I first heard Rubblebucket while road tripping from Boulder to Memphis in 2012. A friend and I were on tour with Umphrey’s and, since I was driving, he was in charge of the music. Needless to say, I completely fell in love with this band the minute their energetic sound exploded through my speakers.
From that moment I knew I had to see them live and on December 7th Rubblebucket was finally playing my home town, Chicago. The show was also being held at one of my favorite small venues in the city, Lincoln Hall. This room’s quaint layout contains a small U-shaped balcony that overlooks the dance floor and mousy stage. A bird’s eye view is my favorite vantage point to see a show, so I headed upstairs and claimed space on the balcony ledge just before the show started.
Rubblebucket is a 7 piece band based out of Brooklyn. Their sound is similar to Phantogram’s mixed with the chaos of LCD Soundsystem and the groove of Burning Spear. You can hear jazz influences, along with funk and even disco throughout their catalog. There is undoubtedly an element of pop that attempts to break the surface but Rubblebucket is just too awesome to let that happen.
Overall, their live show was both inspiring and engaging. Rubblebucket is the type of band that fosters an exchange of energy between themselves and their audience. As the night progressed, I couldn’t help notice a change in the crowd’s confidence while I watched from my balcony perch. It was as if all insecurities got washed away as the whole room finally let loose.
The band’s leader, Alex Toth, takes on the role of trumpeter while his right-hand man, Adam Dotson, holds down the trombone. The pair multitasks as backup vocalists, whistlers, and synchronized dancers throughout the show, but its saxophonist Kalmia Traver on lead vocals that truly blows you away. Her high energy, passionate performance is wild. When she wasn’t encouraging everyone to sing along, she pranced around in her leopard print overalls passing out high-5′s to audience members in the first row.
What many may not know is that this bad ass rock star has no hair is because she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer this past year. Rubblebucket’s most recent tour actually started just as Kalmia finished up her last round of chemotherapy. Magnificently enough, by the time the tour got to Chicago this woman had more life than any other person at the Lincoln Hall show. She energetically danced across the stage throughout her performance and even jumped in the crowd from time to time.
In fact, the highlight of the night arrived when Traver abandoned the stage to sing the first verse of “Came Out of a Lady” from the middle of the dance floor. By the end of the song, the whole brass section was throwing down in the center of the room as the audience danced around them. As if this scene couldn’t get any more stimulating, the energy of the room finally exploded into a frenzy as hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling.
Rubblebucket’s emphasis on audience interaction is a refreshing approach to the live music experience. The bells and whistles of their Chicago show included two marriage proposals (one fake and one real), a balloon drop, a parachute that covered half the crowd, and even a cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes”. Needless to say, I left the show that night more in love with this band than ever before. Usually our scene doesn’t produce too many breakout mainstream acts, but I am really excited to see what the future holds for Rubblebucket.
Here is a sweet video I shot at the show!
noun - 1 a sense of communion with others: affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord, unity.
Throughout our individual journeys in life we frequently seek out a sense of belonging oftentimes through our love of music. Summer Camp itself is a communal event that features some of the most amazing fans and musicians in the scene. Communion is the title bestowed on a UK record label that has worked diligently to bring together both fan and musician through live and recorded offerings. What began as a ‘Communion Presents’ concert series at a West London basement bar has blossomed into an international phenomenon of sharing the best and the freshest young performers with music addicts across the globe.
Their latest offering is a series of ‘Communion Clubnights’ throughout the month of October. From New York City to my old stomping grounds of Rock Island, Illinois. The rotating lineup of these dates will include Summer Camp alumni Rubblebucket, Roadkill Ghost Choir, and Willy Mason. Local acts will support. The dates and cites are listed below.
1st Oct – New York, NY
2nd Oct – Washington, DC
3rd Oct – Philadelphia, PA
8th Oct – Bloomington, IN
9th Oct – Louisville, KN
10th Oct – Nashville, TN
15th Oct – Minneapolis, MN
16th Oct – Madison, WI
17th Oct – Rock Island, IL
Sticking to the east coast and then drifting back into Summer Camp country, this series of shows will be both eclectic and entertaining. So instead of sitting around and waiting for Summer Camp 2014 go out and see some life music. For additional info on who is playing where and when see the Communion website for more details.
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
Hey Scampers, one week till Scamp time! Yesss!
I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to attend Summer Camp 2012 as your Counselor in Training. It truly is an honor and a dream come true. I’m going to tell ya a little bit about myself so you can get to know your CIT a little better, and then I’m going to tell you what I’m most excited for at SC.
Since 2005 I’ve been attending 1-2 music festivals each year, and they have more or less turned into my home away from home each summer. I always choose which festival I attend each summer based on who has the best lineup for my tastes. And this year it was a no brainer, Summer Camp 2012 all the way! (I must admit though that I do have a soft spot in my heart for Wakarusa and the Harvest festival with their spectacular scenery up on Mulberry Mountain. Just check out this breath taking aerial shot!) In St. Louis, I’m always attending shows. Especially the shows of Aaron Kamm and the One Drops (check them out!). One thing that’s great about my city is that there’s always free shows going on year round, which is a great way to get into and support local bands. I usually attend shows at small venues such as the Firebird, Broadway Oyster Bar, the Old Rock House, Lemmon’s, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Schlafly Tap Room, and the Schllafly Bottleworks. As for the larger shows, I usually go to the Pageant or Pop’s.
As for SC, I’m most excited to see some Gogol Bordello. I’ve seen these accordion playin-fiddlin’ strummin’-wine splashin’-gypsy punks several times, and their energy is enough to blow your face off! If you need a quick energy boost to get ya through the rest of Friday night, make sure you check out this band. (Just don’t forget to find me during their set and dance with me in the front!) I also can’t wait to see some Umphrey’s, I’ve been seeing these guys 2-3 times a year since 2005, and like everyone knows, every show is always different and better than the last! Now let’s just hope that we can all make it to every one of their 5 of their sets in 3 days at SC. And I can’t wait for some Primus, especially since I haven’t seen them since they put out their new album Green Naugahyde. It’ll be quite a set with some new tunes in rotation. Plus, you can never go wrong with the lovely bass playin’ of Les Claypool, side project or not, he always puts on a spectacular show. I also can’t wait to get on my dancin’ shoes and hit up some Rubblebucket! This will be a first for me, but just the sound of Kalmia Traver‘s sultry voice puts me in a romantic daze. I’m also excited for some Keller Williams, Galactic, The New Orleans Suspects, The Infamous Stringdusters, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti, G. Love, Common, Jane’s Addiction, Wooten, Zoogma and many more!
Once I first found out that I made it to the top 6, the planning and packing began. Well, mostly because I had a horrible nightmare that I showed up to SC with only my tent and the clothes on my back. That was frightening. But anyway, my festival essentials include my eno hammock, lots clean under drawers, costumes, sunscreen, baby powder, apples, and my blow up mattress. I’m always lookin’ out for the Scamper, so I purchased some goodies to give away to my fellow Scampers such as hundreds of glowsticks (for glowstick wars), glow paint, and fuzzy pink moustaches. I am also apart of the Umphrey’s street team, so you can expect some sweet Umphrey’s goodies from me as well! As your CIT, of course I will give you a personal perspective of my SC experience through technology, but I’m all about you, the Scamper. I can’t wait to get to know you and make lifetime friends in the process. I’m going to be running around in costumes half of the weekend, so if you’re dressed in a costume too, I wanna meet ya and award you with a fuzzy pink moustache! And as promised, I will be bringin’ those apples! So if you’re a fan of the apple, be ready to catch one headed in your direction. Also, I’m coming to SC with my main squeeze Adam. If you watched my contest video, he was the dude that was trying to “rob” me. One of our favorite things to do together is swing dance, so you’ll probably see us bustin’ some swing moves during sets and especially at Gogol Bordello. I’ll also be hangin’ with my friend Joe (who I met some years ago through my best girl E-Flat) and his friends who are SC veterans.
I am excited and proud to say that this is going to be my first Summer Camp! And I can’t wait to spend it with you. So if you see me out and about, don’t be shy, come say “hi”! I’d love to chat it up with you or dance our booties off together to some tasty tunes. So let’s make it the best one yet! (Not only because my birthday is on Thursday of SC, but especially since I heard some crazy rumor that the world is supposed to end sometime late this year…it’s probably a buncha psssh, but let’s do it up anyway!)
Love, hugs, and thugs,