Alex did a great job running down some of the big additions in Summer Camp’s Second Round of 2014 Artist Announcements earlier on the blog. As usual the Summer Camp bill is really stacked giving fans a wide array of musical choices, and he broke down the big names that have everyone buzzing.
And while the 2nd round was certainly full of big names, I’d like to focus on a few of the bands that you might have overlooked at first glance.
Obviously the addition of Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico’s Americana explosion Floodwood is great news. Fresh off their inaugural tour of Colorado, this will be Floodwood’s third year at Summer Camp. They also played two top-notch shows in the VIP tent in both 2012 and 2013. If you like moe and acoustic music find yourself at Floodwood whenever possible.
Head For The Hills
I’m personally excited to see my hometown heroes Head For The Hills on the lineup. This has been a long time coming and in my opinion they are one of the best string bands touring today. They have an attention to song craft that harkens back to a nostalgic time. Their strong musical story telling is matched by their powerful harmonizing. Head For The Hills is sure to please any bluegrass fan.
In the last year I’ve had the pleasure of seeing jam standout Twiddle twice. They recently toured extensively with The Werks who will again be returning to Summer Camp. Twidde renews faith in the jam scene with each performance. They are rekindling my love affair with jam and quite frankly, they do it well.
The Devil Makes Three
In 2012 made their initial performance at Summer Camp. Unfortunately their bassist Lucia Turino had suffered an injury to her arm and was unable to play with the band. The fill in was fine, but I look forward to seeing the full group playing at Summer Camp they year. They are in the vein of cowpunk, but they focus on a ragtime delivery with heavy lyrics. They are some slap you in the face bluegrass.
UV Hippo or Ultraviolet Hippopotamus as they are officially known too is relatively fresh to the Summer Camp scene. This will be their third year on the lineup and the Michigan progressive improvisational outfit. They too are part of a young crop of new bands that are focusing on bringing the glory of jam back to the masses. Like Twiddle and The Werks, UV Hippo is carrying a torch that was set aflame with the likes of Phish and Blues Traveler.
Mike Dillon is a mad scientist of the xylophone. He is a percussion king and truly an awe-inspiring performer. For those that aren’t familiar Mike Dillon is a member of Critter Buggin’, Garage A Tois, and Les Claypool’s Fancy Band and has played with everyone from Ani DeFranco to Galactic. This is the second time the Mike Dillon Band has played at Summer Camp, but this group has been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut album Urn in 2012. The energetic and spunky Carly Meyers on trombone is definitely one to watch.
And last but certainly not least Greensky Bluegrass will be making their triumphant return to Scamp. They first performed at Three Sister’s Park in 2009 and this will be their fourth year at the festival. Greensky is an incredible bluegrass experience that knows their craft and delivers night after night. This summer they did a three day run that included their first performance at Red Rocks, a stop Camp Euforia in Lone Tree, Iowa, and they finished the weekend with a show at Forecastle in Kentucky. That’s some serious touring and some serious dedication to spreading their music far and wide. For real string fans Greensky is definitely a favorite.
Well there you have it – a quick rundown of my top 8 possibly overlooked, but most likely widely celebrated, additions to the Summer Camp lineup. With a hundred bands (give or take a few) seven stages, multiple musical workshops, and the random private outbursts of song, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
Check out the full lineup here! VIP Ticket info and Late Night Shows (including details on the rumored umVIP packages) will be announced on Wednesday!
And don’t forget to buy your Summer Camp 3 Day Passes now before the prices goes up!
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.