrey’s/Bisco side project could inject. It was definitely a fun way to end the night. We headed back to our campsite ready for one more day as Summer Camp 2012.
Sunday brought with it even hotter temperatures as reluctantly the festival was on its final day. No sooner had I finally settled into camp life suddenly there was a realization to make this last one count. My crew broke out the icy pops and chilled in the shade listening to some Greensky Bluegrass on the Moonshine Stage. This group is in rarified air in the bluegrass community and Sunday they played two scheduled shows.
Keeping it in a bluegrass state of mind I hopped along to Sunshine stage for Devil Makes Three which surprised and impressed me as a first time listener. Then we headed over to Moonshine to catch a few songs off of Yonder Mountain and Tedeschi Trucks Band in the early evening time slots. Loved the power behind TTB’s “Bound For Glory.” I couldn’t stay long as I was hunting around for my Summer Camp artist pals to interview and give a recap of the happenings and memories from their 2012 Summer Camp experience.
Luckily, I was able to snag interviews with a great wealth of Summer Camp talent. Check out each one: Rock the Earth, Chicago Farmer, Matt Robinson and Mike Kaiz from Old Shoe, and an entire trifecta of Jaik Willis (JW part 2, JW part 3).
After a quick stop at the church to download my pictures and video blogs for your viewing pleasure I went back to Maria’s campsite in the woods where moe. and Greensky Bluegrass gathered to play her a special private show. My headlamp came in handy as they positioned me 5 feet in front of the band so they could see their instruments. An acoustic version of The Band classic “Up on Cripple Creek” was the highlight here in my opinion. Or it may have been the intoxicated random walking through “Okay, Alright” and the band mockingly mimicking his movements in jest.
After the woods disbanded I went back for more with a bit of Pretty Lights where a sea of rage sticks and glowing orbs bobbed and danced. A golf cart was taken over by six people who used it as if they were on Soul Train. I managed to squeeze out just in time to hear rumor of something crazy going down with Galactic at the Starshine Stage. Apparently, IndigoSun’s saxophone player threw down a monster solo during the set to thunderous applause. Good coming out party for those guys for sure. I caught up with Jason (aka Chickenheadfan) at Jane’s Addiction in the VIP section. It was great to hear some early 90s classic rock although some in the crowd with glow sticks were perplexed as a playful Perry poked fun at them. The entire band stays in peak physical condition and the stage set up is pretty wild with four 20 ft hight female statues standing back to back while video of ladies writhing about plays on 10 ft video screens. Jason and I shared stories of the weekend and how lucky we were to get the opportunity to meet and experience such a great event together. We both vowed that next year would be even better when we could have more time to party with our Counselor/CIT crew.
As I sat in the grass near Moonshine reflecting on what we had accomplished a magical “moe.ment” happened when my friends Old Shoe had the video for their song “Take that Road” played in front of a few thousand fans as we waited for moe’s last set. Natalie Wade did some great original work HERE and she and the band deserved the recognition for all their effort (check out the guitar solo special trippy effects at 1:39).
After moe. gave real energy to the evening with their performance it seemed everyone made their way over to check out This Must Be the Band at Soulshine Tent. A few thousand people stuffed the tent to the point it was bustng at the seams from the heat that was collectively trapped inside. Talking Heads is the perfect way to unwind and I saw numerous Summer Camp artists wandering about the crowd partying with all the campers. “And She Was” and ”Cities” were highlights that rose the temperature a few degrees.
We met up with FGC’s Janis Wallin to take in some Campfire Greensky Bluegrass to end the evening. Popping into the Pretty Lights late night show it was like someone condensed the golf cart party earlier that evening into a small little ball. Rage sticks must be some sort of dub step mating ritual…you know Darwinism and the boldest marked gents get all the birds. ”How ornate your stick good sir, now let’s raise it up and down in a celebratory motion.”
Earplugs inserted into their proper destinations I omitted from my sleep the sounds of non-stop VIP bar DJ’s spinning to 7am, and the constant brah’s yelling “WOOP, WOOP” from their tents before puking in the forest. I appreciate them not wanting the liquor to go to waste but for the sake of not leaving your 20′ by 10′ canopy behind Monday morning stop the Jameson shots and for that matter DUB STOP. One last post Summer Camp post for me before I must bid you adieu. I’m going to keep Summer Camp fresh in your minds for next year by reporting killer shows I take in up in Chicago. That deserves one of those brah’s “WOOP, WOOP’s!”
Executive Director Mark Ross and Volunteer Natalie Wade from Rock the Earth talk to me about their philanthropic organization and their success at Summer Camp Music Festival.
Click ROCK to see video.