The beginning of the first day at Summer Camp is always nerve racking but extremely exciting at the same time. It’s mostly because if you’re the first at your camping spot, you’re spending most of your day waiting for your friends to get there while you reserve their tent spaces before your neighbors invade their future spots. This year, I camped in the exact same spot as last year which was on the Moonshine tree line. The first friend to show up was our friend Laura from Wisconsin who was one of our neighbors who we met last year. I was so surprised to see her since it had been a year and I didn’t know when she would be arriving to the spot! This year she brought along her friends Mindy and Ronnie from Minnesota. Here’s a pic below of Laura, Mindy and I at our camp.
The rest of the time I waited for the rest of my STL friends and then helped them get set up. Once we were finally set up and had dinner, we headed out to some shows. We hit up Digital Tape Machine and DJ SOLO. Then I chugged a coffee so I could make it to one of my favorite band’s late set at the campfire stage, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band! It was a foot stompin’ blues-rockin’ good ‘ol time! The played several great songs such as “Clap Your Hands”, “Sure Feels Like Rain”, and “Mama’s Fried Potatoes”. It was amazing! I was so beat afterwards that as soon as we got to our camp, I passed out. I had to make sure I would make it somehow to their second set in 7 hours!
Here’s some pic from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Whoa! Thursday truly was a pre-party rager. Getting into Summer Camp was very smooth and everyone was clearly ready to party since the moment their cars entered the grounds. There was a nice mist flowing in when I first arrived in line, and it felt super refreshing and actually got me really pumped up! Every time the sun started peaking, everyone in line started getting rowdy.
My crew set up camp really fast in an awesome spot in the woods, and I was eager to go see some music with some awesome friends! I was able to catch a glimpse of Cosby Sweater on the Campfire stage and they killed it. My main goal Thursday night was to see Cornmeal since it would be my last time to see Allie play on stage and they killed it! Looking around, everyone in the whole crowd was dancing away with nothing but smiles. I was very happy that I was able to see them as that line up one last time. Right when Cornmeal ended, I wondered into the Vibe Tent and caught Positive Vibra8tions, and they killed it. I love being able to catch artists I have never heard of before, and even more so when they kill it!
Digital Tape Machine was up next and they are another act I have been waiting to see for a long time and they truly were awesome. Their set kept evolving and by the end it kept me wanting more. They really got the crowd pumped up for the weekend to come! This is the reason I love music festivals, and especially Summer Camp! You just keep going back and forth between awesome music and the stages are just minutes walk.
I went into the Red Barn at 11 to check it out in there and it was for sure a party. Minnesota killed it! He really had everyone going crazy in there, it was a rager. I love UV Hippo and was so pumped to catch them. The first time I saw them, I was hooked. They really kill it in the festival scene, and was so pumped to see them rage the Vibe Tent.
It was time for bed after that. It was an awesome first day of Summer Camp and I’m so excited for the awesome music to come. Friday is going to be a blast, announcing Moe and the awesome music to come. I’m really looking forward to Yonder, STS9, and Big Gigantic to name a few.
2013 Summer Camp Counselor
Well here I am again in beautiful Chillicothe, IL.
After 9 years of coming to Summer Camp, Three Sisters Park definitely feels like home. This year I have about 30 people in my crew, I’ve been friends with many of these people since High School, most have been to Summer Camp over 5 times and we even have a handful of Summer Camp virgins. The beauty of Summer Camp is we can act ridiculous without having to think about grown up problems back at home, it’s like being a kid again.
Needless to say, setting up our campsite is quite a task when you have so many people. Luckily, this isn’t my first Summer Camp. I am practically a pro at planning and organizing the dopest campsites and this year was no exception. I was able to choose the most perfect spot right off the path in the woods. Part of being a CIT allows me to enter the camp grounds early on Wednesday to scope out the scene and plan the best spot to call home for the weekend.
Once my crew was able to meet up with me and all the essentials were up, we were finally able to crack open a beer and head to our first show of the weekend… Umphrey’s soundcheck It was awesome to see over a hundred people to show up just for a soundcheck!
After meeting all the rest of the CIT’s I headed on over the VIP tent for the 312 Welcoming party. This was a great opportunity to kick back on some recliners and watch a little bit of the Hawks game, which they projected on the ceiling of the tent. I concluded at this time that this might be the most baller spot to hang out at camp.
On our way back to the Starshine stage to catch Cornmeal a very friendly gentleman gave us a ride on his mustache mobile.
Cornmeal was something special. Tons of people were at this set to see one of their favorite bands play one of their last shows with their current lineup. I met some wonderful fans that shared some mixed emotions about seeing these last shows with Allie Krall. I met a wonderful woman named Audrey who wanted to be the official Summer Camp Mom. She definitely has my vote!
Yesterday’s pre-party had a variety pack of music that got me really pumped for the rest of the weekend. My favorite part about the pre-party is the local Midwest flavor that breaks in our dancing shoes and helps us practice our dance moves.
Thursday’s pre-party provided the perfect opportunity to loosen my bones and get my dance moves down pat. It was a long, grueling afternoon, hauling all of our gear from the lot to our campsite, but well worth it. Our site is perfect, we have excellent neighbors and we even got to catch some amazing music. And that was just the pre-party!
Summer Camp 2013 has FINALLY arrived and the Thursday party was a blast. It really set the stage for the rest of the festival…this year is set to be the best one yet! In terms of music, I finally was able to catch Digital Tape Machine. They put on a great show, as is expected from such a talented union of musicians. DTM consists of Kris Myers, Joel Cummins, Joe Hettinga, David Arredondo, Marcus Rezak, and Dan Rucinski; members from multiple Chicago groups including Umphrey’s McGee, Strange Arrangement, Liquid Soul, Land of Atlantis, and the Hue. The sound is a blend of electronica, jam and rock with a great variety to the style of their individual songs.
DJ Solo rocked out the vibe tent with sub dub steppy techno jams. I saw him for the first time at Universal Rhythm Assembly at the Peoria Riverfront two years ago. He caught my attention with his rendition of the Farmers Insurance slogan, “We are Farmers” and since then I have been a huge fan. Then I was able to catch Sun Stereo, a Summer Camp veteran that keeps bringing their talents center stage. This year they changed up their sound and really rocked it out. Veering from their more mellow sounds they bumped it up and even had a little dub stereo come through. They finished their show strong with a classic – Talking Heads “Burning Down the House.”
Some of the other things that are making this Summer Camp truly epic are the newly installed carnival rides. Yes you read correctly. If the music isn’t enough now you can really get your head spinning on some of their festival rides. Also there are significant layout changes with nice wooden fences around VIP. Clear paths and greater camping areas are making navigating Three Sisters Park a breeze. In addition, the paths have gotten much more colorful and bright with an amped up array of LED butterflies and designs all over. Yesterday was so great…can’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend has in store.
I can honestly credit Summer Camp Music Festival with my coming of age as a music journalist. They have truly embraced my work and given me countless opportunities to hone my craft. So the trip back to Chillicothe this year was like a big homecoming for me. Amy and I flew into Chicago Wednesday afternoon and spent the evening eating Nigerian food and relaxing with friends before the making the trek down south. We got caught in traffic but eventually made our way into the loving arms of Three Sisters Park around 12:30 PM. We parked in VIP and were immediately attended to by the staff. I have to say the festival really stepped up their game with the VIP treatment this year. We were taken by golf cart down to the box office to get our passes and even got a ride to our campsite with all of our camping gear. It was a nice start to the weekend. Winds whipped through the grounds as we got our tent set up. I made my way up to the Church, which was home base for all of the counselors as well as press. Holly was there and she gave me my press pass and I was set for the weekend. I went back and collected Amy as we were both ready to catch some early afternoon jams.
The Thursday Pre-Party has morphed into an all out extravaganza with some not-to-be-missed concerts. It really sets the tone for the entire weekend and for any future Summer Camp attendees I would highly recommend it as an integral part of the overall experience. The entire layout of Summer Camp just felt bigger this year. Expanded stages and the movement of the Sunshine Stage pushed this fest into the major category in both execution and feel. The lineup was just packed and I would argue that it was the best assemblage of music for the entire summer festival season. We found ourselves at Caravan of Thieves at the Camping Stage. A prefect blend of gypsy and jam, this folk flavored ensemble brought an intense energy to their performance. The highlight of their set was a swing mash up of “I Will Survive” and “Staying Alive.” Their sound could easily be from the era of Django Reinhardt, but their take on the style is absolutely current. Caravan of Thieves was a bouncy and fun way to get the musical juices flowing at Summer Camp 2012.
We headed back to camp and on the way caught the end of moe.’s sound check at The Moonshine stage. We were greeted with a solid version of “Haze,” but it only succeeded in wetting our appetites for a weekend with one of my favorite bands. We stopped by the VIP bar and noticed that they were equipped with a much better stage than last year, leading us to believe that there would be some impromptu performances. We were not disappointed. We headed back to the Starshine Stage for some good ol’ Family Groove Company.
SET I: Trying to Live Up> Time To Tell Me, She Might Get Warm, Professionals Here, Byron’s Got The Time, Bennie and the Jets*> West Egg Party*, Falling Off The Fence
*w/ Allie Kral on Fiddle
Family Groove Company has become another one of those Chicago bands that are a big part of the Summer Camp Family. They are always going to be there and their Thursday set was most definitely well attended. Janis Wallin drives the bus leading her band into a roundhouse kick of jam straight to the face of all those in the crowd. Musically they were incredibly tight, and I honestly believe that if they toured a bit more they could really draw a national fan base. As it stands they are one of Chicago’s tastiest treats. Obviously the highlight of the set was the Allie sit-in on the Elton John cover into FGC’s “West Egg Party,” which featured some intrepid key work from Jordan Willow. It was the first sit in we saw but it would not be the last by a long shot.
We quickly headed over to the Camping Stage for Colorado’s own Elephant Revival. Elephant Revival is a very much a part of the Front Range scene and it was nice to see them on the lineup of Summer Camp. Nothing like traveling a thousand miles to see a band you can see on a regular basis around their hometown of Nederland. They are a delicate journey into an acoustic world. For those that have never seen them the first thing that strikes you is their positive energy wafting off the stage. They have an infectious sound that draws you in like a moth to a porch light. Bonnie Paine has a beautiful voice that blends with guitarist Sage Cook’s vocals like a well-concocted smoothie. They were a great way to watch the sun begin to set over the first night of Summer Camp.
After Elephant Revival it was back to Starshine to watch the end of Digital Tape Machine, which is Joel Cummins’ and Kris Myers’ side project with members of Strange Arrangement, Liquid Soul, Land of Atlantis, and Hue. It’s an electronic explosion of video game music and I found it to be both interesting and engaging. As many of my readers know I’m not a huge fan of electronic music, but I found Digital Tape Machine to be very good at blending analog and computer-driven effects. The result was a plinky, Mario Brothers type sound. Thursday has become an opportunity for many of the larger bands on the bill to showcase their other projects. It’s a great way to see what some of my favorite musicians are pursuing on the side.
Now it was time for another Summer Camp stalwart Cornmeal. They have become an integral part of the lineup and for good reason. Watching this band evolve into an amazing jamgrass powerhouse has been a beautiful experience.
SET I: Troubles Gonna Find Me Tonight> Comin’ Back Home Again, Stuck In The Mud, Sun Is Shinning Down, Better Off This Way> Track Six?, Lookin’ At You, Rise About, Run Away and Hide> Stranglehold> Run Away and Hide
This set is available on archive at - http://archive.org/details/cornmeal2012-05-24.mk4_24bit, thanks to tonedeaf for posting.
This was another high-energy bluegrass boogie for the all those in attendance. The song choices contained obvious Summer Camp themes, like sun, mud, and home. Allie just shredded the violin, as she always seems to do, with Kris belting out some powerful vocals throughout the set. As the stage lights flashed over the crowd, who happily bounced to the bluegrass rhythms, it felt good to be back at Summer Camp. The winds died down the night warmed, and I knew we were in for another stellar weekend in the Midwest.
We ended our night with moe. side project Floodwood. They were on my list to see so I was stoked they were on the Camping Stage on Thursday. Al is a helluva guitarist and moe., has recently been doing more acoustic sets as well as an acoustic version of What Happened To The La Las, so it’s great to see Vinnie and Al in a full-blown bluegrass band.
You can listen to this set on Archive - http://archive.org/details/floodwood2012-05-24.mk4_24bit, again thanks to tonedeaf for posting.
Floodwood was a bucket of fun, and the band showed some incredible prowess on the strings. Backed by Vinnie’s potent drumming, they were a breath of fresh air. Thursday seemed to showcase the bluegrass music, which was absolutely fine with me. Rob and Chuck sat in on “Blue Eyed Son.” However it was both Chuck and Jim on the “Waiting For The Punchline” hoedown that was truly a spectacle. They ended their set with a smoking version of “The Hobo Song.” We opted to miss the Stringdusters as it was getting late and I wanted to be fresh for Friday, which would go late given the fact that Ha Ha The Moose was playing until 4:30 AM. So I hiked the trail through the woods and back to my tent for a good nights sleep before the fest began in earnest.
Alright fellow campers, for those of us who have been here over the years, you’ll notice a lot of new stuff this year. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:
- RFID chips in your wristbands - this year we’re high-tech, and you’ll need to get scanned in every time you enter or exit the park (for VIP, every time you enter that section as well). Throughout Thursday, there were some congested lines as the staff were figuring them out… turns out, if your arm is too close to the person next to you, it has trouble reading them. So basically just don’t all shove your wrists together to get scanned. That said, I’ll have to assume this helps crack down on folks sneaking in for free – so, this will help keep out ticket prices down for the fair paying customers. Hooray!
- The great Sunshine / Campsite switch – we knew this one was coming when the map was released, but the relocation of the Sunshine stage is a pretty big move. What I do like about it is the better sense of community when you’re walking from stage to stage. Rather than having campsites way out on the perimeter, more people can be in the heart of the action (even if you didn’t get a prized forest spot). Jury’s still out on what it will be like during shows though… I could see some pretty tough traffic moving from Moe @ Moonshine to Umphrey’s at Sunshine without the straight path through.
- Information Boards! - this has already saved me at least 5 times this camp. As you’re walking through, look for the information boards with a big schedule posted, any workshops and activities (like Field Day), weather and other updates. These are also featuring “Missed Connections” boards (a la Craigslist)… did you catch eyes with a gorgeous hooper this weekend? Share a beer with a studly man and didn’t give your number? Summer Camp Missed Connections has you covered.
- Camping Stage – what seemed in years past as a little tricky to find and a real small set up has legit stage quality this year. The camping stage has moved, they’ve gotten a great setup with a proper viewing area, and even some serious decorations. Check it out!
Finally. The moment has arrived. We are all one in the mad land rush that’s eerily akin to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Chillicothe’s newly established settlers staked their claim as the gates opened on Summer Camp 2012 and a flood of wagons were corralled up hills and down. Wind swept plains and swaying forests made staking that choice spot extremely important. Those who aren’t adept at knot tying need not apply.
Our CIT group met up Wednesday night to try and snag that premium spot along a tree line. Abby, Jason, Marisa, Maria, and myself all finally had a chance to put a face with a name and figure out logistics. For our blogging services Summer Camp graciously provided 2 Deluxe VIP camping passes so we were headed over yonder to throw down tents, then hopefully to the VIP bar around the corner.
After camp was secure and setup Abby, Mo, Me, and our +1′s (Luke, Adam, Liz) all walked the grounds in their purest state. Lightly touched with just the right amount of food vendors, and visual effects it was a treat to see everything before the gates opened. We could see a spectacular light display from Moonshine as last minute sound checks occurred. Shakedown street was rounding into form, and we met some cool hoop vendors near Vibe Tent. Thursday was Marisa’s 24th birthday so they actually gave her a present in the form of a collapsable hoop! Festival spirit alive and well. We turned in for the evening to prepare for a big morning where we’d meet with Camp Director Holly to talk about coverage, press, and our role as a representative of Summer Camp Music Festival.
Thursday started off with a bluster as tents were tossed like shoes in the laundry and poles were snapped leaving canopies looking like abstract art forms. Abby and myself went around with our +1′s and surveyed the changes to the site on our way to the white Church where our meeting would be. Along the way we checked out Appleseed Collective on the Starshine Stage whose old timey swing with just the right amount of indie flavored bluegrass and was the perfect way to kick off some dust and do some foot stomping hoe down action.
We also saw Zeta June passing back from the Camping Stage and I noticed a Familiar shirt adorning the bass player. What would Janis do (WWJD?) indeed.
Holly then took us around on a tour of the grounds on her golf cart and provided us with our complementary case of 312 beer. Now that was a thoughtful way of reminding us to stay hydrated! Dust and vehicles running about made having a bandana a necessity unless one enjoys a mouthful of dirt. We washed off our wookfoot near the Vibe Tent on a inflatable slip and slide and signed up for Field Day games. These exact bandanas are also available at the merch tent.
We stuck around Starshine for our good friends Family Groove Company and to me that was the first highlight of my evening. Summer Camp veterans Adam, Janis, Mattias, and Jordan put on quite a show. Special guest in Cornmeal’s Allie Kral joined the band for an encore cover of “Benny and the Jet’s.” As Chickenhead and I watched with numerous friends I felt a sense of relaxation and understood why people say this festival is different and special. Janis and Allie showed true camaraderie that was just awesome in a musically sense as they dueled as equals on fiddle and bass respectively.
Family Groove Company with Where’s Ronny! Note: Janis pre hair flip in background.
I headed back for a few hours of “work” and a quick bite to eat at the campsite. It was pretty interesting seeing the woods fill. People were hacking away with saws and weed wackers to clear the undergrowth and make room for their tents.
Chickenhead getting accosted by a pink bird of paradise.
Fully charged on a freeze dried meal of lasagna we made a bee-line for the Soulshine Tent for a epic saga that was the Superjam lead by Zmick with members of Old Shoe, Family, Groove Company, Jaik Willis, Strange Arrangement, and Cornmeal. There were two sets the first with Brad Miller (Zmick), Matt Robinson, Paul Priest, and Joe Day (Old Shoe), Janis Wallin and Mattias Blanck (FGC). They opened fittingly with “Soulshine” by Gov’t Mule with Joe Day saving something special up on vocals and keys. Paul Priest got the crowd whipped into a frenzy with Phish’s “Sand” that psychedelically played with the audience and was complimented greatly by the tent lighting. They broke out a super funky “Ragweed Jones” with Janis laying down a mean low end. Cornmeal’s Wavy Dave Burlingame helped bookend the set on banjo sitting in for the Grateful Dead’s “Big River” and “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band.
The second set line up included Jaik Willis, Dan Andree (Henhouse Prowlers), Dan Huber and Paul Priest (Old Shoe), Adam Lewis and Jordan Wilkow (FGC), Joel Hettinga (Strange Arrangement). Jordan took us to a beach in Brazil with a rendition of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Guitar solo’s by Adam Lewis raged past 1:30am with the band playing “Cissy Strut” by The Meters. Jaik sang a lengthy version of “Stir It Up” by Bob Marley and beat boxed scat rapped battle style with Dan Andree on fiddle of Henhouse Prowlers. It was quite fun to see if Jaik’s vocal prowess could match Dan’s lively bowing. Since both are friends I’ll be Switzerland and say it came out equally righteous.
One nice thing that happened during the Superjam was a brief rain shower around 1am. This made the walk back to the campsite much more enjoyable as the dust settled down considerably. Physically exhausted by 3:30am, and with a long weekend ahead of me, I wanted to grab some shut eye to prepare for a full Friday.
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!
The one thing that anyone should know about Summer Camp, is that it really starts on Thursday, not Friday. This year was no exception.
Things kicked off with a pretty insane windstorm. If you were camped in the forest, you probably didn’t feel it, but anyone in open air certainly felt like they were in Twister for a while there. Canopies were toppling over, tents falling to the ground, and dust at an all-time high. But once the music started, who cared?
My day kicked off with Appleseed Collective at the Starshine Stage. For an early set as people were just setting up camp, they really pulled a great and lively crowd. Then I headed to Zeta Zune at the Camping Stage. They were a little more rock than a lot of the jam & bluegrass bands around summer camp, which was a really nice change of pace. They handed out a 6 song sampler that I can’t wait to plug in on the ride home.
We headed back to the campsite for a while to see how our compound (we call it “Camp Jorts”) fared through the wind. Unfortunately, not well – but after putting things back up, we were on our way again! Fist to quickly catch James and the Devil with our new friends from Colorado that are camping nearby. James and the Devil were really great – sort of a rock & jazzy vibe with a sound that faintly makes you think of Sublime… but with a fiddle. Trust me, it works. You know what else works? The three band members that played shirtless – no women in the crowd had a problem with that one; they were adorable.
Finally, we knew that everyone had settled in once Digital Tape Machine started ramping up. DTM is an awesome project combining artists to create original electronic music. I’ve heard that they originally started the group to create music specifically to be picked up for video games, which is pretty cool… you can totally hear that as a possibility. Cornmeal’s set with pretty much flawless, and there’s nothing like a Cornmeal dance party to get you going. The glowsticks were out, the party in full force, and everyone was ready to rage all night.
Moving into Friday, we can’t wait for the rest of the campers to arrive and get the real party going… it’s going to be a long day of back-to-back amazing sets, so keep an eye out for updates! Don’t forget to follow #scmf2012 for updates on Twitter or check out those information boards around the park.
Hola fellow SCampers!!!
As we approach the weekend we have all been anxiously waiting for, I wanted to take a minute and give you guys a better idea of who I am and what I am going to bring to Summer Camp this year. First and foremost I want to introduce you to the people I am coming to SC with; two of the main people who you will see in my vblogs are dear, close friends of mine who actually introduced me to Summer Camp six years ago and have been there with me every year since, Derrick Lawless and Steve Bannister. Two super chill, awesome people who I met in college and am proud to say will be a part of my life for the rest of it. Come Summer Camp 2050 we will be there rockin’ it out like ever before. There are other friends of mine who are coming, Matt Weiler, Brian Buss, Christina Fountain, and Jake Kuykendall, (if you meet anyone of them, buy them a drink!) most of them are also friends from college who share the love for good music and good times.
One of the reasons that Summer Camp is the ULTIMATE most AMAZING festival is the line up. Every year I think to myself “man there’s no way this year’s line up is going to be as killer as last year’s” and every time I am proven wrong. I not only get to see the bands I already love and follow throughout the year; but there are always so many new bands that I fall in love with.
Some of this year the sets that I am looking forward to seeing for the first time are Gigantic Underground Conspiracy; an awesome compilation of artists from several bands who are sure to put on some jams you most certainly don’t want to miss. Tedeschi Trucks Band, I have always wanted to check them out and for some reason or another have never gotten the chance, with that kind of talent I know it’ll be an amazing show. Sun Stereo a sweet local Champaign-Urbana band with a distinct and fresh jazzy-rock feel, check them out in advance on facebook.
The bands that I have seen many a time before but cannot wait to check out are Lotus, went to their Halloween weekend show in Pittsburgh, PA this past year and it was out of this world good, if you haven’t checked them out – seriously it’s a show you don’t want to miss. Eoto is probably one of the bands I enjoy seeing live the most – they NEVER disappoint and manage to keep every show super fresh. Lastly can we say Talking Heads cover band? This Must be the Band is definitely one of those I gotta check out, can I put a request in? Let’s hear the Talking Heads song your band is named after =)
Alright so I have limited space and limited time and there are tons of bands I am dying to check out (like two bands not mentioned above who are among my all time favorite bands and who I get to see every year 3 days in a row ONLY at Summer Camp? that’s right…moe. and Umphrey’s), but I can’t talk about them all. So to let you know more about myself, I grew up on the Beatles, it led the way to harder rock and then jazz, such as Zeppelin and Dave Brubeck, and from there evolved further to include jam and electronic rock. I appreciate all artistry and talent, but I have a soft heart for drummers as I like to pretend I know how to jam on my used Evans drum set. I love Summer Camp for various reasons, but one of the main ones is that it was the first music festival of my life. Music has always had such an influential role in the essence of my being and there is no other festival that I feel as in touch with the tunes I love as SC. This is not your impersonal mob fest, you come to Summer Camp once and you feel like part of an extremely, extremely, large family forever.
On that note, for you first timers let me tell you some of the things I make sure to pack. For all you ladies, TP is a MUST. As glorious an experience as port-a-potties are, most of them run out of toilet paper and the best thing to do is be prepared, bring some and put a few squares (can you spare a square?) in your pocket. Next bring some trash bags, it is a privilege to use Three Sisters Park and we need to be responsible, have plenty of trash bags not just for garbage, but you never know what the weather could bring and you’d be surprised how dry one of those can keep you. Glow sticks are essential, not only do they add to the beautiful sea of lights at night on the main stage but they provide a great atmosphere for campsite hangouts. With all the great shows playing all the time, you are destined to catch some day shows and when the sun is strong some sun screen is essential! I have seen way too many people painfully red from neglecting to get their rub down, so SPF 50 it is! Finally, make sure to bring your crazy. This is a once in a lifetime experience to let go of everything that ties you down and let your true inner-self soar, so bring a happy spirit and leave your worries at home!
As your Summer Camp counselor I want you all to seek me out, let me make this your best Summer Camp yet. I want encompass the sweetness that is Summer Camp, and the only way I can do that is with your help. You fans are what keep SC alive and I want to show how we bridge the gap between the fans and the bands. Summer Camp is so much more that just music. It is about you living life; lets celebrate it.
I am going to promote some special Summer Camp spirit; my fellow moe.rons and I will be awarding fellow scampers that show special spirit throughout the festival. For example we will award the sweetest campsite, the person with the wildest outfit, the dude/dudette with the most innovative accessory or the neatest jam shout, and many many more; so let us join together and make this year the best Summer Camp EVER woop woop!!
SCampers for life!
Summer Camp Counselor Maria