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!
A week after announcing their December shows would be their last, Summer Camp 2013 artist Roster McCabe took a surprising turn and instead announced they are changing their name to “Night Phoenix.” Whew! That was a close one.
The day after “Roster McCabe’s Final Show in Minneapolis,” their hometown, they put up a YouTube video on their page announcing the exciting news. The video was the final of 3 installments leading up to the announcement, which also all are quite funny, including a surprise cameo in the second video:
So why the name change? Well, looking at the details, it makes sense. A little less than a year ago, one of the founding members Drew Preiner left the band. As it turns out, the name “Roster McCabe” was derived from the maiden names of Drew’s mother and grandmother. With Preiner no longer in the band, the rest of the members, Alex Steele, Michael Daum, Scott Mullenberg, and Jeff Peterson felt uneasy about continuing the use of the name, especially considering the high aspirations the electro-rock group has.
My Grandma's name is Margaret Roster and my Mom's name is Margaret McCabe.
— Chim Richalds (@drewpreiner) December 7, 2013
Trivia: “Night Phoenix” is also the title of one of Roster McCabe’s oldest songs from the live album Live at the Cabooze (2008).
Go to the new website and download “Black Rose” for FREE!
“Like” the new Facebook page!
Follow Night Phoenix on Twitter!
… so now what do I do with all of my Roster McCabe shirts?
In a surprising announcement made on Tuesday, December 3rd, Roster McCabe announced via their facebook page that this weekend’s show at The Cabooze in Minneapolis (Dec 7) will be their last ever in Minneapolis, and after the rest of their December tour dates, the band will be no more. Roster McCabe originated out of Minneapolis, so high expectations are in order for this weekend’s gig. Here is the video announcement:
Although a comical video indeed, it’s a surprising move from this high energy band that was just starting to hit their stride. I have been the self-proclaimed #1 Roster McCabe fan since I first discovered these hairy guys at Summerfest (Milwaukee) in 2010. I’ve seen them on 20 different occasions at 9 different venues throughout the Midwest, including last year at Summer Camp, where Roster McCabe headlined the Camping Stage on Thursday and Friday night, as well as a late night show in the VIP Lounge.So what’s next for these electrockers? Hard to say, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Alex Steele, Michael Daum, Jeff Peterson, and Scott Mullenberg.
Until then, the remainder of Roster McCabe’s tour dates:
- Saturday, December 7: The Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN
- Friday, December 20: The Majestic Theater, Madison, WI
- Saturday, December 21: The Popcorn Tavern, La Crosse, WI
- Thursday, December 26: Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo, MI
- Friday, December 27: Mad Frog, Cincinnati, OH
- Saturday, December 28: Lamasco Bar and Grill, Evansville, IN
- Tuesday, December 31: Wintersnap Festival, Elgin, IL
Recently I got the opportunity to meet with a person who is an integral part of the music industry that often goes unnoticed. Dr. Charlie Kautz, DC., is a chiropractor who specializes in treating musicians before their performances. Dr. Charlie and I sat down and discussed his services.
Me: Dr. Charlie, your website states that you provide specialized treatment protocols for professional touring musicians. Can you elaborate?
CK: Hey thanks, Alex! I’m a licensed chiropractor and my business, “Epic Performance Integrative Chiropractic”, to put it simply, provides a service to musicians to decrease pain and increase function to allow them to focus on what is important while they perform – the music. Along with chiropractic adjustments, I utilize a soft tissue technique called Active Release Technique and the application of kinesiology sports tape in my typical treatments.
Me: What is Active Release Technique?
CK: Active Release is a technique designed to treat repetitive stress injury and there is a unique protocol for each muscle in the body. I identify the muscle that needs to be treated, based on the type of musician I am working on, and use my unique treatment protocols to improve range of motion, increase muscle memory speed and decrease pain.
Me: As a chiropractor, what happened to inspire you to focus specifically on musicians?
CK: I’ve always been a big fan of music and it’s been a huge part of my life. During chiropractic school, I had a “light bulb moment.” While everyone wanted to be a “sports chiropractor”, I spent time trying to figure out how I could be different. By becoming a “music chiropractor”, I could incorporate what I love with my professional aspirations by treating a group of people that I feel need chiropractic more than anyone. Between the repetitive stress they put on their muscles and joints everyday and traveling and experiencing the rigors of touring, every musician can really benefit from what we have to offer. My friend, Wes Bailey, is really the first musician I started doing regular work on. If you haven’t heard of his band, Moon Taxi, you need to jump on the bandwagon ASAP.Me: This sounds like a relatively new field of work. Have you come across other chiropractors that specialize with musicians, or would you say you’re starting a new trend?
CK: I’m a member of the Chiropractic Performing Arts Network (CPAN). It’s a national organization of chiropractors who share a common vision of providing natural healthcare to performance artists by enhancing performance, increasing vitality, and increasing overall body awareness. I would be surprised if there were many other chiropractors out there with the drive and motivation that I have to study musicians and their ailments, especially one who is also certified in several soft tissue techniques. It’s really a niche I feel I’ve discovered. It’s a great time working with and treating the talented people that I admire and then seeing the looks on their faces after a treatment and getting to watch them perform on stage.
Me: What does your typical work week look like? Are you more in the office or traveling to work with bands?
CK: I work Monday through Thursday at Chiropractic and Wellness on Pewaukee Lake in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Any time bands are playing in the Milwaukee or Madison area, I will go to the venues and work with them. On weekends I do a lot of traveling between seminars and working on bands out of state. So, pretty much I am a really busy guy (laughs).
Me: So you’ve just been doing this for a few years now. What bands have you worked with? What has been the best experience so far?
CK: I’ve gotten my hands on a countless amount of musicians already but I’m somewhat limited to what I can say. I’ve received testimonials from members of Umphrey’s McGee, Moon Taxi, Roster McCabe, The Motet, Steez, Indigo Sun, and Undercover Organism, just to name a few. You can read their testimonials on my website. It was a lot of fun to be able to work Umphrey’s McGee recently during their Halloween run at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. They’re a great group of guys and even more talented than I ever imagined before getting to meet and talk music with them. I also recently had the opportunity to provide my services to John Densmore, legendary drummer of The Doors. That was a really cool experience for me. I discovered that at the height of their touring career, the band would have a chiropractor come to the venue at least twice a week to treat them before they played. Mr. Densmore explained that chiropractic has been a vital tool he has utilized throughout his career to help with all of the aches and pains associated with being a musician. That was great for me to hear and offered a sense of validity to the mission of my business and what I can offer.Me: What aspirations do you have for Epic Performance Integrative Chiropractic going forward?
CK: I’d really like to expand my services to music festivals and connect with event organizers and promoters. I’ve been able to connect and work 1-on-1 with the bands really well so far, but one of my goals is to totally redefine artist hospitality at the big summer music festivals by taking the pre-show massage to a whole new level. While a massage feels great, it doesn’t address the underlying structural problems often associated with pain symptoms and dysfunction. I’d also like to establish some sort of “residency” with the bigger venues in the states that I’m licensed in, like I’ve done with some of the venues in the Milwaukee and Madison areas. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me at Summer Camp (laughs).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this band gets better every time I see them. A typical thing fans say about their favorite artists, but I’m not a typical fan of this band as this concert was RMC show #19 for me, and 8th of 2013. I’m very curious to know if there’s someone else out there that’s seen this band more than I have.
Roster McCabe is an “electrorock” jam band, hailing from Minneapolis, MN, consists of Alex Steele (vocals, keyboards), Michael Daum (guitar), Scott Mullenberg (bass) and Jeff Peterson (drums). It’s also worth noting you won’t find a band with better hair.
RMC opened the show with perhaps their most defining song, “Take a Breath.” TAB is a great song that really captures all the elements that RMC is about: Steele’s soaring vocals over a dance-infused melody blending together a perfect mix of rock with electronic, hence the “electrorock.” The set also included 2 new songs, an outstanding cover of Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” and an incredible sit-in from guitar virtuoso Mark Joseph during the encore. These guys are NOT to be missed next time they come through your town. Never disappoints and always a dance party!
Setlist: Take a Breath, Make My Move, Traveler, Nothing to Lose, Virtual Insanity@, Chasing#, In Our Hands, Trance 2#, Bad$, Only Truth, Stargazer, Tell Me Something Good%, Black Rose, Critical Speed
# new song
$ Michael Jackson cover
% Rufus & Chaka Khan cover
& Ginuwine cover
& with Mark Joseph on guitar, Michael Daum playing keyboard
Videos: Take a Breath http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUxWba1niYI&feature=youtu.be
This weekend now marks the 2nd annual Downtown Sound Music Festival, held right in the heart of downtown of historic La Crosse, Wisconsin. With last year’s inaugural event being a success, this year has been improved with more live acts at several different venues in downtown La Crosse, including shutting down Pearl Street for a stage right on the block! This is a great event supporting several local musicians and some great headlining acts, including past Summer Camp artist Roster McCabe!
Friday night, Aug 30: John Gorka at The Pump House, Chastity Brown at The Root Note, Eric Sommer at The Bodega
Saturday night, Aug 31 on the Pearl Street Block Stage:
2-3: Click Track
3:30-4:30 Black River Revue
5-6 Fayme Rochelle & the Waxwings
6:30-8 Natty Nation
8:30-10 Roster McCabe
At the Cavalier Theater: Gary Louris Trio
Saturday Late Night: Roster McCabe at the Popcorn Tavern, Fayme Rochelle & the Waxwings at The Bodega, Black River Revue at The Root Note
Sunday, Sept 1 on the Pearl Street Block Stage:
3:30-4:30 Mike Munson
5-6 General B and the Wiz
6:30-8 Bigtree Bonsai
Sunday late night: Bigtree Bonsai at The Popcorn Tavern, General B and the Wiz at The Root Note, Derek Ramnarace at The Bodega
Check out the page here! http://www.downtownsoundmusicfest.com
Like it on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/DowntownSoundMusicFest
My birthday. Christmas. Packers’ playoffs. Summerfest. That’s the ascending order of my favorite days of the year (at least until Summer Camp becomes a yearly tradition). I’ve been to every Summerfest since ’99 (when I was 7), and I know my parents have brought me along earlier than that, I just have no recollection of it. My father has been to every single Summerfest since the opening in ’68, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’ll share that in a future post. Anyways, this is the 11 day span I make sure I get off work months in advance every year. The last Wednesday of June through the first Sunday of July. Every year. The most I ever attended was 8 nights back in 2010. This year I will total 6 appearances, the first 3 I will share below.
^mid gate entrance
Thursday, June 27
Thursday morning, I had no plans of attending Summerfest. I didn’t have a ticket, there were’t any bands playing that I was real committed to seeing, and I was already going to the Brewer game in the day. Some of my college buddies were in town and had never experienced The World’s Largest Music Festival, so I had to show them a good time. Being a Thursday night, it wasn’t too crowded, so we stage-hopped around a bit. We started at REO Speedwagon, a band I am not all too familiar with (just the main radio songs) for about a half hour. They were on the Big Backyard stage, which is probably my favorite side stage on the grounds. It’s smaller and more confined, creating an intimate feel between the crowd and the band. The crowd was loving the show, as the band members displayed a lot of enthusiasm and showmanship up on stage.
The next stop was to go see Blues Traveler, the most fun I had in the night. It was my first time listening to Blues Traveler, and after seeing them, it won’t be my last. I didn’t know any of the songs, but I loved their sound – I’d describe it as a mix of southern blues jam rock.
Friday, June 28
This was the day I had marked on my calendar for some time. I got to the grounds by 6 to catch an hour long set of Roster McCabe, who was performing on the Tiki Stage. I’ve written about these guys before and I can’t say enough about their talent and potential. The sky is the limit for this small time electro-rock reggae jam band from Minneapolis. Here is a video I took of their original, Critical Speed. This song makes me feel like I’m in a video game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D9gEfWOu_o
After Roster McCabe, I ventured to the south end of the grounds near the Marcus Amphitheater to find myself a Tom Petty ticket. Honestly, I just would have been fine with a lawn seat for $50 (~face value). I spoiled myself a little bit, and found a ticket in about the 20th row for just $80. Such a steal. I walked through the gates into the Amphitheater with the BIGGEST smile on my face. It’s been 4 years since I’ve last seen Petty, and I was worried that I’d never get the chance again. First thing I got to say is, we need to start reconsidering the Heartbreakers as a jam band. They’re not there yet, but 3 different times during the show the band displayed some serious extended pieces of improv from their tunes, sparking more dance moves from across the stands. Highlights of this show for me include the three consecutive greatest hits of Here Comes My Girl, MJ’s Last Dance and Free Fallin’. As I’ve said before, little concert moments have compared to Free Fallin’ live. One of my all time favorite songs, as well as I’m sure the rest of the sold out crowd at the Marcus Amphitheater. Even into his old age, Petty still brings the love and energy every night and shows his passion on stage. You can just tell he absolutely loves being up there, and that he’ll do it as long as he sure can.
Setlist: (source: http://instagram.com/p/bJhmihyB1G/)
Rock & Roll Star, Love is a Long Road, I Won’t Back Down, Baby Please Don’t Go, Here Comes My Girl, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Free Fallin’, Woman in Love, Cabin Down Below, Band Introductions, Tweeter and the Monkey Man (Traveling Wilburys), Rebels, Melinda, Learning to Fly, You’re So Bad, I Should Have Known It, Refugee, Running Down a Dream.
Encore: Don’t Come Around Here No More, You Wreck Me, American Girl
Here are some videos I was able to capture:
Here Comes My Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8vHWZu6-kM
Free Fallin’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=784Jett6cZU
Don’t Come Around Here No More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdRutD0-_AA
^ sell out crowd at The Marcus Amphitheater!
Saturday, June 29
I do not consider myself a very big electronic music fan. I prefer the good ol’ rock and roll. A handful of talented musicians up on the stage pouring their souls through their instruments. Pretty Lights, however, is one of 2 exceptions (Big Gigantic being the other). This was my first Pretty Lights show, so I wasn’t too sure of what to expect. The Harley Davidson Roadhouse Stage was just PACKED with people, shoulder to shoulder. I will estimate about 15,000 were in attendance for Pretty Lights on this hot summer night in late June. Of all the shows I’ve been to, Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) instantly put himself in the top tier of a good time. One word to describe the atmosphere? Party. As crowded as it was, everyone there was having a blast and dancing to the best they could with limited space. I am sad to admit that it was difficult to take pictures and videos, but for good reason: the picnic table I was standing on was shaking! Too many people dancing. I suppose that’s a good problem to have at any concert! I can’t wait to see him again. The highlight for me was definitely his remix of Time by Pink Floyd, considering there was a Floyd cover band playing Summerfest earlier that day that I missed. I wish that I was closer, but if I had tried any further up there I would have been too uncomfortable to move and dance.
Let’s Get Busy, Around the Block, A Million Tomorrows, So Much in the Dark, Can’t Stop Me Now, Finally Moving, Cold Feeling, I Put a Spell on You, Done Wrong, Time, How We Do, SummerTime, If I Could Feel Again, Out of Time, World of Illusion, One Day They’ll Know, So Bright, I Know the Truth, Yellow Bird, Total Fascination, Still Night Remix, I Can See It In Your Face, Up & Down I Go, Hot Like Sauce, Exodus
Here’s my video of Finally Moving: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omCT4Bzak5U
^ my 2 best pics from Pretty Lights.
After PL finished, I caught the tail end of Roster McCabe’s set again at the Tiki Stage. I could hear their hit “Take a Breath” from a whole stage over and ran up to join the small frenzy of dancing Summerfesters. Take a Breath is the perfect song I think to set an example for Roster McCabe’s sound: a mix of reggae, rock, and EDM. Here is their released live album version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmedpaoyw34.
They encored with Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” a great cover choice as it drew the attention of even more passer-byers in and added to the fun. I saw Roster in mid June in La Crosse, where they also covered the MJ classic. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX8ENXjfj5I
At the end of each show, Alex, the lead singer, takes a picture of the crowd and posts it to their facebook. Here is the photo, which doesn’t quite do justice to how many people were in the tiny little area
^ Roster family photo!
And that sums up my first 3 nights of Summerfest! My next recap will be Umphrey’s McGee from July 2nd, followed by another blog of Dark Star Orchestra and 311.
Sunday was EASILY the best day of music for me. Also, it was easily the worst day of weather. No way I was gonna let that affect my mood, though, and for many Scampers, it was the same.
I was able to catch Umphrey’s day time show, and they just continue to get better every time I see them, as now this was the 15th show for me. Highlights include a beautiful version of Dear Lord, one of my all time favorites and a rarity, with a sit-in from Luther Dickinson. They closed the set with a rockin’ Miss Tinkle’s Overture. Check out my video of it (right here): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0M7GMT3F74&feature=youtu.be
Hands down, the show by The Everyone Orchestra was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Wow. I was just blown away. On stage was Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s McGee on keys, Vinnie Amico, Jim Loughlin, and Al Schnier of moe. on drums, percussion, and guitar, respectively, Victor Wooten on bass, Allie Kral of Cornmeal on violin, Roosevelt Collier on steel guitar, and Alex Steele of Roste McCabe on vocals. There was also another girl on trombone who was just stunningly good, but I am not sure who her name was unfortunately. Of course, it was orchestrated by Matt Butler. For those unfamiliar with The Everyone Orchestra, it is all improv and the jams are literally conducted by Butler as he is leading the artists with the tempos and grooves. Their final jam had some “Love Love Love” lyrics bouncing around that got the crowd going crazy inside the intimate Red Barn.
Finally, there was Trey. Words can’t even begin to describe the musical journey he takes me on every time I see him perform. He came out on stage, did a nice little awkward and goofy half-bow to the crowd, picked up Ocelot (the name of his guitar) and got right into First Tube, a classic song that gets me rocking every time. He didn’t let up from there in his first set got better and better with each song. Unfortunately it was raining for most of the first set, so I didn’t get many pictures or videos, but it let up enough for me to catch the end of “Money, Love, & Change.” Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysUBGexwkKU&feature=youtu.be
His second set was cut short due to the nasty flash flood, which to be honest, came as a sort of relief to me. I found myself at such a predicament because a gust of wind, or Trey’s peak in one of his jams, snapped my umbrella in half. Once that happened I just got SOAKED. I mean soaked. And muddy. But I mean, it’s Trey! During the jam of Push on til The Day, the final song he ended up playing, a small child arose on the shoulders of someone in the front row, and he just danced danced and danced away for all to notice. The crowd cheered him on as he had all the spins and moves, mostly with his arms, and even Trey went up and gave him a high five after the song ended. It reminded me of when Alpine Valley last summer, in which Trey pulled up a bunch of phans on stage during their encore song of Meatstick, showing despite the level of stardom he has reached, he still has the heart and joy of music to share it with others and acknowledge great moments when it happens. By the way, I was one of those guys doing the Meatstick dance on stage. Here’s the video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nIFwpRxFLA
Well, Summer Camp, it was GREAT. Although the rainstorm cut the night a little young, I had a hell of a time and am already counting down the days til next year.
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.
^ Roster McCabe
So we’re just getting started here at Summer Camp and it’s already been better than I ever could have imagined. The process of checking in and setting up my tent took a few hours, with several trips back and forth between the car and campsite. Upon finishing all the preparation and organizing came with a huge sense of not just relief of being ready to start venturing through the festival, but also a feeling of triumph; I finally made it!
I was able to catch one of my favorite bands last night, Roster McCabe, at the Camping Stage. Including last night I’ve now seen them 13 times, all of which over the past 3 years. It’s been an amazing journey to witness how they’ve progressed and developed their sound over the years as they have evolved their music with the fusion of new trends of electrorock. They played a few new songs which I’ve never heard before, which is always a treat, and then blew the crowd away with a dance frenzy cover of Daft Punk’s new single, “Get Lucky.” They’ll be playing here at Scamp quite a few more times and I’m stoked to see them again, and I highly recommend them to anyone else.
After Roster McCabe finished up I was able to catch most of Digital Tape Machine’s set at the Starshine stage. I knew that Joel and Kris of Umphrey’s are in the band which was the compelling reason for me to check them out, and I definitely picked up on some of the UM influence in their sound, although they were far more electronic.
There’s quite a bit going on the grounds here today, and I’m ready to go take on the day. I’m looking forward to checking out the “Activities with Umphrey’s McGee” at the VIP tent today, not really sure what that entails, but any opportunity to meet one of my favorite bands, I will take. After that, I plan to check out moe. for a little bit before I partake in the Golden Ticket event for Umphrey’s merchandise, and then stage hop around the grounds between Medeski, Martin & Wood, Keller Williams, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain, Umphrey’s, EOTO, Roster McCabe, STS9, Medicine for the People, and Big Gigantic! So many bands and so little time! There’s supposed to be a super moon tonight during the Medicine for the People set, so great times are destined for this night as well as the rest of the weekend!