(cover image courtesy of Aaron Bradley Photo)
There’s no denying that 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year overall. What I wouldn’t give to be carefree and crammed into the sweaty Red Barn with all you crazy people again! Until we can do that, at least we can look back on great Summer Camp memories of yore. All throughout the year, we’ve been posting full sets as “Summer Camp Sessions” to help all the SCampers make it through this wild ride of a year. I’m a big fan of Top 10 lists at the end of the year, so here’s one on the best Summer Camp Sessions of 2020!
moe. – 5/26/18
There’s only one artist that’s been at every. single. SCamp. I’m talking of course about the one. and only. moe.! Sorry, something about moe. just makes me want to add unnecessary punctuation. Our Top 10 list kicks off with the entire 2-set throedown from 5/26/18. It really doesn’t get much better than Saturday night on the Moonshine Stage with moe. This beast of a show includes a (first set!) “Rebubula” as well as both Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin covers in the 2nd set. After this one, you’ll find yourself cheering “Gimme some moe.!”
Huey Lewis & the rUMours – 5/29/11
Ever since 2003, the Summer Camp lineup has been headlined by the one-two punch of moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. The Midwest’s best improvisational, face-melting rock band have been with the festival ever since. They even have their own stage now over at Sunshine and play at least three shows over the course of the weekend. With so much Umph, there’s room to get a bit creative and invite some friends along. That’s exactly what they did in 2011 when the legend Huey Lewis joined them for a set full of hits, such as “Heart & Soul” and “I Want a New Drug.”
Big Gigantic – 5/24/15
It’s not all jambands and 20-minute guitar solos at Summer Camp these days, kiddos. We know you love the untz as well (RIP Vibe Tent). For the past several years, SCamp has also been bringing in huge EDM headliners for you to shake your rage stick to. One such act is Big Gigantic, who has played some bangers at Summer Camp over the years. Their unique mix of live drums & sax with rowdy beats is sure to get you moving. Grab your glow toys and get ready to shake your booties to Big G with this full set from their 2015 set on the Moonshine Stage.
Greensky Bluegrass – 5/27/12
It’s hard to describe Summer Camp in just a few words. “Wondrous tri-headed musical creature” is my best attempt. In addition to the jam and the untz, we also bring the ‘grass to Summer Camp! I’m talking about bluegrass, you know. Kicking up some dust on a hot Sunday afternoon at SCamp is a time-honored tradition. My fellow Michiganders in Greensky Bluegrass gave us an unforgettable set back in 2012, which we bring to you in full!
STS9 Axe the Cables – 5/23/19
You can’t spell Summer Camp without STS9. Well, actually you can, but you get the idea. The crystal vibes of Sound Tribe Sector 9 have been present at many editions of Summer Camp over the years. It wasn’t until 2019, though, that we got to experience one of their mind-blowing Axe the Cables sets. STS9 with Alana on an upright bass? Please sir, can I have some more?! This was my favorite set at SCamp last year and there were plenty of good ones to choose from.
Victor Wooten Trio – 5/27/18
My mama always said the Summer Camp lineup is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get! I don’t know about ya’ll, but I got super excited back in 2018 when I saw the living legend Victor Wooten on the lineup. The bass virtuoso brought his trio featuring Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini to Summer Camp for a fantastic set out in the hot sun on Moonshine.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – 5/24/19
Where’s my Flock fam at? Cooooooo! They’ve only been to a few, but our avian brothers in Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have become SCamp family already. It didn’t take them long to make it to the Moonshine Stage and they definitely carpe‘d that diem when they got there (that means “seize the day” for those non-Latin scholars out there). This high-energy set features a sit-in from Here Come the Mummies on “King Kong,” which went on to be used in the official music video for the song!
Gigantic Underground Conspiracy – 2012
It wouldn’t be 2020 without a Gigantic Conspiracy, and this one has nothing to do with 5G or Bill Gates! Members of the Disco Biscuits, Conspirator, and Big Gigantic got together to form a supergroup for the ages. Put on your dancing shoes for this one, kids! It’s got it all – the untz, ripping guitar riffs, and that smooth sax.
Gogol Bordello – 5/25/12
One of the best things about going to Summer Camp year after year is that there are always unique acts on the bill. We’re always guaranteed our double-whammy of moe. and UM, but there are always surprises when you unwrap that SCamp lineup. That’s definitely what happened in 2012 when the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello played their first Summer Camp. It’s not every year that we get to jam out to a live accordion at SCamp!
Yonder Mountain String Band – 5/25/18
It’s a family affair at Summer Camp, not only among the wild wooks in the woods, but also among the artists up on stage. We always get to see some great sit-ins over the weekend, which makes it that much more fun. In this classic set from SCamp mainstays Yonder Mountain String Band are joined by some good friends. You’ll see them rock with Al from moe. as well as Keller Williams.
Well that does it for our look back at the Top 10 Summer Camp Sessions of the year. We hope you enjoyed them are are looking forward to bringing you more in the New Year! Stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and let’s all get back to Three Sisters Park sooner than later so we can make more memories together again at Summer Camp Music Festival.
– Camp Counselor Sasha (Grateful Gypsies)