The Werks have played their fair share of sets at Summer Camp. However this was my first time catching them live. So I hustled down to see them in Old Town. Howerver arriving at 9:30 PM meant that by the time I grabbed my first beer, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were exiting stage left. What I heard sounded like a promising blend of electronic, funk, and jam. Forming in 2009 and averaging over a hundred shows a year this four piece has a lot of potential. In fact all three bands on the bill were four man outfits that have developed their own brand of improvised composition. Some have pontificated that we are in a post jam era where the music has become split by genre and focus. However when I witness performances like what I saw from both Twiddle and The Werks, my faith is jam is somewhat restored.
Now Twiddle has not performed at Summer Camp, but they would be a fine additon to next year’s lineup. The band came on after a short set break and kept the night moving smoothly. It was homecoming weekend at Colorado State and there was an abundance of youth in attendance. It seemed like Twiddle had gained a few fans from their performance at Arise Music & Arts Festival in Loveland, CO mid August. They are an impressive unit who finally seems to really be branching out beyond their Vermont roots. Much of the basis of their music comes from the school that Phish built. Beyond that they have a drive and musical prowess that absolutely makes an impact. Deep intrepid jams highlighted this set that culminated with a huge psychedelic style trance jam. As this is just my second time seeing them I am still unfamiliar with their songs. What I can say is that Twiddle can play, and they have a genuine enthusiasm about performing together. Their set at the Aggie seemed to end far too quickly.
Again after a short set change The Werks emerged for their extended headlining slot. They opened with “O.G.”
Set 1: O.G., Heading South, Light, BG, Duck Farm, Hard To Find, Moetry, G Funk, 2001> No Diggity> 2001
Encore: Killing In The Name Of
I’m unsure how many can relate but at times with different bands no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to make seeing them life happen. The Werks has been one of those bands for me. I have listened to their recordings for a number of years but despite my best efforts failed to see them play live. That is until now. The Werks began performing together in 2004 and released their first album in 2007. Since then they have been touring across the country with several stops at top festivals like All Good and Wakarusa. They currently host their own yearly event called The Werk Out Music Festival. Their show at the Aggie much like their opener Twiddle was first-rate.
They started the show by delving into a wide variety of their catalog. Slicing through musical styles like instrumental ninjas The Werks demonstrated why they are so revered. Songs like “Duck Farm” and “Moetry” punctuated a fantastic set of songs. . They closed with their version of Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” split by a bridge in the form of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” The crowd went absolutely nuts. However The Werks came back to the stage to drop an even heavier encore. They covered Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of.” Stoic keyboardist Norman Dimitrouleas took the microphone for this spot on rendition that left fans mesmerized. I have to say it was a fun night out. With a bill that consisted of names like The Werks and Twiddle it would be easy to overlook this Friday night but that would have been a mistake. One I’m thankful I didn’t make. Both of these bands deserver your attention, so take a deeper look. Apparently in some corners of the country jam is alive and well.
And it begins!!
I just got done announcing moe. a few hours ago…it was amazing! After being here for so many years, getting the opportunity to meet THE band of Summer Camp was a dream come true. I was SO nervous but I didn’t trip or anything and it was so much fun. Everyone from the band was so chill and awesome! It was so hilarioius to have Rob and Vinnie tell me not to be nervous – they’ve only done it a million times =)
So last night was definitely a great start to the weekend. As expected all the groups delivered. Digital Tape Machine played a great set; as did Cornmeal. They’re set had a more of a rock feel and I especially loved it when they performed the Ted Nugent cover “Stranglehold,” it was bad ass. Trichrome brought the camp area to life out at the camping stage, a great one for an intimate, up-close show. They have an upbeat rock sound an The Werks hit the Redbarn hard and and jammed solid until the early morning. Infamous Stringdusters kept the night going with their great sound, a rockin’, bluegrass style.
I am getting ready to go check out the music for today. Tomorrow I cant wait to catch Gov’t Mule, Gigantic Underground Conspiracy, moe., and Umphrey’s McGee. This weekend is only going to keep betting better and it’s only Friday.
And there we were, pulling up to the festival, beautiful faces, beautiful weather, getting ready to just take it all in. This is my first fest and I am absolutely shocked by the energy here. I had no expectations other than good music and good music is what we got!!! We also got some damn good food too!!! Go check the Cresent Sensations right in the middle of the main vending area. Got in at about 3 and the first show we hit was Elephant Revival, and I tell you what, that chick playing the washboard was totally groovin! I recommend that you guys check them out, they’re kind of have a new age upbeat folk sound. They were playing just at the sun was going down and if you weren’t there on Thursday, the sunset was absolutely beautiful. Next up was Trichome and if they can’t get you to get your funk on I don’t know who will. They had a sax player that ripped it up, lots of energy and big sound. From what I hear Cornmeal is where the rage begins and they kicked it off like no other. I have never heard anyone play the violin with so much passion like she did. Next two bands we hit were The Werks and Future Rock. The Red Barn shows are amazing, I highly recommend that you guys go and buy at least one late night Red Barn ticket. Its a good time that you really don’t want to miss out on.
Lets see what Friday has to offer!
So today my Summer Camp weekend has started and it’s been a whirlwind of activity. We picked out a great location and are still working to make it our home away from home for the weekend. It is so exciting to see the energy building up and people getting ready. It’s been windy but I am so excited that we are going to have a sunny weekend; after last year’s monsoon I was hoping this year would be bright and warm.
There is so much to look forward to and it’s crazy to think that this weekend will be over as soon as it began. As always, this year’s pre-party is being kicked off with some awesome bands, some of which I will be checking out for the first time but have heard great things about. Trichrome looks like a great collection of sounds that is sure to entertain. The Werks are playing in the barn tonight and I heard they can definitely rock the house.
Of the bands I have seen before I cannot wait to check out Digital Tape Machine and Cornmeal. Both groups always deliver with fresh sets and great jams. I can’t wait to get my hoop out and dance the night away!
Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day; I start it off by announcing moe.‘s first set…can we say nervous? I cannot wait to get back there and meet the band…after so many years of watching them from afar this is going to be the most amazing experience to be right there only feet away. Apart from that insanity I can’t wait to catch some of the amazing shows that will be playing tomorrow. Leftover Salmon is a great band from Colorado who are actually making a movie; check out their website and take a peak – it’s bound to be a great flick for all music lovers. I am dying to Kinetix; they have some awesome tunes and I can’t wait to catch them live. Lastly I have heard great things about Gogol Bordello; it’s supposed to be a crazy show.
Thursday “pre-party” sets at Summer Camp Music Festival have always, in my opinion, produced some of my favorite sets of the entire festival. Last night was no disappointment. After we got camp situated we hit the shows almost right away.
The set that popped my Summer Camp cherry this year was Spread hailing from Carbondale, IL. They have been a staple at the festival the last three years after winning the Summer Camp battle of the bands competition. They came out in full force playing some of their originals like “Chocolatte Magna Cum Latte” and even busting out a song made famous by the Grateful Dead, “Corrina, Corrina.” The will be playing numerous festivals in the midwest this summer, and often play in both Carbondale and Chicago.
The next set I caught after a brief break at my campsite to re-hydrate was Family Groove Company. As always they brought the party. Let me just confess I LOVE Family Groove Company! I don’t think there is a band that exist that is more fun to watch than Family Groove. You can feel the energy that is flowing through the band not only by the music coming from them but by the smiles on their faces! They killed it as always playing many of their best numbers including a personal favorite of mine “Professionals Here.” The intensity level kicked it up to 11 when Allie Kral of Cornmeal stepped out to play a few including “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John. I also got to check out the show with fellow Family Groove fanatic and CIT Dave Weckstein. The set ended with one of Janis Wallin’s infamous stage jumps.
As I was leaving FGC I was drawn in to the 312 Vibe Tent once again by some of the funkiest bass I have heard in a while. Spare Parts was bringing the jazz-funk to Summer Camp, they are a band to I hate to say I am not that familiar with but see that changing now. I was blown away by there sound. I am from Chicago and will be seeing them there ASAP as they frequent the local live music bars.
Digital Tape Machine was the next to play. I am a huge Umphrey’sfan and I love their side projects as well. They are self described as video game music, and I think they are selling their selves short. Their music is video game inspired, but is so much more than the typical 8-bit electronica band you have heard.
Cornmeal took the stage after dark and played an amazing set. The love for bluegrass music is alive and well here at Summer Camp. Cornmeal has been a staple here for years and the fans love them. Everyone in the crowd was on their feet dancing the whole show.
On the way to the Red Barn we caught a song from Floodwood just as they were bringing up Allie Kral from Cornmeal. It seems like everyone wants to play with Allie! She always brings the extra energy to the show!
The Werks was the last band I saw last night in the Red Barn. I really enjoyed the music they were playing. Again, this is a band I am not the most familiar with but am soon to become a super fan. I also was able to meet another summer camper with a chicken obsession, only they had their chicken strapped to their totem.
What has also made my Summer Camp extra special so far is all the Love I am receiving from you guys! I wear the Chickenhat to meet new people and have fun. If you see me out at the festival come and say hi, take a picture, give me gifts, whatever you feel like. You all are amazing and I love ya’ll!
Happy Summer Camp!