Umphrey’s McGee, as you all very well know, is the one band that truly pulls my heart strings. Nothing compares to the musical poetry of their jam-funk-rock ballads. Each song dips and wanes from a sweet, solid groove into a glorious guitar shredding metal rock ballad, leaving you yearning for just one more wild ride. At Summer Camp 2012, the boys played their usual 3 sets, along with an additional private jam-session in a the little white chapel on the hill for 100 of their die-hard UM fans.
Friday night’s set kicked off with the upbeat funk teaser ‘Gurgle’ before melding into a light and bouncy jam-off of ’2nd Self.’ Stasik kicked in a little more bass and the boys got gangsta’ with a rare ‘Pay the Snucka‘ jam before settling into a little poppy spin-off in Miami Virtue. The crowd grooved together in the sweet, ever-changing melodies as the sun set in a glorious soft orange haze behind the stage.
They jumped into a heart-felt jam of ‘Glory,’ a song so epic that it should be our National Anthem, which faded perfectly into a floaty spin-off of ’2×2′ before kicking a little funk back into the mix with a lingering performance of ‘Ringo.’ They finished up the first set dancing and tickling their fast-paced guitar and bass licks in and out of ‘Loose Ends’ which ran nicely into a face-melting ‘Puppet String.’
They killed it second set, getting back on stage with the juicy, hard-core guitar rifts of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ to deviate from the floaty, ethereal wave they left out on first set. They merged that into a nice, drawn out jam of ‘Ocean’s Billy’ before grooving into a hard, nasty version of break-up ballad ‘Mulche’s Odyssey.’ They picked up the groove with the classic ‘Bright Lights,’ got down-right funky with hard bass rifts and sweet key licks in ‘Dump City’ before bringing it back into their oh-so-familiar tease rift with ‘Ocean Billy.’ That swept right into my absolute favorite dance groove ’40s Theme.” They wound the crowd in and out of their sweet, rollicking mayhem with a solid ’46×2,’ a little dance up-chuck ‘Day Nurse’ and a final bounce back into ‘Pay the Snucka‘ to round out one helluva kick-off performance for Scamp 2012! Wooo. I’m red, hot and bothered just writing about it.
The best way I can describe it, I explained to a fellow Scamper, is that it’s “the best sex of your life. Hell, it is life. It winds you up and gets you all heated and mad yet satisfied then brings you back down with soft, soothing tickling bass and keys rifts… and before you can say STOP, it jolts you right into a climax with an epic, face-melting guitar rift.” Only UM knows how to do that. More on Saturday’s performance tomorrow….for now, enjoy previews of the UM tracks mentioned above by clicking on the highlighted tracks. They’re also selling all three sets from Summer Camp 2012 on a USB drive on their website. ‘Til next time music lovers. ~Tiffany
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.
Me and Joel Cummins, keys player for Umphreys!!
Ohhh, what a glorious time we’re having out here in the woods at Summer Camp! After three crazy days, three set of Umphreys & Moe, my heart is singing! I’m surrounded by hundreds of fun-loving, sexy people who have come to let their spirits soar in the glorious, funky serenades of an array of musical treats- from jam to funk to latin and steam punk.
Saturday at Summer Camp (aka, Scamp) was ridiculous fun- an upbeat reggae jangling morning as Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars perked everyone up, groovin’ and movin’ to the uplifting, spiritual tunes of their homeland Africa. The lead singers belted their messages of joy and hope in their native tongue, Krio, working the stage, grinding and dipping their hips to their up-chuck, reggae rhythms.
While gettin’ my groove on with the Sierra Leone Boys Holly (aka; my Boss) called me and asked me if I could run up to the little white church on the hill and cover a private Umphreys jam session. “Ummmm, yes please!” (pun intended) I hightailed my ass over to the church, mingled with the boys and the fans then proceeded to go inside the adorable white chapel and rawk face with a private UM Church-Style serenade. They killed it (as always) ripping heart-wrenching drum and bass then tickling all the senses with their bouncy flutter jams, rolling in and out of hard rock into funk jam. 100 people huddled in the packed-out chapel, drinking free brews from Chicago brewery Goose Island, standing atop church pews and bangin’ their boots and bare feet and rockin’ their sweet new UM-VIP gear (given out courtesy of the boys.) I love that about Umphreys. Their always willing to jam out small-town bars and talk to their fans after shows. I think I saw Ryan Stasik’s fine self wandering around Scamp, rockin’ his sa-weet handlebar moustache. I’ll have more details on all the juicy inside stories later. For now, enjoy this glorious picture of myself and Mister Ryan Stasik.
Moustache Love with Ryan Stasik, bass god for Umphreys!
I started off my day with some yoga in the Soulshine tent at 10am with yoga instructor Tammy. She’s a fantastic lady! It was really packed, but luckily everyone was able to fit under the tent.
Once I was rejuvenated, I went back to camp and got ready for the day. I ended up back at the Soulshine tent to peek at the Umphrey’s McGee Golden Ticket event and picked up my Umphrey’s Street Team flyers and goodies. Then I hit up some Keller Williams at the Moonshine stage in the heat of the day. It’s always fantastic to see his smiling face and I was ecstatic to hear him play one of my favorite tunes Freaker by the Speaker.
After catching a break in the shade from the brutal sun, the clouds thankfully rolled in giving everyone a much needed break from the sun. Then I caught some Kinetix at the Campfire stage. Everyone in the crowd was dancin’ their booties off. They even played a cover of Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Then I headed over to the Moonshine stage early to get a good spot for one of my favorite bands, Gogol Bordello. I’ve seen this band several times, and I’ve never seen a crowd for one of their shows with as much energy as my fellow Scampers had. It was simply amazing, every single person wasn shakin’ their hips or stompin’ their feet. Some of the songs that they played were Immigrant Punk, Pala Tute, Immigraniada, Wonders Lust King, Not a Crime, and When Universes Collide.
Once Gogol was done, I hung around and got a front row spot for Primus. I’ve seen Primus and Les Claypool over 6 times, so it’s refreshing to see Les, especially when he comes out with his infamous pig mask on. About halfway through the set, I was in total shock when Eugene Hutz, Sergey Ryabtsev, and Yuri Lemeshev from Gogol Bordello came on stage and played a song with Primus! It was simply amazing and a dream come true. A few songs later, Primus even had Bob Weir come out! Things like this would of course only happen at Summer Camp!
Then I stopped back at camp to put on my Attack of the Killer Tomatoes costume and checked out Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s at late night. They were fantastic! I think I filled my Les Claypool void for the weekend.
Love, hugs, and thugs,
Saturday was stupid hot musically and temperature wise. I now understand why adventurous campers stay in the woods during the day. It was a different world in the trees. One dub step dude was dragging a stone tied to a string and talking to it telling “Stoney” to “watch out” for those behind him. While some people were fried, most slabbed on the 100SPF sunblock so as not to look like Joan Rivers turkey neck by the end of the festival. After lathering myself up I headed out in search of something cool.
I thought Afternoon Moon could help in the coolness area so I headed over to check out their Camping Stage set. The fellas from Chicago delivered in front of their “Mooners” despite the heat. Jordan and his brother Joe promised their fans this was one not to miss and I have to say they threw down. I spent a few songs cooling off under the canopy of the woods before going to check out Family Groove Company, the coolest band since Miles Davis peed his pants over on the Moonshine Stage.
Jordan Wilkow of Family Groove Company told the crowd basking in the sun in front of Moonshine Stage to stay hydrated and held up a beer. Janis “Ice” Wallin and Adam Lewis in unisoned choreography spun their guitars. The family got slightly larger as the band added a horn section for certain songs in the set Set highlights included originals in “White Picket Fence” and “A Misdemeanor’s Worth” and the band covering Wilco’s “I’m the Man Who Love’s You” and Tower of Power’s “Squib Cakes.”
That song must have got my girlfriend Liz and I hungry so after scarfing down some tasty Minglewood Fired Pizza we doused the red pepper flake flames with a few 312 brews and headed to check out ALO. This was my first time checking these guys out and I have to say it was nice to lay back on the lawn and groove to them. Since the “crowd was in the right mind” as ALO lead guitarist explained they played a special song about “Monkeys” dedicated to Phil Lesh. Transitioning into a long fast funky chunky monkey jam the band played a variety of lively classic tunes. The band closed with “Maria” and reminded us that we had a lot of good music coming up.
Gigantic Underground Conspiracy are a combination of musicians from Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee. I spotted Camp Counselor Maria Iriart taking in one of her three on stage sets as they played Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” This was foreshadowing of what was to come later in the Red Barn set for Brain Damaged Eggmen.
Over at the Soulshine Tent a private little chat with Chuck Garvey from moe. was taking place with Rock the Earth. He brought with him drummer Vinny Amico who talked about a variety of socially conscientious issues they worked on with Dave Matthews. They also talked bout how moe. was actively involved with humanitarian efforts with the Red Cross as well as donating to environmental charities through working with the Rain Forest Network.
Chuck also answered a few questions on song writing and he said at times it could take years to craft one before it was ready to unearth. He explained while it was “fun to play Led Zeppelin it was also nice to write” even though he’s extremely critical of his songs. Chuck and Vinny played a song written on an airplane with an alternate acoustic version of “Summer Women.” Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee came up to answer a few questions as well. The tri-panel each told of their favorite places when not on the road. For most it was home. Chuck said Florida, Vinny the Adirondack Mountains, and Brendan his hometown of Chicago as he could have a zen moment having the city at his back looking out into the nothingness that was Lake Michigan. The best part of it all was that they closed it out with “Bell-Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton with Chuck on lead vocals and Brendan singing background vocals. Don’t judge a band by its name is something we all remember when it comes to moe. and Umphrey’s McGee.
Next we headed to the Camping Stage and checked out our good friends Old Shoe play their inaugural Summer Camp. “Welcome Home” opened the set and lead into “Let Yourself In” as the sun fell behind the horizon. Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” was sandwiched in between “Joe’s Song” and “Days Rain Night.” Playing mostly original work off the bands last album Let Yourself In and a forthcoming unnamed release the sunset backdrop of the newly renovated stage was just what we needed to properly kick off the evening. We hung around for Midwest Hype who went on right after Old Shoe, and though we’ve seen our friends from Laporte/Muncie area plenty around Chicago were hit with a wonderful surprise when the fellas paid tribute to Adam Yauch aka MCA the recently departed Beastie Boy and musical pioneer.
Laying down on the grass for some Umphrey’s McGee covering Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” around 10:30pm was the perfect way to celebrate a job well done by the Shoe gang. The light show was spectacular but Liz and I had Red Barn late night passes to see Brain Damaged Eggmen. So we split off from the group and decided to meet up later at Hot Buttered Rum playing at the Campfire Stage.
Brain Damaged Eggmen in the Red Barn was epic. It wasn’t too crowded though it got a bit toasty towards the end of it. Giant beach balls were fisted skyward as glow sticks and elaborate light displays enhanced the surreal atmosphere. I love both Pink Floyd and the Beatles and Brendan Bayliss thanked everyone for letting them entertain this side project.
Setlist: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Another Brick in the Wall, Baby, Your a Rich Man >Obscured by Clowns>Tomorrow Never Knows, Have A Cigar> Breathe> Comfortably Numb>I Am the Walrus>Dark Side of the Moon.
We caught up with the Shoe Family for Hot Buttered Rum and were able to take in everything from “Like the French” to covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Round and Round” and Beatles “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Sitting by the Campfire around 4am I decided for the sake of not having too bloody of a Sunday it was probably best to hit the hay.
Saturday morning the crowds began to rise, but I’d been up for hours thanks to sunrise kickball (see my other post on that!). I spent the morning writing and posting photos in the Summer Camp offices in the church, and by 1pm I was on my way…
First I headed over to the Starshine stage and stumbled upon a game of capture the flag for Field Day. Being a proud member of team Red and seeing that they were short some players, I jumped in to help. Unfortunately, the Red team was eliminated pretty early on when the Yellow team crept into our home base to get the flag… we’ll get ya next year, Yellow.
A few more steps, and I was at my first show of the day, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Their bio lists them as a “post-punk soul band”, and I think that’s a really accurate description. JC Brooks himself has stage presence like nothing I’ve ever seen… in 90 degree heat and a full-on suit, he kept the crowds entertained and dancing – it was a great way to start the day!
Next up, I met up with some of my buddies at the VIP bar for burgers, margaritas, and playing some bags.
Gov’t Mule had a really solid set at Moonshine, and the dust was really raging with the dancing. I like Mule, but I love Umphrey’s, so I left a little early to get a good spot and be ready to rage. For me, I actually like the second set of Umphrey’s the most, and they’d pretty much stole my heart when I heard Rush’s Tom Sawyer start pelting through the field.
All day I’d been looking forward to Brain Damaged Eggmen late night in the Red Barn, and boy it did not disappoint. It was a non-stop dance party and such a happy crowd.
Walking home through the darkness, I stumbled upon this artist working on a mural outside of the Soulshine Tent, and was reminded once again why Summer Camp is the happiest place on earth…
Here’s a little recap of my Saturday at Summer Camp. I began my day in the Soulshine tent checking out the Food Patriots and the Henhouse Prowlers. The Food Patriots are a movement who are encouraging others to purchase at least 10% of their food from local farmers, or to purchase organic or natural foods. I was able to speak with and interview Jennifer who helped start the Food Patriots movement. She even asked me to walk around while they spoke in the Soulshine tent and ask people if they wanted to sign up for updates and to join the movement. Here’s a glimpse of Jennifer and her partner speaking in Soulshine.
Then I ran over to the field day events and joined up with my fellow Yellow teamers. I watched us get beaten in tug-of-war. Then participated in some dodge ball, Yellow Team won the first round. But in the second round, I was the only Yellow teamer left standing and had to face 5 guys who were looking at me like a piece of meat. It was frightening, but eventually one of the guys caught a ball that I threw, and it was over. Next, we participated in arm wrestling; I was the Yellow Team’s female participant and lost very quickly to the Red team. Here is a great picture of my match and facial expression against the Red Team.
My main squeeze Adam was the Yellow Team’s male participant in arm wrestling, and he was able to give us the only win out of all of the events. Lastly, was the pizza eating contest. At first the purple team was in the lead, but then Blue Team pulled through for the win of the pizza eating contest. After all the events were over, the Purple Team ended up with the final win.
After field day was over, I took a much needed break, rehydrated myself and caught some Rebelution, and Common.
Then I grabbed some food and got ready for a long but amazing night of G. Love (who played songs like My Baby’s Got Sauce and Cold Beverage), Old Shoe, Gov’t Mule, moe., Midwest Hype, Umphrey’s McGee, more moe., and Brain Damaged Eggmen in the Redbarn (who did amazing covers of the Beatles and Pink Floyd). Overall, it was an amazing day with some blues music and LOTS of jam.
Love, hugs, and thugs,
On Friday at Summer Camp Music Festival things really begin to pick up. For me the day started off writing my blog from Thursday and going to the press area to upload all my photos. One of the coolest thins about being a CIT is that you get a peek at the inner workings of a music festival, and you get to see just how much hard work is put into making Summer Camp run smoothly year after year. Friday I had a busy day checking out music and spent little time at our campsite. My crew and I were able to catch:
Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s
Indigo Sun at Grassroots tent late night
I want to go over some of the high points in the day for me musically. First Keller Played an amazing set including “Tweaker by the Speaker” and “Doobie in my Pocket.” Things got kicked up a notch when Al Schnier of Moe came out and played guitar on “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The feel good sound of Keller is the perfect music for a mid afternoon set at Summer Camp.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a great show at the Campfire Stage between Umphrey’s sets. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch them would not disagree that the tuxedo sporting band has been the sharpest looking band at the festival so far. The band’s name coms from the legendary New Orleans venue, Preservation Hall. Anyone who likes New Orleans Jazz will love this band.
My favorite set at the festival has so far has been Primus. They busted out some of my favorites off their new album like “Moron TV” and “Eyes of the Squirrel.” What made the set so memorable was when Bob Weir came out to perform “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead. This jam lasted for 10+ minutes and was full of energy and passion. Any time you can see a member of the Dead perform you know you are in for a treat.
Lotus was another highlight. Their performance last year in the Red Barn was one of my favorite at the festival. This year I feel the headliner spot on the Sunshine stage was well deserved. They did not disappoint playing songs like “It’s All so Clear to Me” and “Greet the Mind.” We stayed in the back for this set and chilled. There was a lot of space, and I felt like dancing so I got my groove on and enjoyed the show.
We are camped in section B like we always do. This is my favorite spot to camp because you get the Camping Stage right there to provide you with good music all day long. I am really digging the new location and size of the camping stage this year. It was always one of the smallest venues on the festival grounds even though it has consistently provided some of the best up-and-coming bands on the festival scene. It is the perfect place to stop by if you are always on the prowl for new music.
Besides music I have been lucky enough to catch up with several friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also am meeting new people every time I wander off from my friends, and it made me realize that at Summer Camp you are never alone cause we are all a big family. It was also cool to talk to Adam Alexander, a great photographer covering Summer Camp again this year. I owe him one because he is the one who took the photo of my in my chicken hat last year that was used as the camp caption challenge contest, and all my profile photos. Check out his photos, he rocks.
Make sure you check out my photos from the festival on the Summer Camp Flikr page
Follow @chickenheadfan on Twitter to stay updated on where I am at the fest.
Check out Field Day’s third annual round of Sunrise Kickball with Umphrey’s McGee’s Ryan Stasik!