On Saturday morning, the rain came, which had me chilling at camp for most of the day. All of the music was shut down for a couple of hours. But it didn’t ruin our good time.
Friday was another stellar day and night full of music.
To see more photos, click here
We made the trip back to Thornville, OH for the All Good Music Festival again this year. John Scofield’s Uber Jam, Toubab Krewe, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Beats Antique all graced the stages on Thursday. Unfortunately, we were only allowed one media credential so you’ll just have to check out the photos and make up your own words.
To see more photos from the festival, click here
The Forecastle Festival is located on the Ohio River, in Louisville, Kentucky. Being so close to the river provides an aesthetic that many festivals cannot match. There is a unique sort of charm in having a party by the river. Throughout the day, festivalgoers were sitting by the canal, cooling themselves off and resting their feet in the flowing water. Louisville Waterfront Park was the perfect setting for Saturday night’s festivities – after a brief interruption from the forces of nature.
Upon arriving at the festival, and trying to acclimate myself to unfamiliar surroundings, I was immediately informed by those running the festival that severe weather was in the area. For the safety of the crowd, all patrons were asked to leave the venue and take shelter in their cars. I delayed this process for as long as possible and managed to remain in the venue until everyone was allowed back in.
The weather caused a delay in the set times for the rest of the evening, but the festival organizers did a tremendous job of alleviating any confusion by displaying the adjusted set times on the screens that adorned each stage. The festival even handed out free tickets to people who bought one passes.
Once fans returned to the venue, TOKiMONSTA took the Red Bull Music Academy Ocean Stage, which was located under an overpass, giving the stage a grungy feel. TOKiMONSTA is a female electronic music producer from California. It was evident that festivalgoers were ready for a party. The crowd surged forward as she began playing poppy loops and dancing on stage in front of a checkerboard of LED screens displaying visuals behind her. Overall, the performance was akin to your average EDM DJ, danceable but not overly impressive. The performance peaked when she dropped, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” by Kendrick Lamar. Although not my cup of tea, the crowd was quite enthused and it was amusing to watch her sing along to the song.
After losing interest in TOKiMONSTA, I decided to head over to the Mast Stage, Forecastle’s main stage to watch Jim James. Although I have seen My Morning Jacket numerous times, I had yet to see the lead singer perform his solo work. I was not disappointed. Jim James, donning his signature long hair and beard, took the stage looking quite dapper in an open suit jacket and button up shirt. The band played softly as he began, “State of the Art.” The haunting vocals showcased the beauty that is Jim James voice and the crowd was instantly entranced. As the song climaxed, James was twirling around the stage as spikes of light provided visual stimulation behind him.
The second song of the set featured James soloing on a stationary guitar at center stage. While he is best known for his vocal capabilities, he can also play a mean guitar. Next, James sang, “Know til Now,” while dancing around the stage clutching a golden bear. This must have worn him out because he returned for the next song wearing a towel on his head and playing saxophone. The rest of the set felt like a classic rock n’ roll show, drum solos and all. You could sense the hometown love throughout the duration of the set. It became clear that no one loves Jim James as much as Louisville does.
As things were winding down, I decided to head to the Boom Stage to see The Flaming Lips. I had the pleasure of seeing them earlier this year when they came through Indianapolis, and I left quite impressed. The show at Forecastle was nearly identical to the one I had previously seen. Nonetheless, the Flaming Lips’ production quality never ceases to amaze me.
Wayne Coyne seemed to be in good spirits throughout the show, trying to get the crowd to liven up. “During a Flaming Lips show, you are allowed to do what you want to do,” he said. He once again made jokes about smoking pot, shining the light gun into the crowd and encouraging people to smoke. He was infatuated with the fact that there was a highway above the venue and kept imagining a car crashing off of it into the crowd.
One interesting twist that I had not previously seen was the bands cover of, “Gates of Steel,” by DEVO, which began with an extensive drum introduction. Wayne Coyne stood on his pedestal singing lyrics as the entire stage was barraged by lasers.
Finally, it was time to head back to the Mast Stage to see The Black Keys. “Howlin for you,” the band’s first song of the evening started as I was making my way through the crowd. Although the band is comprised of only two members, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, they brought along some touring musicians to add to their sound, giving the band a bass and keyboard when necessary. Although I enjoy most of the Black Keys music, their live performance fell flat. They sounded restrained, playing at a lower volume than the rest of the bands that evening. I overheard people in the crowd yelling for them to, “Turn up the volume,” and I couldn’t help but agree. After a few songs, including an incredible version of, “Gold on the Ceiling,” which sounded better than the studio version, the band said they were going to play some songs as a duo.
The band seemed more comfortable playing as a duo, launching into, “Thickfreakness,” off of the album of the same name, which happens to be my favorite of their albums. After a brief intermission, the band returned for an encore, playing, “I Got Mine,” which featured Auerbach shredding the guitar. Weary from a day of incredible music, I exited the venue as their last song faded off into the distance.
Words by Kenneth Spangler (above) and Chris Lucas (below for SCI late night)
Saturday Late Night: The String Cheese Incident
The best part of the weekend was dancing in the front row at The String Cheese Incident‘s late night set at the Louisville Palace. These boys are definitely my favorite band out there, and there aren’t many opportunities to see them around here, as they don’t make it to the midwest very often. Instead, they perform “Incidents” across the country, but mostly in the western United States.
As we walked into the Palace, I was amazed by how beautiful it was, and just by the fact that I was even there at the show. Nothing all weekend compared to the energy and professionalism that was brought to this show, and it will definitely be something to remember. The crowd, the band, the vibe, and the venue all summed together equated to the best show of the weekend.
To see more photographs from The Forecastle Festival 2013, click here
Forecastle Music Festival has the feel of any other large music festival, except that it is set in an urban environment right on the waterfront of the Ohio River in Louisville, KY. Since it is situated underneath an interstate overpass, it seemed difficult to reach the venue the first time I entered, but the location was worth it. The overpass provided great coverage from the sun and occasional rain. It also provided amazing acoustics for the EDM Red Bull stage set underneath of it. The line-up featured Old Crow Medicine Show, The String Cheese Incident, The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, and many other artists. This festival drew in a very diverse crowd of fans, which made for an interesting weekend as it was completely different than most festivals that we cover here at indymojo.com.
As I arrived Friday afternoon at the media meeting, I learned that Forecastle is positioning itself as the next premiere world music event, partnering with AC Entertainment to make the event as big as it can be. J.K. McKnight and Ashley Capps (AC/Superfly) stressed their focus on bourbon as the 4th headliner of the festival, which was showcased by a bourbon tent where samples from many Kentucky distilleries were available for purchase. The grounds were beautiful. The stages were set within perfect walking distance from each other, although there was a bit of sound bleed from stage to stage. There were plenty of great vendors to provide any number of items from reasonably priced festival merchandise to amazing food. There was an entire section of the festival devoted to concert poster art.
The primary focus of Forecastle is music, art, and activism. They also seemed to focus on keeping a clean festival grounds as we saw very little trash on the grounds all weekend. The festival supports the local musicians and artists as well as brings amazing national acts together all for an affordable price. The highlight for me Friday night was the Old Crow Medicine Show followed by The String Cheese Incident. The lighting was perfect with the stage set right on the water, as the sun set on the Ohio River. These musical geniuses really opened my eyes to what Forecastle has become….a musical mecca for 3 brief days.
After the String Cheese Incident ended, we walked down the shore to the late night set to catch the DJ, Elliot Lipp. The show was set aboard the Belle of Louisville, which is the oldest operating steamboat in the United States. Getting on the Belle was hard due to ticket restrictions, and once on board it was probably the strictest show I have ever been too. There were a large number of uniformed police officers, as well as security staff everywhere.
The most interesting part of my late night adventure wasn’t the music, as good as it was. It was when I got to strike up a conversation with a gentleman by the name of John Grantz who helps put together Forecastle as well as being the owner of Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville. Eventually, our conversation then included J.K. McKnight, the individual who started Forecastle in 2002. He mentioned how he lost money the first 8 years of the festival’s existence, and has only recently begun seeing a good return on his life investment. When I asked J.K. how he did it, considering it was a flop the first couple of years, his response was simple. “Just keep doing it, over and over again. Because if it’s what you know you want to do, then you have to just do it.”
Words by Chris Lucas
To see more high resolution images from the festival, click here
What can I say? Imsoniac and Madison House put on one hell of a music and arts festival. I can honestly say “music and arts” because it’s easily 50/50 on this one. There are other festivals out there that claim to be a music and arts fest, but they are, more often that not, severely lacking in the arts department. This year, Sherwood Forest was expanded by 1/3 compared to last year. The Forest Stage was moved to the opposite side of the forest and it was a lot bigger than last year. Due to a beetle infestation, they had to cut down some trees in the center of the forest, which made room for The Observatory. This was a raised structure with a bar, a hang out area, and a stage where smaller acts played all weekend. I actually spent quite a bit of time at this stage in between bigger acts on the main stages.
There was also a Silent Disco added in the forest this year, which is always fun to watch and to take part in. The Indianapolis group, Cosby Sweater, was lucky enough to play a set in the Silent Disco and on the Forest Stage. Unfortunately, they played before I arrived but I inquired about both sets and heard rave reviews all weekend from festival goers and employees. Richard “Sleepy” Floyd, drummer for Cosby, was even asked to sit in on auxillary percussion during the Lettuce set. These boys are making a name for themselves and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Another local act, The Main Squeeze, played a super funky set during the early evening. This is yet another Indiana band who is taking the festival scene by storm. This fact further proves that the music scene in Indiana is second to none.
The musical highlights of the weekend for me were Lettuce, String Cheese Incident (Saturday set), Emancipator, Greensky Bluegrass, BoomBox, and Tumbleweed Wanderers who I randomly caught at the Observatory while walking to another stage. Another highlight was seeing Herm Productions lighting the Sherwood stage for Future Rock. It’s always nice to see a local company doing big things and really gets me excited for Hyperion Music and Arts Festival. Speaking of local people. I was lucky enough to be able to see the costume contest this year, which was won by some fellow residents of Indiana.
Im not much of a writer so I’m going to let the photographs tell the rest of the story. To see the high resolution images from my 48 hours at Electric Forest, click here.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the weekend
The circus came to town in the form of “Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus” at The Lawn at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. It was a beautiful night on the lawn, which made a perfect backdrop for the guitar showcase that took place for those in attendance. If Peter Frampton and his many tricks weren’t enough, he brought legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray to open up the festivities. It was a special night that featured new takes on classic hits and some insane covers as well.
Frampton started the show with a psychedelic video intro that played on a huge lcd screen which served as a backdrop for the stage. We saw frogs hopping to and fro, cats jumping back and forth, men with amazing facial hair with fire coming from the tip of their top hats cut in and out of the screen while “Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite” by the Beatles played through the speakers. Peter walked out with the rest of his band and began the show with a crunchy jam that was in your face. This gave me an idea about how memorable evening was going to be. The intro segued into “Magic Moon” and the screen cut into a mythical slide show of astrology signs and tarot cards.
After Peter heard about the 20th woman shout out to him that they loved him in between songs, he encouraged everyone to continue going ape shit, and proclaimed that the geezers rule. He then followed that with his hit “Show me the way”. Anyone who has ever felt heartache cannot help but connect to “Wind of Change” and with the screen behind him showing many never before seen photos of the early days in his career, it was hard not to have a barrage of memories going through your head while he sang those touching lyrics.
Steve Cropper walking on stage was a special surprise. The man who was in the original Blues Brothers Band, and is also a legendary producer who was highly respected by John Lennon and countless other greats. Before busting into the hit “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MG’s, Steve joked about how he never would’ve imagined when the song was created that it would one day be in an adult diapers commercial.
Towards the end of his set, Peter showcased the instrument that truly set him apart from the rest of the classic rock guitarist, the talkbox. He played an epic version of Soundgarden’s “Blackhole Sun” by matching the lyrics coming from his talkbox to those classic guitar riffs. He closed the set with “Do you feel like we do” which had everyone feeling what the man was talking about. After a short break, Peter and the boys came back on stage and broke into a super sick blues jam which lead into “While my guitar gently weeps”. The majority of the households in America have the record “Frampton Comes Alive” making it as American as apple pie. Peter played those songs with this same passion he had when he recorded it over 35 years ago, and him being in Indianapolis was a shining example for the younger generation who were in the crowd to follow your dreams and always do the things you love.
Words by Tyler Muir
Heading out to that first festival of the season can be one of the most exciting experiences ever, the anxiety to get there, to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, all bundled into one big ball of energy. One is sure to catch little sleep the night before, a lesson we learned a long time ago, lending us to typically leave in the cover of darkness. I like to describe it as heading out into the abyss from your sanctuary, and when the sun rises you are in a whole new world, where rules in the traditional sense don’t matter, people’s filters are dropped and things get weird.
We left for Summer Camp 2013 at 5:30am on Thursday morning. The night before we gathered to finish packing, organize and get our heads in a comfortable space for this adventure. A big topic for us this weekend was the definition of family, what it means to different people, how it can affect ones livelihood and such, and there was many a conversation to be had with many a people. We met up with a group of our friends to caravan out of Indy, another pod of us set to leave 3 hours later, arriving in Chillicothe, IL around 10am, and man was it chilly. After getting our wrist bands, throwing everything on our backs and hopping into a friends car with an RV pass, we avoided a 3 hour wait in line and was able to get set up fairly quickly and easily. We had 2 campsites, our summer home in the RV field, and our fall home on the edge of the tree line; Life was good.
As we got settled it was pretty clear that it was going to be a cold and wet weekend, and no one had brought enough clothes or gear. Thursday night definitely brought the heat, we always say we will go easy on Thursday, but Thursday always ends up being the night we party the hardest. We got to see our local boys Cosby Sweater get down with Joel Cummins of Umphreys McGee, a pinnacle moment in their career for sure. There was also several Cornmeal sets which were rockin’, a crazy set by a band called Quixtoic, which has girls doing silk routines inside the red barn, all culminating to UV Hippo set followed by Future Rock and Dopapod late night. Then came the attempt at sleep, which occurred for about 2 hours, before I had to relocate next to a fire, sleep on the ground to stay warm, and eventually to taking a nap on the floor of the church.
Friday afternoon set off with a bang, after some coffee and food it was time to rock and roll, the sun was out and we were all feeling groovy. Moe. opened things up with “Captain America”, fitting for a friend of ours whose birthday would be celebrated on Sunday who calls himself America Mash. Following was my first ever Medeski, Martin and Wood set, which was beautiful to say the least. I had listened to them for awhile but never seen them live and it was awesome. The rest of the day was filled with a lot of Umphreys, the chance to meet up with some of my best of friends that I only get to see once a year, and helping a friend get her car out of the police impound after getting pulled over 12 miles outside of the festival. It was eventful to say the least.
As we awoke Saturday, there was rain coming down. And for the better part of the next 48 hours it did not stop. But don’t think for a second this hindered our spirits. Yes we may have bitched, and it was wet and cold, but damn was it fun; an experience like none other. Getting to see, and remember seeing, Thievery Corporation was so much fun for all of us, and as we stomped back and forth from stage to stage with trash bags wrapped around our feet, trash bags over our heads, sharing clothes to keep warm, and whiskey to keep even warmer. You couldn’t take away our smiles even if you tried. The highlight was the two back-to-back Moe. sets that we got to experience, very close to the stage, with a great group of people. It was the dream team, and man was it a good time. They covered In The Kitchen, and had Allie Krall sit in during Plane Crash. The rest of the night is mostly a blur.
As we awoke to Sunday, the final day of the festival, we had two birthdays to celebrate. Steve and Desi were in great form as we started off with a set of Umphrey’s, and killed 24 beers. After that I got to spend some much needed time with a best friend of mine from Colorado as we caught the Lettuce set, all in preparation for what everybody was waiting for, Trey Anastasio Band. As Trey started, the rain picked up and did not let off, in fact it only got worse. We got to see the first full set but the second one was cut short due to the rain. We spent a good amount of time in the vibe tent until the generators cut out and we were forced to return to our tents or cars. As we sat there in the darkness, the rain coming down we saw tour buses high tailing it out of the festival, but through the darkness there came a howl from the woods, heard from almost half a mile away, a signal that everybody was okay and that the party would go on even without the music.
Summer Camp 2013 was definitely a festival that will never be forgotten, it was one for the record books. The rain, the music, the people, just the experience in and of itself was so wonderful and trying all at the same time. I can’t wait to see what comes out of next years Summer Camp, until then we rage on. Positive vibes in forward directions as I say.
Words by Chris Lucas
To view additional images from the festival, click here
To a lot of us Midwesterners Summer Camp Music Festival, held annually on the second to last weekend in May in Chillicothe, IL is like a warm gentle welcome to summer that we all wildly anticipate. And when I mean gentle I mean the chance of knee deep mud, dust bowls, guys walking around in tutus with Donny Darko masks, the sweet sounds of jams going on well till the crack of dawn and the reunion of old friends forgotten in the screen of snow that was winter.
Last years Summer Camp presented me with a great opportunity to get to know a lot of new bands while also allowing me the ability to reacquaint and fall in love with ones I had already been familiar with. There was the scorching sun, dust everywhere, hammocks and tents as far as the eye could see, great people, music and most of all experiences. We were able to see Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Gogol Bordello late night and Bob Wier take the stage with Les Claypool for the return of Primus to the festival scene. It was hot, it was sweaty, it was glorious and man was it good, which is why we are all going back this year to experience all the glory that is Scamp.
Even more though we are going back for the people, for those freakers by the speaker, those tweekers and geekers, the weird the wet and the wild, the ones that us festy kids just cant live without. It’s life, and once you’ve bought the ticket, you gotta take the ride. This years Summer Camp experience will surely be one to remember with the staple 3 days of Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee, but it’s the addition of the Trey Anastasio Band, STS9 and Thievery Corporation as co-headliners that really have me excited.
Now here’s what you REALLY need to know about this years Summer Camp, again it is set in Chillicothe, IL from May 24th – May 26th. Currently weekend tickets are in the last purchasing tier costing around $218.00. There is also the Thursday night pre-party pass where anybody that is anybody will be in attendance. Thursday allows the regulars a chance to grab the best camping spots, get settled early, avoid super long lines and you get to catch a set of Digital Tape Machine as well as Jaik Willis in the barn, these passes cost an additional $33.00. They have an assortment of VIP upgrades, Primitive RV hook-ups, single day as well as full weekend and pre party passes available on the Summer Camp 2013 website for purchase. Definitely grab yo shit before hitting the road, trust me you do not want to stand in line with all your gear for 3 hours for tickets, only to have to do it for 3 more to get searched and enter the festival.
Summer Camp isn’t just about the music, it’s also about the people, and knowing how to plan ahead can be crucial to a good time. Be sure to check out all the camping rules and info as well as get aquatinted with the schedule and the additional workshops and kids camp if you want a little more out of your experience or are bringing young ones, because if you didn’t know, you need to, and now you can.
Like I said above, ultimately Scamp is about the experience, the people, the conversations and the love. Before you set out for scamp take a second to separate yourself from the greater world that we live in daily, take some deep breathes and prepare and ready yourself for what will be a magical experience, if you make it one. Be open to try new things, meet new people, converse on life, love stress and set backs but also on the positive aspects of life and the NOW, for that’s how you grow, and that is why Scamp is beautiful, because it gives you opportunities to grow and learn and become wiser. Remember, you’re traveling to Edge City, and as it was put to me so concisely by a good friend one of the greatest writing influences I have, “people die out here, it happens every day! It doesn’t take much, but it goes against the grain,” so be safe, be smart but most of all be open and have fun. I’ll see you kids in the campgrounds, come say whattup, you can call me Toph.
Words by Chris Lucas
To view photos from last year’s Summer Camp Music Festival, click here