Sunday was the culmination of my Summer Camp experience. Not only was the lineup jam-packed, but it was also the day of my private campsite show as well as my interview with moe. So it started nicely with me heading over to the barn to get cleaned up. The clouds looked ominous at this point but I was optimistic. I was also wrong. I stopped by my P-Town friend’s RV for Sunday Brunch. I thought this was both clever and cute. I mean how perfect is that? So I took a little video of it, which you see here.
It was a nice gathering of friends and the protein helped me for the final push that was Sunday at Summer Camp. Angie made Amy a plate and I headed back to camp as the winds were beginning to pick up. I dropped off the food and went to our friend’s site to make sure they had everything buckled down. It was about this point that I made this video.
It was getting a little scary as the winds whipped through tarps and tents. Luckily, those of us who camped in the woods got some solid protection but us lowlanders were also the victims of some serious puddles. All in all it was a fast moving storm and after about 45 minutes it was completely over. Music resumed on the Camping Stage, but the two main stages were out of commission for at least another hour. That meant there would be some on-the-fly rescheduling. Fareed Haque & Math Games did not get to play due to a scheduling conflict and Cornmeal was bumped up to 2 PM on the Sunshine Stage. That meant that UM and Huey Lewis would be playing at 3:45 PM. It meant that I would miss Cornmeal’s final set because of my interview, but I would be able to catch the rUMors show.
Amy and I hunkered down for the rest of the storm and after a bit of rolling thunder it was over. The only real issue left after the storm was the mud. It had been an element all weekend but after we got pummeled certain areas of the concert fields became impassable. The steady plodding of people’s feet had done a lot to pound out the moisture in the ground over the last three days, but in one quick storm all that hippie footwork was undone. The Wood Brothers’ set was also canceled but they were already playing the Campfire Stage for late night so I was okay with this move as well.
I went to my interview with moe. Rob had a last minute emergency he had to deal with so I sat down Al, Chuck, Jim, and Vinnie. In another surreal moment I got to talk to my heroes for about 20 minutes. We talked about a wide range of subjects including everything from how Summer Camp came to be to the new album. For the record there will be a new release out next year and no it will not be a double album. We also got a chance to talk about the role social media played in their recent Electric Lemoe.nade Show. The issue Al had was the fact that fans think it’s funny to vote for songs like We Got The Party and they are the ones that actually have to take the time to learn, like a Miley Cyrus song. Obviously the Internet can be ruthless sometimes. I finished up my interview as we heard Bela Feck and The Flecktones take the stage.
Bela Fleck is the epitome of musical prowess. He has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in the history of the Grammys. If that doesn’t give you an idea of his range, I don’t know what would. The set was tight, but I only got to catch about half. Since Coffin’s departure to Dave Matthews Band, they have been playing with original Flecktone Howard Levy on keyboards and harmonica. After an 18-year absence he began playing with them last year. This was my first chance to catch the original lineup and I have to say they played like butter. They were smooth and Victor Wooten drove the bus as Future Man punched out the drums on his SynthAxe. The highlight of the set for me was Sinister Minister, the sweet jazz drifted out over the crowd as I made my way over to the Soulshine tent for moe.’s acoustic set brought to us by HeadCount.
The acoustic moe. show really got the day going proper. The Soulshine tent felt like the cultural center of Summer Camp. It was located adjacent to the Make A Difference area and featured everything from open mic jams to headlining acts. It was a place for Yoga, Raffles, Workshops, and some amazing music. Unfortunately with so much going on all weekend I only got to take part in few of the events, moe.’s acoustic set was one show that I could not miss. The boys took the stage and opened with That Country Tune, here is the rest of the setlist from Phantasy Tour.
SET I: That Country Tune, Blue Eyed Son, Can’t Seem To Find, Okayalright, Tambourine, It, New York City
The audience recording is on Archive. Thanks to Travis Souza for posting.
This set was a lot of fun. I snuck backstage and got a few shots from behind the band before finding Amy exactly where I expected her, dead center in the mud rocking out to moe. I had tried to text her for the last 10 or 15 minutes before the show with no response. She was walking by when she heard the barker shouting about a moe. show in the Soulshine Tent. She of course stayed for what was about to ensue. Blue Eyed Son displayed some excellent vocals as well as picking from the band. Before Can’t Seem To Find you can hear Rob asking about the Mega Man totem that can be seen in just about every picture from Summer Camp. The fan blasted back, “Where you from, you don’t know Mega Man?” To which Rob replyed, “I went outside and played sports… and had girlfriends.” The crowd got a kick out of it, and actually I happened to be filming at this point so you can see most of it in my video.
I love the banter moe. comes up with onstage and as of late I have been missing it. I was happy they got a little more playful during this set. The acoustic Okayalright was sublime. It’s been one of my favorites as of late and it just rocks the face, and seeing an acoustic version in the Soulshine was my highlight of the show. They busted out a nice Tambourine before blasting off with It. Some of these songs rarely get the acoustic treatment so I found this to be one of my highlights of the weekend. I mean there couldn’t have been more than a few hundred people in attendance because as I stated earlier, with so much going on, the tent shows are often overlooked. They closed the set with a fulfilling New York City.
And with that I hurried back to the Sunshine Stage for some Umprhey’s McGee. They actually opened for their much-anticipated alter egos the rUMors, with Huey Lewis by playing a couple originals. I got into the pit for the first song and actually got some great shots. UM opened with All in Time followed by a new song, Room To Breath before inviting Mr. Lewis onto the stage. Here is the full setlist from http://www.umphreys.com:
SET I: All in Time, Room To Breath (*), Don’t Fight It (**^$), Up on Cripple Creek (^^), Heart and Soul (^^), The Weight (^), Women Wine & Song (^), Respect Yourself (^$), Workin’ For A Livin’ (&&^), She Caught The Katy (^^), Partyin’ Peeps (^), I Want A New Drug (^)
* first time played, original
** first time played, Wilson Pickett
^ with Huey Lewis on vocals and harmonica and Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret horns
^^ with Huey Lewis
$ with Gale Gardner and Linda Greenwood on vocals
& first time played, The Staples Singers
&& first time played, Huey Lewis
You can listen to the show on Archive. Thanks to tonedeaf for posting.
Room To Breath was like a meaty fight song, with melodic guitar interlacing from Jake and I enjoyed it very much. The rUMors got it started with a Wilson Pickett cover of Don’t Fight It with Gardner and Greenwood on backing vocals. It was like the band transformed from the Umphrey’s we know and love to a an 80’s powerhouse right before our eyes.
“I went to Summer Camp as a kid but it was nothing like this.” –Huey Lewis
They went into The Band’s classic Up On Cripple Creek, where Lewis seemed a little rough before getting into his groove. Heart and Soul got the crowd moving and honestly, it was the Huey tunes with UM as a backing band that gave me chills. Hearing Bayliss take over on vocals was amazing. Not to mention the raw power behind the chords played by the rUMors was just incredible. As they went into The Weight, I had to make a quick run over to the 312 Vibe Tent to check in on the home brewer’s workshop put on by Kyle Hollingsworth from SCI and Adam Lewis of Family Groove Company. I took some pictures of the tasting before grabbing Adamfor a quick recap of the workshop. You can see that interview here.
I thanked Adam for his insight on brewing before racing back to the rUMors set just in time to catch Respect Yourself. It broke my heart to leave, but as the Summer Camp Counselor, it was my duty to see and take part in as much as I could. Huey Lewis, always the showman, never left the spotlight for the entire set. Workin’ For A Livin’, another Lewis classic woke everyone up and the Taj Mahal blues standard, She Caught The Katy, was a very nice addition to an already stellar setlist. I also have to point out that Lewis’ harmonica work was just solid all day long. Lewis got a chance to jam on an Umphrey’s original with Partyin’ Peeps. They ended this history-making set with the much anticipated I Want A New Drug. I was very happy with how this all turned out. And a big thanks to Huey Lewis for taking a chance, it was well worth it.
I ran over to the Red Barn as Everyone Orchestra was finishing up their soundcheck. In the interim I got a chance to talk to a few people who participated in the Make A Difference Challenge at Summer Camp.
Make A Difference was a series of tasks that attendees of the festival could take part in to earn their ticket to this private show. This incarnation of EO included Kyle Hollingsworth, Al Schnier, Natalie Cressman, Jans Ingber, Brian Jordan, Randal Moore, John Stanton, Abigail Stauffer, Chris Wood, and Erin Zindle and orchestrated as always by Matt Butler, which meant that we would be witnessing a serious jam session from a mind-blowing lineup. The jamming was sick, if you have never seen Everyone Orchestra, they are lead by a conductor who feeds them words, phrases, audience suggestions, and feelings to create a live musical collaboration. It’s awesome to watch and a great way to reward the proactive festival goers who took the time to clean up and recycle. I think this experiment was a rousing success and I hope to see other festivals taking notes from Summer Camp. By giving just a little incentive, people really became involved and that was what Make A Difference was all about.
I stayed at EO until just before 6:00 PM when I said goodbye to the great jam and headed back to my site. No one was around but I met up with CIT Jeff Greenswag on the trail and we ventured off to see Bruce Hornsby together. I tried to spend a little bit of time with all the CITs so this was my chance hang with Jeff for a set. My only real familiarity with Bruce Hornsby comes from his short stint with the Grateful Dead and some of his popular work. I know he is a truly accomplished pianist, but what I didn’t realize is how much fun he has playing live. He took us on a journey through blues, jazz and rock before bringing Bela Fleck and Jimmy Herring on stage for a cover of Huey Lewis’ Jacob’s Ladder. Hornsby picked up the accordion for this song and regaled the crowd with this powerful composition. I was headed back to get ready for moe., but couldn’t resist the opportunity to film this one from the back of the bus. This video is a little shaky mainly because of the zoom (also keep an eye out for a spot about midway through when I was almost run over by a wook) but hey, the sound is good.
I made my way back to camp where I met up with Amy. I told her it was time for some moe. and she hopped out of the tent ready to rock. We headed over to The Moonshine stage where we found the rest of our crew by the soundboard. We were pretty much in the same spot all weekend, which made it easy to reconnect in the massive crowd. I told Amy I would meet her in a few songs and headed down to the pit as moe. opened with a rocking Deep This Time, here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: Deep This Time, Y.O.Y, Down Boy, Happy Hour Hero*, Rain Shine**, Farmer Ben, Moth
SET II: Plane Crash, Shoot First***, Silver Sun, Seat Of My Pants, Billy Goat
*w/ Kyle Hollingsworth on key
**First Time Played – Original – Al Song
***w/ Bela Fleck on Banjo
You can download the audience recording on Archive. Thanks to Travis Souza for posting.
Y.O.Y was one the first moe. songs I ever heard and it still holds a special place in my heart. It was a solid version that saw some very nice percussion work from both Jim and Vinnie. Rob busted out a nice Down Boy before they invited String Cheese’s Kyle Hollingsworth on stage for Happy Hour Hero. This was incredibly appropriate considering Kyle had just released Hoopla a festival pale ale at Summer Camp. It was a mild but hoppy concoction that he collaborated on with Boulder Beer. I have to say it is a tasty beverage and a festival is the proper place for its consumption. Check out my video of Kyle with moe. here.
Rain Shine (or is it Rainshine?) was my favorite moe. song debut of the weekend. It was a very fitting song considering the topsy-turvy weather we had on Sunday and I do believe it could be a huge vehicle for the dark jam. I might add that during this set the sun was shinning brightly. Farmer Ben was what was up. I love it when Jim grabs the mic and plays the part of front man, but this version was special. It included teases from Chalkdust Torture as well as the Grateful Dead.
As moe. went into Moth I hightailed it back to my site to set up a couple chairs and drop some glow sticks so the crew could find my site for the private show. Afterwards, as I raced over to Widespread Panic, I stopped to chat with the Concious Alliance guys for a few. You can see our conversation here.
WSP was the last of my onstage sets, but when I arrived, no one quite knew who to talk to and the stage was on lockdown. They opened with a rowdy North. Here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: North Proving Ground, Party At Your Mama’s House, Wondering, Heroes, Angels on High, Tall Boy, Driving Song, Saint Ex, Goin’ Out West, Drums, Porch Song, Driving Song, Airplane, Protein Drink, Sewing Machine
I was just sort of relaxing backstage enjoying the music when I noticed Heis walking up with Kyle Hollingsworth. I headed over and had a nice chat with Kyle about his Brew Fest last year and about Hoopla. When we finished talking I watched him approach a couple of hula-hoopers by the fence and ask to borrow a one of theirtoys. That’s when I caught this video.
It was the little moments like this that I witnessed that were really the icing on the cake of the Summer Camp Counselor position. Holly soon found me and took me up to a spot about 8 feet from Jimmy Herring where two chairs had been set for our arrival. I was onstage for Tall Boy through Drums and this may have been the best chunk of the set. It was pretty awesome to watch Schools and JB communicating onstage while Jimmy just wailed away. I did grab a video of the first part of Driving Song, which you can see here.
I headed down during Drums mainly because I didn’t want to be alone up there and I had seen a great part of the show from a truly unique vantage. I was ready to mingle. Plus, I was getting antsy for my show. I enjoyed the rest of the set and hung out with my old pal BC. As they finished up I met Holly at the back gate and took a seat on the golf cart. We were waiting for WSP to sign my poster, (another part of my prize package.) Well, as I sat there Jimmy Herring comes walking over to the bus and takes a long look at me, “John, John, how the hell you doing? Geez it’s been two or three years, how the hell you doing?” With that Jimmy came bounding around the barricade and entrapped me in a massive bear hug. He began rambling on about how good I looked and how happy he was to see me. The joke was that Jimmy thought I was John Popper. Well, I let him go on for about 30 seconds before I cut him off, “ Jimmy I’m really too big of a fan to let you go on, I’m not really John Popper, but now you have to take a picture with me so I can tell this story for the rest of my life.” Jimmy obliged before making a quick exit to the bus.
It was getting to be crunch time so we left the poster in the hands of WSP management and drove over to the Camping Stage to meet up with the Kris, JP, and Allie from Cornmeal. Ben Slayter (my Director of Photography) met us and we all piled on the cart and drove through the crowd down to the VIP gate.
I had texted or told about 10 or 15 of my close friends at Summer Camp that this shindig was about to go down. I also told the moe. Phantasy Tour crew which made up the bulk of the crowd that was assembled as we pulled up. I took my seat and Ben got his camera ready. Amy and my friends smiled as I made my way in and I was just happy to be surrounded by so many good people. Honestly, there couldn’t have been more than 60 people in attendance. I had contacted Jesse Scott to tape the show, but he had an unforeseen issue with his deck so I am very thankful Ben was there with his video camera. (I was told I could not film my own set which is why I don’t have anything posted yet.) Stay tuned for the footage.
So all five members of moe. along with Allie and Kris from Cornmeal gave me a private show. It was just unbelievable.
PRIVATE SET: Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, The Weight
ENCORE: Speedy Golf Cart Exit
It was a huge highlight of my festival. Allie was close enough that Amy could feel the breeze from her bow. moe. was just a few feet away as they picked out the songs. I mean even now I’m still buzzing from the experience. After the first song Al looked at me and said, “We do have to get to work soon.” I assured them their time was greatly valued and I appreciated every second of it. At one point some kids charged through the crowd in front of Cornmoe., probably in a hurry to catch moe.’s final set. Everyone just sort of chuckled to themselves and the music continued. The Weight became a sing-along and with that, they all hopped in their respective golf carts, the crowd parted, and they disappeared down the path. We all just sat there for a second in the post glow smiling about what we had witnessed.
Amy, my friends, and I got our gear together and headed back to the Moonshine Stage for moe.’s last set of the festival. I told my friends they were going to open with Plane Crash, because it was time, before I made my way down to the front. It was my last opportunity to get photos so I hit the pit quickly then wandered backstage where I finally met the elusive Jay Goldberg. I thanked him and Arlan for an amazing experience and headed back to my group. As I was heading back, moe. invited Bela Fleck onstage for Shoot First. I loved the twang Bela’s banjo added to moe.’s mix. Silver Sun built slowly but exploded into a dueling guitar jam reminiscent of an AC/DC show before coming back to planet Earth. The SOMP was face melting and the set-closing Billy Goat was full of funky goodness. Now for those that don’t know, I edited my Summer Camp Counselor Video Resume with Rebubula
as the sound bed, which they chose to encore the last set of the festival with. I couldn’t help but feel that this was one final nod to me from my favorite band. It was the perfect exclamation point to my once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks guys.
Afterwards, Amy and I drug our chairs over to the Campfire Stage to end our weekend with the Wood Brothers. It was a euphoric end to my weekend as the first ever Summer Camp Counselor. I felt magnanimous and righteously good. I had literally met and talked to hundreds of campers. I had filmed a ton of great music and events. I had taken over 4,000 photos. My job was complete.
The next morning we tore down our camp and filmed my final standup, which can be seen here.
It was time to head home… until next year Summer Camp. Thank You.
You can see my Sunday pictures here.
Sunday, the technical last day of the fest and I feel like I didn’t get my fix. This was the day to go all out and enjoy everything for what it’s worth. But not today, we woke up to a rain/thunderstorm which sucked but was sweet at the same time. It’s really cool to be that close to thunderstorms because you are so much more connected in a tent then you are in a house you know what I mean, but the rain turned all the mud into soup which caused me to retire the one and only pair of shoes I brought. I ended up going barefoot the rest of the fest but so was about 50% of everyone else so I felt I fit in pretty well. The rain also created a pretty sweet mud slide about 75 feet away from our campsite. Two ballsy people where mud sliding in their skivvies. On my way to a meeting I had I happened to line up right next to the guy right as he was belly flopping in the mud and got sprayed a little more than I wanted to but oh well. It’s not like I hadn’t had any mud on me at all throughout the weekend.
The mud not only created fun but a little bit of sorrow as well, it stalled the music. The set I was looking forward to the most was the Umphrey’s McGee and Huey Lewis set and it got a bit postponed. I was pretty bummed out about that but the set was everything you could ever hope for. Starting off with an All In Time and then followed by songs such as Women Wine and Song, Up on Cripple Creek, and I’m pretty sure I remember hearing some of the Ghost Busters theme song. I was pretty disappointed I still have never seen a live Front Porch and was hoping this would be the year but they say patience is a virtue ( I have no patience). This was a pretty big day for the Dubstep/Electronica shows. All the biggies played like Skrillex, Bassnectar, Eoto, Chalice Dubs Masquerade, not to mention Sound Tribe playing the late night. Im not real big into that style of music but I can still appreciate it. Bassnectar was absolutely epic, he played at the Moonshine stage and everyone went crazy. SOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE, it was a great turn out.
By the time the end of the night came I was absolutely pooped but that didn’t stop me from staying up a bit longer to enjoy the people of the fest. I ended up sitting at the end of our little lighted trial with a blinking light bubble gun. Yeah, it is a frickin sweet gun. So I sat at the end of the trail and bammed people, it was fun. Now if you have never been bammed by someone or bammed someone all you have to do is have a super sweet light or glow stick of some sort. You then take that stick or light and point it at someone and yell BAM!!!!! You then explain that they were bammed by the best and go on your merry may. It might sound lame or childish but hey when you catch people off guard it’s soo funny. I actually sat and did that for a good hour or more and personally I thought it was great. Now to sleep and prepare for the pack and haul back in the early morning, a sat night to come but he had to come eventually right.
Counselor In Training
Sunday was destined to be a weird day. The weather projections had been
strange throughout the week and ended up being completely right, it was strange – I’m getting ahead of myself. I woke up with my friend in my tent who asked me if someone had slashed or cut his tent. This bothered me and so we went to investigate, I mean who would cut up a tent? We got to the tent and sure enough the window had been cut open. A bit dismayed we asked his girlfriend if she knew anything about it and she said, “Yeah, last night I had to pee and I couldn’t figure out how the door worked. Actually I’m not sure if I opened my eyes.” She had woken up needing to pee desperately. The door zipper was either stuck or she just couldn’t figure it out – So she ripped a whole through the tent window so she could make it to the bathroom. This is when she was awarded the MVR, Most Valuable Rager. Outrageous.
We decided to go get a coffee at the Sunshine Stage and while waiting in line we
noticed one hell of a front rolling in. The clouds were just gigantic, the wind was
picking up and it looked like everything was about to turn to shit. So I headed back to the campsite, ran into Nick Stock on the way and told him everything was about to turn to shit. We tried to put as much of our stuff away as we could and hunkered down with a few 12 packs to wait the storm out. We were in the forest so the wind wasn’t as bad, but it rained like hell. And I turned out to be right – everything had turned to shit. We walked quickly to the Main Stage trying to catch the Wood Brothers, and instead we saw a pool, and a couple of kids dragging each other around on sleds. The rain had been so fast and so hard the ground had become sludge. We waited it out and by the time Bela Fleck and the Flecktones came on the Stage was ready. Well maybe, I’m not sure what you could to prepare for the Flecktones. Good God – these guys were just awesome. Bela Fleck- please come back to Camp, we need you.
I ditched Bela Fleck a little early (I know I can’t believe it either) to catch another
living, legend, Huey Lewis. I grew up listening to Huey Lewis and the News on every
family vacation and seeing him play with Umphrey’s was a real treat. While dancing
around at the rUMors show I found some people who had just given into the mud. They were covered head to toe. They had given in. I on the other hand decided to struggle to stay clean, what a waste of time.
Later that night, after scarfing down some more CeVapCiCi, we caught a little bit
of moe., and then headed off for some awesome, Widespread Panic. I still can’t believe that moe., Yonder, and Widespread were at the same fest. It gives me a jam orgasm just thinking about it. Anyway, Widespread started a little lated and we were standing in four inches of sludge and we had the best time of our lives! Widespread closed with Protein Drink/Sewing Machine and I had goosebumps. I raged so hard that my neck was sore for days afterward. And I would definitely do it again.
We headed back to moe. who closed with Rebubula which was amazing and we
made our way to the Wood Brothers. And thank God the Wood Brothers were playing. The earlier set had been canceled for the storm. There were some sound issues, but once they were on – they were on! I went in and caught some of EOTO, and they “covered” Say My Name by Destiny’s Child – I was in heaven. I came back out to the Wood Brothers, and Oliver Wood said, “You’re almost there, tomorrow you get to shower.” And he was right. The played Luckiest Man and I thought if I died right now, I could be happy.
The next morning, well it sucked. But Mondays normally suck and why would this
one be any different, right? It was humid and tempers were high, but I got my shower, and the experience of a lifetime. Thanks Scamp, and Scampers, I’m not good at goodbyes, so, “That’ll do pig.”
Counselor In Training
One of the best things I’ve experienced here at Summer Camp is the collaboration of
artists. For one, both Umphrey’s McGee and moe. clearly are at home here at Summer
Camp. You can see it on their faces and hear it in their music – they want to be here and they’re so happy that we showed up to the party. It seems like all of the bands feel that way and really take advantage of the opportunity to play with one another.
Now, I surely didn’t catch every collaboration that went down this weekend but as of
now, here’s a few to make your mouths water:
• Bela Fleck sits in with moe. for Shoot First
• Rob Derhak of moe. sits in with Trichome
• Vinnie Amico of moe. sits in with Steez
• Chuck Garvey of moe. sits in with Keller Williams
• Al Schnier of moe. sits in with Keller Williams
• Kyle Hollingsworth (SCI) with moe. for Happy Hour Hero
• Huey Lewis and the rUMors (amazing)
• Digital Tape Machine with Kris Myers
• Umphrey’s with Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic) covering National Anthem (radiohead)!
• rUMors: Umphrey’s, Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret, Jen Hartswick, Gale Gardner, Linda Greenwood.
• Brendan Bayliss with moe. covering The Harder they Come!
Seriously, the boys from moe. were a bunch of sluts all weekend! Again, these are just
the ones I was luck enough to see. I bet a few others went down that I unfortunately
missed. If you caught one, leave a comment below and let us know!
Counselor In Training
I am so grateful that Summer Camp’s venue is chock full of woods for your camping
pleasure. Besides the fact that the trees are beautiful, they provide excellent shade and you will never be “smoked” out of your tent from the blistering sun. This allows you to sleep in if you choose and on Sunday that is exactly what I chose to do. Upon rising I was about to be treated to learning a new trick. Before I tell you about the trick I know that it is not environmentally sound and probably not too good for your insides…but it was pretty freakin cool. My friends were making omelets and didn’t want to mess up a pan so they had freezer bags. They handed me a freezer bag with a couple of beaten eggs in it and told me to put some fixins in there like feta cheese, spinach and broccoli. I did and they sealed up the bag and placed it in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes. When they were done they slid out the perfect omelet onto a plate and handed me a bottle of “Ass in Space” hot sauce. How awesome is that?!?! Ahhhh the things you learn at Summer Camp.
Shortly after the omelet extravaganza it started to get really windy. The clouds were
moving at crazy fast speeds and the sky was a strange shade of yellow. People started
cracking jokes like, “It looks like a scene from Twister 3: A Twister Hits a Festival” and “I don’t think we’re at Summer Camp anymore.” Shortly after that it started down pouring and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. It gave me the opportunity to stare into space for about an hour and think about all that I have experienced. It is exactly what I wanted to do at that exact moment so thank you mother nature. After the storm had passed we made a mad dash for the bathrooms and saw how muddy everything had gotten. At first I thought wearing my gold lame’ rain boots would be a good idea, but it started to feel like I was walking through cement as my
boots were getting suction cupped to the ground.
I am extremely afraid of worms (like I seriously freak out when I see them even though
they are good for the earth and great for composting) so the thought of walking barefoot in mud terrifies me. After some convincing by some barefoot warriors I decided to try it and it was the best idea ever. It felt awesome and I couldn’t have gotten a better mud wrap for my feet at an expensive salon. I was ready to move and groove and squish and squash through the mud to some music.
It was one fabulous band after another! You know life is good when your hardest
decision is which amazing bands to see today. The Wood Brothers, Bela Fleck, The Avett Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, EOTO, moe., Bassnectar and more moe. were some of the bands I chose! While I was walking to Bela Fleck my friend Courtney said, “I hear Al singing sweet songs to me in my ear.” I thought she was a little cooky until I heard Rob’s sweet bass thump in my ear! What is going on? There was a secret moe. acoustic set happening in one of the tents is what was going on. What a sweet surprise! That is something Summer Camp is good at. Always giving us surprises at every corner and keeping us on our muddy toes.
I left my favorite music experience of the day until last. It was Huey Lewis and the
rUMors. If you don’t know who the rUMors are they are Umphrey’s McGee with a horn section. Can it get any better than that? I’m not sure. Maybe if all four members of Phish were playing and Huey Lewis, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffet all sat in together to play “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Getting to see Huey perform with my friends in Umphrey’s was a dream come true for me. Huey gave me everything I wanted and gave it to me over and over. I am a huge nerd and sang loudly the words to every song and often screamed, “I love you Huey!” Yup…I was that girl. If I wore panties I totally would have thrown them at him.
As you can tell I love Summer Camp. If I had to give one reason of why I love Summer
Camp and I had to tell you right now right here I would have to say that I love it because I didn’t see one worm the whole time. Ha!
Counselor In Training
By Saturday Morning I was into my routine at Summer Camp 2011. I planned to rendezvous with my P-Town friends at Yoga around 10 AM This meant that I only got about five hours of rough sleep, which was intermittently, interrupted by the DJ at the next campsite. I will say that he played on tiny speakers so it was actually fairly enjoyable despite the fact that I kept waking up to it. I rose around 9 a.m. and let Amy sleep in while I got cleaned up at the Barn. I headed over to the Soulshine Tent around 10 a.m. and started taking some photos. There was actually a decent-sized crowd in attendance. The instructor talked about balance and structure with your body’s dance and movements. I tried to take that to heart for the rest of the weekend. I met up with Joe and Angie and headed to their RV to charge my Flip Camera.
Afterwards I made my way over to Ben and Erin’s Bus to copy off my cards and clear up some space. They graciously let me borrow their macbook so I could get that accomplished. Thanks guys. I hit up the press meeting around 12:30 and took the extra time to upload my content to Holly. It was only Saturday morning and I had already taken over 2000 photos and a ton of video.
I found out later in the day that Amy went and caught Gaelic Storm; she let me know they were a very interesting act. While doing research I learned that this is the same band that is featured in the Titantic steerage party scene. In addition to coving Paul Simon’s Cecilia they combined elements of traditional Irish/Celtic music with elements of rock, pop, and world I will definitely have to catch them next time they come to Colorado.
I ended up hanging out with the CITs for a few minutes before heading over to the Field Day activities going on at the 312 Vibe Tent. Red Team was definitely in attendance. I met up with my Purple brethren that included Chief, Will, and our captain Mike among others. I will say that purple was a small presence and I was not too happy about that. Obviously events were spread out through the day and some logistical issues caused some of the competitons to be rescheduled, but overall I was very impressed with this element of Summer Camp and how it was run. It was a fun distraction from the festival and a good way to get a little exercise. I arrived as they were getting set for Capture The Flag. They were a man short so I jumped in, I was tagged out in the first round but Purple won and moved onto the finals. We faced the Red Team but by trying to out maneuver and patiently wait for our spot we forced a sudden death. Will grabbed the flag and ran it over the line for the win. It was literally a millisecond before the Red player, but it was enough for the victory. I got set for tug-o-war next. I was the anchor but having lost a few pounds I guess I was not the giant stone that I once was. We were simply shredded by the Yellow team. It was a good time and with a record of 1-1 for the Field Day I made my way over to Euforquestra’s set.
Heis, Euforquestra’s manager and long time Summer Camp coordinator and I conspired to have me introduce the boys from Iowa for their 3rd time playing the festival. You can see that video here.
It was definitely cool but not nearly as intimidating as giving the intro for moe. the day prior. As the video points out I have a little biased towards Euforquestra having been in school at U of I while they were there as well. I was just lucky enough that the band decided to make a move to Colorado so I get to see them a ton and it’s always a great show. Within the last couple years they have revamped their rhythm section moving Grasso to drums and putting Ben Soltau on bass. It took them a second but they are playing so tight now it’s disgusting. They are a great foundation on which the rest of the band blends blues, reggae, funk, Afro-Cuban, and world music. They opened with a sick Cause A Reaction as soon as I finished my introduction. A massive version the Zalatel penned Free into their now classic ode to grandma’s cooking; Soup. Throw in a little Talking Heads and we have a pretty great set of music. Thanks Euforquesta.
I walked by Wiz Khalifa on my way to Slightly Stoopid. The kids seemed be having fun but I was looking for a different brand of hip-hop infused goodness. I have listened to a number of Stoopid recordings and just never really got it, well I have to say that SS is best ingested in a live setting. They have a serious ability to interact with the crowd and as the sun poked out for minute I got a chance to see them shine. It was a bouncy set with elements of punk, hip-hop, and straight rock. You can see a recording I did of Baby I Like It, here.
After Slightly Stoopid we walked towards Girl Talk and noticed a ton of people on stage and what looked like rolls of toilet paper spewing into the photo pit and onto the crowd. I headed to the camp and listened from there. We went back to the Moonshine Stage for Kdubalicious featuring Keller Williams.
Keller is a Summer Camp veteran if there ever was one. Having performed at 9 out of the 11 total, for me he will always be indelibly linked to this Midwest festival. This year was special in the sense that he was playing with his newly formed band Kdubalicions with Keller on bass, Jay Starling on keyboards, and Mark D on drums. I thought it was interesting to have Keller on bass which added an almost lounge-y feel so some of his classic songs. From the Feel Like a Stranger Kdubalicion played with Al to the Tell Me Something Good with Chuck Garvey, they began to feel more like a house band with rotating guitarists than their own entity. You can see the video I caught of Freeker into Golden Road into Freeker here.
I found the funky reggae-infused stylings of Kdubalicious to be exactly what my Saturday evening needed. I ended at the top of the hill between Keller and Umphrey’s watching for them to take the stage.
On the docket was a double-decker moe. and Umprhey’s sandwich that I was ready to take a big bite out of. Umphrey’s came out with Jazz Odyssey and given the fact that they kept going back into it throughout the entire weekend it almost felt like their theme song at Summer Camp 2011. That Jazz Odyssey really tied the room together did it not? … I digress. Here is the setlist from Phantasy Tour.
SET I: Jazz Odyssey> 40’s Theme, Conduit> Jimmy Stewart> Conduit, Divisions, Go To Hell, Puppet String*, JaJunk
SET II: Jazz Odyssey> Bridgeless> No Comment> Bridgeless, Forks*, Plunger> Glory> Hajimemashite> Plunger, Hurt Bird
ENCORE: Booth Love**, Live and Let Die***
*First Time Played (Original)
**with Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns
***First Time Played (Paul McCartney & Wings)
You can hear the audience recording from Archive.
Thanks to tonedeaf for the post.
The two sets Umprhey’s McGee played on Saturday night were high water marks for the weekend. The musicianship of these guys never ceases to amaze me. They are perhaps the most technically proficient jamband touring today. They can stop on a dime and pick it up and put it in the meter. Jake got gritty on 40’s Theme and a busted Conduit with Jimmy Stewart in the middle was my highlight of the first set. Divisions was just too big, clocking in at over twenty minutes and Bayliss’s prog was showing. It’s songs like Go To Hell when I feel that the Death Metal moniker for UM is appropriate. I mean sure it’s laced with delicate playing as well but that song gets scary. You can see what Kris Myers had to say about that question here.
I was just getting used to the Flip so it’s a little shaky but the questions are still good. Moving on.
So as not to confuse subjects I will stick to my UM review then get to moe. Second set on from UM on Saturday was just exceptional. Once again Jazz Odyssey reared its head to open but went for an extended journey through Bridgeless to Not Comment and back into Bridgeless again. Showing their musical dexterity in that run the No Comment was just plain sick. Forks was a new song and it was okay, I feel like this song needs some more road testing before it really will blow the crowd away. The Plunger bookended Glory into Hajimemashite was the peak of the show as far as I’m concerned. Hurt Bird closed the second set nicely.
They encored with an unbelievable Booth Love featuring Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns and the brass meshed with this song incredibly well. They rounded out their show with a cover of Paul McCartney & Wings’ Live And Let Die. This just was a giant punctuation mark to the night. I was totally happy with how UM handled their second night at Summer Camp. Well played gentlemen.
Rewinding to moe. The first set of on Saturday was my second of three onstage sets. So I got to watch from the side of the stage with the rest of the moe.ron elite. The boys came out and gently eased everyone in by opening with Wind It Up. I thought that was an appropriate opener, here is the rest of the setlist from PT.
SET I: Wind It Up, Tubing The River Styx> The Pit, Understand, Smoke*, Sensory Deprivation Bank, Waiting For The Punchline> Haze
SET II: Crab Eyes**, Buster, Skrunk> Lazarus> McBain> Recreation Chemistry
You can download the audience recording on Archive.
Thanks to Bean again, for posting.
The Pit was huge with a solid extended jam to begin with, and Understand was pretty straight. You can watch it from the stage and synced up the audience recording here.
Smoke was a new song debuted at Summer Camp and I have to say I liked it quite a bit. It has a carnival-inspired springiness, but the juxtaposition of the referentially serious lyrics with the music is pretty powerful. Nice work Al. Sensory Deprivation was my highlight of set one mainly because of Rob’s funky bass. They finished up with Punchline into Haze, which pumped up the crowd before they exited.
For their second set all five members of moe. came back onstage to small music stands and stood at the front . I was baffled as to what was happening but when the first notes of Crab Eyes floated out over the crowd it was obvious that moe. was making a statement. I like to think it’s a little nod to the other electronic acts almost as if to say, “See we can play on computers too.” The most eye-opening aspect of this is that on the recording other than a few slower transitions the Crab Eyes is spot on. They went into a fantastic Buster that lasted almost 15 minutes. I love this song and every time I hear “Pig Can Fly” I smile. The Skrunk> Lazarus> McBain> Recreation Chemistry section is the reason I see moe. It was jaw-dropping; I caught the beginning of that run on video from the crowd, which you can watch here.
That Lazarus was sublime but the Rec Chem was absolutely enormous. moe. came back to encore with a crowd-rumbling Captain America. Great choice and I remember the two brahs behind me arguing whether the encore would be Plane Crash or Captain America. Brah number one was correct.
After catching moe. late night in the barn on Friday I was pretty sleepy so I handed off my pass to CIT Jeff Greenswag, who went in to see Big Gigantic and Lotus at the Red Barn. Keep on eye on his posts for some detailed electronic coverage. I watched a bit of Cornmeal on the Campfire Stage before heading back down the trail to my tent. I had one more day as the first ever Summer Camp Counselor and Sunday would prove to be a non-stop adventure. Stay tuned.
You can see all of my photos from Saturday at Summer Camp here.
Friday ended up being a very late night – I mean any night that has bluegrass ‘til 3 am is probably gonna be a late night for me. Anyway, it took some work to get off the mattress and into the world that is Summer Camp. So after eating something a few friends and I headed out to see my hometown heroes, Rebirth Brass Band. And like always, I enjoyed the hell out of it. They are truly marching band virtuosos who have created and improvised blend of funk, jazz, and marching tunes that’ll make your ass move. I’ve seen Rebirth quite a few times and they never cease to impress me, if you make it down to New Orleans you should swing on by the Maple Leaf Bar, they play there once a week. So basically, I love Rebirth. And even with that deep love of rebirth I really wanted to catch the end of Family Groove Company and get over to field day.
One of the most ridiculously funny and disgusting moments of my life happened soon after I arrived. I checked in as a pie eating competitor. In high school I had won a few eating competitions and I thought that this was something that I could definitely help the red team, “RED TEAM RAGE!” win. I was desperately wrong. The pies were not really cooked and so the mix of cold pie filling with uncooked dough was barely palatable. It was so gross. And while my friend Matt screamed encouraging words, such as “Dive your whole face into it, you fat-ass,” it was not a competition I could win. It was awful. But I would do it again for the Red!
Now that afternoon passed by with a fun set by Wiz Khalifa, not my favorite thing, but it was fun. And then we went to Girl Talk. Now I’m not a huge fan of electronic music, but I have a confession. I have a terrible guilty pleasure – pop music. I love it. And I think a lot of us do – we hear the beats from “My Pony” by Ginuwine, and you just can’t help it. And then Kelly Clarkson blows up the scene. Yes, it’s a guilty pleasure, but Girl Talk is surely a member of the boogey patrol, and throws one hell of a fine party.
That evening we caught both sets of moe. which were just amazing. They played Recreational Chemistry and just set the place on fire. One of the really fun moments we had was during setbreak. We were restless but didn’t really want to have to move our chairs and bags, so we stayed. And we began to play four square. My friend Allie made the borders out of trash on the ground and we began an epic game of four square. Strangers became friends as people pummeled the ball into corners hoping for their chance of glory. While it was unorganized, confusing, and I’m sure at times annoying – God, I love four square. During the second set of moe., I kissed everyone I knew, and a lot of people I didn’t.
And that kissing continued right on through Big Gigantic and Cornmeal. I love the campfire stage. It’s just a magical place at night. I’m so happy it’s at the bottom of the hill and that the fire’s off to the side now. It’s just the best place to end the night. Dance in the barn ‘til you can’t move anymore and then come boogey to some homey bluegrass til the wee hours of the morn. It was awesome.
Counselor In Training
You must sleep in the forest, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Every year that I have gone to Summer Camp I’ve somehow managed to have a camping spot in the woods (mostly I have awesome friends). Anyway if you sleep in the forest there is abundant shade and it stays cool and you can sleep in as late as you need to, and that is just what I did.
I made my home in an Insta-Clip that my friends brought with them. It was where we stored our food as well as where I slept. So I woke up to eggs being cooked right next to me. This was perfect. I move slowly in the morning (let’s be honest, I always move pretty slow) and so I didn’t make it out of the campsite until moe.’s first set. And they played my favorite song, St. Augustine. God, I love that song, just makes me feel good about the world.
After moe. my peoples and I went to the 312 tent to participate in field day and get our red bandanas. One of our teammates had made shirts and so I think me and my friends bought about 20 of them and stayed together throughout most of the day. So if you heard people screaming “Red Team Rage!” Well, that was our fault. And we would unapologetically do it again. Overall Field Day was a success and was a good time. There are a lot of kinks to be worked out, but it was fun as hell, especially if you’re rolling with a really competitive group of people who love yelling.
We made it to De La Soul that afternoon and I can now say that I’m really not a big fan of hip-hop, I keep trying though. There was a lot of energy and we had a good time – I think I just don’t like hip-hop much, so sue me. Anyway, my buddy Max had a Pee-Wee Herman doll on a stick and it made quite the impression on the De La Soul crew, Red Team had raged once again.
We then ate some CeVapCiCi, which you should have also done. They made
beef-lamb-pork sausages, put it in a pita, covered it onions and you added a red-pepper eggplant sauce. It was seriously amazing. And the people were kick-ass as well. So here’s to you CeVapCiCi Man, I love you.
We caught Yonder, and 7 Walkers, which were both amazing, but the show that blew me away was Greensky Bluegrass – they were awesome. I’d never really listened to them before, despite having been to festivals where they had played and they really just rocked the house, or amphitheatre, or hill by the barn… whatever. And you know what, they also got down with Pee-Wee, making Pee-Wee on a stick the word of the day. And they shared with us some of their wisdom, “The first year you come to Summer Camp, you’re like an owl pellet. And the second year you’re like a chipmunk, some of you out there are like badgers…” Thank you Greensky Bluegrass – this badger is going to bed.
Counselor In Training
So for future reference, maybe only for myself, don’t get there at 3 am on Thursday morning during a rainstorm and expect everything to go perfectly. The rain kind of sucked and getting stuck in the mud didn’t make for a really happy crew, but we got three hours of sleep in the car and then our Summer Camp journey really began.
I came with a big crew, about eight cars deep and only a few of us were V.I.P. Let me tell you, if you can be V.I.P., do it. While the line didn’t open ‘til noon, it was a much shorter line. Once through the line my friends and I ran into the forest trying to find a good spot for all of our friends. Even getting up the tents and easy-ups we had really gave me a sense that we were settled. While we all had to make a couple more trips to our vehicles to get settled, ultimately we were there. We had our spot, and the raging could begin. Well really we were all really tired from getting there so early and carrying everything in, so instead the napping could begin. We all tried to get a little rest and then, for serious, the raging could begin.
The first show we caught was the Ragbirds and let me tell you, it was awesome. The Ragbirds, led by the delightful Erin Zindle can always put on a show. It took a little while for the sound to get tweaked, but other than that the music was great. It seemed like everyone at that show was boogeyin’ during Shake Shake Shake, Senora.
After the Ragbirds we headed back on “home” and grilled up some dogs. We then headed over to Family Groove Company and we continued to boogey as they closed with Every Time You Shake It. After that we just waited around for Cornmeal to come on stage. And they played a hell of an opening set. The crowd seemed ready to dance and dance they did. While it was a crowded show it was a wonderful opening to Summer Camp, I felt I was finally there as I heard Cornmeal play “Edge of the World.” And y’know after that I went to bed. I know, I know, it’s early and there was so much
more to do, but I’m old and there was three more days to rage. And rage we did.
Counselor In Training
Saturday was a little rainy…I geared up to prevent getting wet physically, although I was in for a day of getting wet mentally, and I didn’t even know it. Things started out for me at the Camping Stage. Savvy was putting forth their brand of Strange Funk which kept me dancing in the early hours of the day. On the way to the daily CIT meeting I stopped to see Truth & Salvage, Co. Personally, I think it is a shame that bands like this aren’t more popular. Great southern rock, almost a honky tonk vibe. With 2 players on keys there was a lot of sound coming from that stage, but it translated into some great songs that I was happy to get a chance to catch.
Right after some nice music to start the day I stopped by the 312 Vibes tent for some Field Day Ping Pong. I got to play a couple games and it was so much fun. I don’t know about you but I love ping pong. I learned everything I know about it from Espn 2 at 4am and Wikipedia but it sure is fun to play. I think now that people have an idea of what Field Day is going to be about we will see some increased participation next year. Also, based on the farmer’s almanac, we should have about 3 or 4 years straight without torrential down pours muddying up the fest. This should make it possible to play some more games and get some more people involved. If you didn’t get a chance to play this year, make sure you check it out next year.
The rest of my afternoon was pretty relaxing. Chilled in the wolf den, had some drinks, played some guitar, great afternoon in the trees. We got geared up and set for the night and made our way out to see some Girl Talk. What a bevy on stage, huh? You got to love seeing a bunch of girls shakin’ what their mommas gave em…thanks Girl Talk, if that is your real name. The music was pretty good to. Mashups of oldschool and newschool kept me and my crew dancing throughout the set. Honestly though, we were all just there to see the next band on the stage.
Umphrey’s McGee…If I haven’t explained it enough then you just won’t get it…these guys are the best. All in all these two sets really did it for me. Highlights included the opening 40s Theme, and Conduit, we got a debut of “Puppet Strings” a kind of floaty tune with lots of textures in the beginning that turns into a pretty hard charging rock tune. I really like the tapping riffs Stasik was employing to open up the bass line. Second set I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed the plunger haji glory, super epic, but for me, what took the cake was the cover of Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney, with horns. So much energy. A song with great juxtaposition of feelings, a love ballad, proggy guitar riffs, and reggae grooves, that is one you should definitely download. Between and after the UM sets we caught Moe. Always a treat. Great light show this year, and spirited performances. They looked a lot cooler than last year in the blazing sun and their suits.
The highlight of the night, however, was yet to come. With an hour or so to kill we headed to the VIP tent. By this time we had busted out or laser swords and were intensely battling near the DJ table. Shortly after we arrived, several buckets of ice and beer were brought out into the tent. Yes, that’s right…if you are wondering where the beer taken from you goes, well, some of it ended up inside of me…Get a VIP pass and party in the tent on your own beer! Anyway, most of my crew had a wristband for Big Gigantic in the barn so we headed over there after the VIP Tent. I was blown away. There was so much power and energy coming from the stage that I almost couldn’t contain myself. With great beats and drumming the saxophone over the top was so full and rich it was like the music was coating my insides with rainbows. Sorry, that was a little outlandish, but you catch my drift. If you ever get the opportunity to see Big Gigantic, especially in an intimate setting like the red barn, do not miss your opportunity. After Big Gigantic we headed back to the 312 Vibes tent for Mimosa. To say the least, it was dance party of monstrous proportions. The sun would soon come up and send me back to my site. Thank god for ear plugs. I’d sleep like a baby.
Counselor In Training