This past Saturday regional powerhouse Umphrey’s McGee came back to Indy for their annual hometown throw down. They took the stage at the Lawn at White River State Park. Local jazz/electronica after locals Cosby Sweater opened in support. The night began as any would in preparation for an Umphrey’s show: cookouts across town, local bars organizing party buses, talks of after parties and – of course – what would the weather be like. With impending rain clouds on the horizon, both bands jumped to social media to inform fans that the show was going to start early, prompting most to cut their pre-show festivities short.
The night started with Cosby Sweater starting almost an hour early, but still managing to bring the heat as usual. Unfortunately a lot of fans still arrived as if they didn’t know about the weather and the venue wasn’t as full as it could have been. As people continued to file in, doing little dance grooves as they swerved in between lawn chairs, many headed straight to the beer tent knowing a cold, albeit slightly overpriced, beer was more then necessary to begin the night. The sky continued to get dark and ominous; we knew it was coming, we also knew the show must go on.
As Umphrey’s took the stage everybody pushed forward, crowding the stage and locking most people into their designated dance spots. A new addition to the lawn – a barrier that surrounded what would now be considered the pit – was a perpetual annoyance. It divided the crowd into two sections with the only way into the pit through a bottleneck entrance. Security was unobtrusive, at least no more than usual and the venue staff was helpful once the rain came.
And oh did it come; somewhere in between “Puppet String” (a new track from the new album) and “Tribute” the rain started slow, then it grew and grew. Eventually the band stopped and asked everybody to exit the venue because the show had been postponed. People flocked to the streets looking for the closest place to get shelter from the rain. Many headed under bridges that lined the canal, and the underground parking garage filled quickly as people walked around discussing their individual Umphrey’s experience and looking for trouble to get into.
After about 45 min we got the word that the show would go on. With security temporarily disabled, fans rushed into the venue with full force toward the stage. The real fans headed to the beer tent, then to the stage.
Umphrey’s came back out in full force and brought a heater of a show. The rain continued for another hour but that did not stop the wild dance moves and sick bass lines. “Miss Tinkles Overture” started things off then delved deep into “Booth Love” followed by a cover of the song “Kinky Reggae”. Saxophonist Nick Gerlach of Cosby Sweater sat in to crush it on a great version of “40’s Theme” then “Linear,” the first song of their new album, Similar Skin.
Then things got serious, Conduit>Yoga Pants>Conduit>Snucka 1 & 2> Hurt Bird Bath. After the show many fans were saying the Hurt Bird Bath was one of the best they’ve seen this tour, and I can say they are right.
After the show ended, everybody was more than satisfied with what they had. The weather made the whole experience that much more special and nobody was disappointed. Fans filed into the streets of downtown, many headed to the bars, to their cars or to their homes. Our 30-person, neon green school bus took us to our favorite local bar where we got to check out even more live music. An Umphrey’s McGee hometown throw down is never a show to miss, and despite the rain they did not fail us.
Thanks guys, and good luck on your tour.
On the heals of their most recent album release, Similar Skin, Regional prog-rock powerhouse Umphrey’s McGee return to their home state on July 26th for their annual show at The Farm Bureau Lawn at White River State Park. Backed by friends of the band, who also happen to be Indy-based musicians, Cosby Sweater will bring their own version of electronic-jazz fusion as the evening’s opener.
Umhpreys’ most recent album has reinvigorated love for the band from fans new and old alike. Bringing together many well-known songs that previously never had a home, Similar Skin is more of a studio up-date on band favorites than it is a shiny, new package of Umph originals.
The new album release has allowed Umphrey’s to continue to re-define the relationship a band can have with their fans: by selling out the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre for their first time; by providing exclusively intimate VIP treatment for fans; by offering Similar Skin packages that include the CD, pressed vinyl, merchandise and other goodies; and by putting on an album release party, the band continues to enhance their unique relationship with fans. Instead of just going out and playing, the band now has more purpose then ever- for themselves and for their fans. This is evident as there is a push to support the tour, the new merch and of course the album itself. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the new Similar Skin album, check it out HERE, listen to the songs and download the album- the best way to get ready for the show.
For local fans this show is sure to be one to remember; something some of us haven’t seen since the Live At The Murat recordings. Cosby Sweater is guaranteed to bring the heat, getting the party started early. We can be almost certain that Joel Cummings, keyboardist for Umphrey’s, will sit in with Cosby Sweater as they have toured along side the band on multiple occasions. The addition of Joel – regardless of how old he may be – lends a well-placed sound to the Cosby Sweater line-up. Cosby Sweater continues to release new music, most notably a crowd hit remix of the song “Cocaine Blues” as well as their most recent release of their Party Dad EP which you can listen to, or purchase, HERE.
To recap: Cosby Sweater will be supporting Umphrey’s McGee at the Farm Bureau Lawn at White River State Park on Saturday July 26th. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here. The show is set to begin at 7PM, this is a standing event but the venue does offer lawn chairs for rent on a first come-first serve basis. If you plan on attending be sure to purchase your tickets soon as these events tend to sell out and you do not want to be stuck on the wrong side of the fence.
Festival junkies take heed: if you’re in need of a healthy dose of bass, have an insatiable urge to rage, and are looking for an inexplicable good time- Electric Forest is a must see. The festival celebrated its 4th running this past weekend starting on Thursday June 26th and ending on Sunday night, June 29th. Returning once again to the grounds of the lovely and beautiful Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury Michigan, the 2014 installment proved to be a powerhouse of rambunctious shenanigans, great music, psychedelic light shows, and improve – tomfoolery that no one will be forgetting anytime soon.
Thursday – June 26th
Thursday marked the first night of the festival. EOTO fed the crowd a healthy portion of crunchy beats and fatty bass. The sound cut out twice, but drummer Jason Hann was unphazed, performing a powerful acoustic drum solo without any amplified sound, ending just as the PA came back on to say “Yeah… to sexy for this PA”.
Later that night Umphrey’s McGee slayed the stage with their unrelenting lightshow and mind-bending improvisation. At certain points, their set sounded more like an Iron Maiden concert than a progressive rock show. During their second set, the group performed a stellar mash-up which combined MGMT’s “Kids” , Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” , Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Know Your Enemy”. The crowd was in awe; some cheered with delight, while others stood there stunned and trying to figure out where they were. Later, Brendan Bayliss informed the crowd that, drummer Kris Myers was, “rocking out so hard” that he had broken a tooth…
Indy homeboys Cosby Sweater performed an insanely groovy set during the Umphrey’s intermission, creating an Umphrey’s Sweater Sandwich. The crowd was unsure at first, but was up and dancing to the funky trio in no time. The trio grooved out hard, debuting their new remix of Escort’s “Cocaine Blues”. Umphrey’s keyboardist Joel Cummins even came out and threw down on a jam.
Friday – June 27th -
Friday brought the festival in to full bloom. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s set started a bit later than expected, but the former Fugee delivered a performance like none other. Belting out songs with such swagger and confidence, one couldn’t help but think “Damn, she’s foxy.” The soulful performer delivered a tasty mix of originals, Fugee hits, and Bob Marley classics.
The String Cheese Incident set the tone for the evening upon commencing the first of their six scheduled sets for the weekend. Starting off right out the gates with powerful, groovy “Colliding”, the crowd was overcome with an insatiable urge to dance. Afterwards on a nearby stage, STS9 performed a super- spatial set that transported the audience into a dream world. The vibrant hues of the light show, cover of nighttime, and the chill vibes of the glowstick-covered crowd was the definition of bliss.
Closing the night strong, Umphrey’s McGee once again slayed the stage like no one’s business. The group ended a bit early but the crowd insisted on an encore. The band emerged to perform a three song encore which included a rendition of Pink Floyd’s hit “Time”.
Saturday – June 28th -
Saturday was HOT, in every sense of the word. The crowd seemed a bit mopey and sleepy from partying all night, but were soon up and working off their hangovers through Xavier Rudd‘s ancient ritual of dance. He impressively played a 12 string guitar while simultaneously playing didgeridoo, making guitar-and-harmonica seem like child’s play.
Saturday also saw a performance by a member of the Marley family, with Stephen “Regga” Marley featuring Ghetto Youths Crew. Stephen Marley saturated the crowd with classic Bob Marley hits, as well as a handful of originals, leaving nothing but positive vibes and smiles in his wake.
Later that night The String Cheese Incident performed a set which people are unsure really happened. During a rendition of the piece “Valley of the Jigg” the crowd became a part of an elaborate video game-infused rave party of sorts- complete with Mario-themed stage videos, Princess Peach rope dancers, giant inflatable question mark blocks, Pac Man ghosts, inflatable balls, fireworks, confetti, lasers and more. Anyone in the vicinity had their minds subsequently blown.
Upon leaving Electric Forest one cannot help but be overcome with the festival blues as they realize they must once again integrate with formal society. But never fear; Electric Forest will be back next year, only with new and improved tricks up their sleeves. So in the meantime, if you’re still in need of a healthy dose of bass, continue to have an insatiable urge to rage, and is looking for an unexplainable good time, mark your calendars for next year.
“Standing head and shoulders above their improv-centric contemporaries, Umphrey’s McGee have become defined by their ability to spin a web of tension and release through master composition and infectious grooves both live and in the studio. Umphrey’s Catalog runs the gamut of genres allowing the band to deliver unforgettable performances.
Now Umphrey’s McGee wants you to remix their album opener “The Linear”, in the first of three remix contests. The base level is set, now crank that junk.”
Umphrey’s McGee have posted nine stems from Similar Skin opener “The Linear” for download on their website. They’re asking fans to use one or more to create a remix of the track.
(no copyrighted samples; submission must be made of material for which contestants own the copyright or a license to use, e.g. a sample pack that was purchased and is licensed).
One grand prize winner will take home all of the following:
- Official release
- Feature on all of the band’s web properties
- Umphrey’s McGee merch pack
If you submit, don’t spam your audience for votes to win the contest, though. The popular vote winners (three total) will receive a one-year Pro membership to Indaba Music, while the members of Umphrey’s McGee will be the sole judges picking the winner of the grand prize.
The Submission period is from June 5th to July 3 with voting running from July 3rd to July 17.
Summer Camp Music Festival, Summer Camp, Scamp, the best freakin’ party in Illinois. Whatever you call it, it’s coming soon and firing on all cylinders. Taking place over four days (May 22nd – 25th) in Chillicothe, IL, it’s guaranteed to be hands down one of the best weekends of the summer. A days-long event of music, workshops, positivity, friends, and tomfoolery; in short, everything that a growing human needs.
If you don’t have your ticket yet get it soon because you don’t want to miss this. Keep in mind, though, that ticketing is slightly different here than at most festivals. A regular ticket will get you in for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-Party passes can be purchased at an additional fee to get you in early for Thursday’s acts. Also, there are late night sets at the Red Barn for an additional cost. The other stages will still be in operation when it’s going down at the barn, so don’t fear. But, please remember that the barn shows that tickle your fancy will cost a little extra (for more on Summer Camp do’s, dont’s, and things to know, check out The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 1: In Our Own Backyard).
So, do you have your ticket(s)? The appropriate answer to this query is a proper, “No sh** dude, I’ve had my ticket since February.” Next is, “I just found a ride and snagged my ticket, catch you there!” The least appropriate… “Summer Camp?”
If you’re in the latter category or are just on the fence about shelling out the dough, let this article be an inspiration, if nothing else. Please come join the party. As a disclaimer, this writer does not make money from ticket sales nor will he if sales increase as a result of the statements contained herein, so please don’t treat this as a long-winded advertisement. Instead, please accept this as a friendly invitation to The Boogie.
Given five words, what is the best way to describe Summer Camp? How would one provide the utmost meaning and deepest imagery, without losing meaning on useless prepositions? How would one convey the feeling of Scamp, without wasting a single breath? In an attempt to provide the supreme explanation, the greatest rationalization, and the most scintillating justification, these words have been chosen wisely:
Alright, so 5 words may have been a lie. But, technically, they’re hyphenated, so it kind of counts. Regardless, and without opening an English book, one thing can be agreed upon. THERE WILL NOT BE A SINGLE MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
To support this statement, here is a sample schedule to give an idea of what the weekend could be like. It isn’t an ultimate schedule for everyone or even anyone for that matter. It is just a possibility. And, as every soul is different, there is no right or wrong way to Scamp it, unless you don’t see who you truly want to. The sample schedule reads:
Thursday, May 22nd:
Blue Fruit Snacks (1:30p)
Cosby Sweater (6:30p)
Funky Junk (7:00p)
Future Rock (9:30p)
Manic Focus (11:00p)
Digital Tape Machine (12:45a)
Friday, May 23rd:
The Diggity (12:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (1:30p)
Victor Wooten Band (3:45p)
Slightly Stoopid (5:30p)
Robotic Pirate Monkey (6:00p)
Blues Traveler (7:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (7:45p)
Beats Antique (9:00p)
UV Hippo (10:00p)
The Motet (2:00a)
Saturday, May 24th:
The Floozies (12:00p)
Future Rock (2:00p)
Greensky Bluegrass (3:45p)
The Devil Makes Three (4:45p)
Keller Williams (5:30p)
G. Love & Special Sauce (6:45p)
Break Science (8:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (9:00p)
The Werks (10:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (11:00p)
Sunday, May 25th:
Umphrey’s McGee (1:00p)
Yonder Mountain String Band (2:30p)
Zac Brown Band (4:30p)
Trey Anastasio Band (7:00p)
Wolfgang Gartner (8:15p)
Trey Anastasio Band (9:00p)
Russ Liquid (3:00a)
To repeat again, THERE WILL NOT BE A MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
How can one truly say that there will be no moment without good tunes when the stages will inevitably come to a close each night as the microphones and amplifiers are eventually turned off? Quite easily, actually, because Summer Camp curiously happens to be populated by people like… you. Guitarists, percussionists, singers, and composers. Producers, DJ’s, songwriters, and storytellers. Artists, hoopers, contortionists, and dancers. In sum, all of the ingredients needed for a “let’s-keep-this-sh**-raging-‘till-the-sun-comes-up” gumbo that just refuses to quit. Need some examples of how this could play out?
Exhibit A: The Dub Wagon. If you are reading this and the mythical wonder of The Dub Wagon is your creation, please accept sincere apologies for the impromptu name given to the beautiful beast that you’ve wholeheartedly unleashed upon us in years past. No offense is meant by the nickname if any is taken. Essentially, The Dub Wagon is a cart of sorts, piled high with speakers, lights, and all things that glow in the night. It has been known to walk the grounds, late at night, once the grip of darkness has taken over the campground. Growls, womps, and sub-bass can be heard emanating from within its depths. And, if you’re in the right place at the right time, it will come and catch you.
Described in a more straightforward manner, The Dub Wagon is a pushcart that wanders Summer Camp, blasting beats from the late night until the early morning buzz of chatter. Processions have formed, as they will again, wandering slowly behind like zombies, unwilling to give up on the night as they make their way through the camps.
Exhibit B: Jam sessions. Acoustics will be strummed and djembes will be played, hopefully to the accompaniment of a drunken poet and the occasional smiling soul. If you’re lucky enough, you might come across a DJ SOLO/Fresh Hops percussionist tag team jam. It’s happened before, and who’s to say that history won’t repeat itself?
All in all, Summer Camp is a tasty smorgasbord of music, workshops, and more. Whether is jam, folk, rock, house, dubstep, or bluegrass that gets your dance juice flowing, you’ll find it in Chillicothe. It will be a weekend tunes, dancing, singing, and drinking. A weekend of smiling, laughing, and love. Hugs will be had and good times felt. In short, it will be an unforgettable weekend, if only we can remember it.
A mysterious email with little more than this image and a subject line reading “Similar Skin” was distributed to subscribers of the Chicago-based progressive rock band’s email list this morning.
As reported by Jambase,
“The Linear,” “Cut The Cable,” “Hourglass,” “No Diablo” and “Puppet String” are among the tunes on Similar Skin which UM has performed live. A studio version of “Bridgeless,” which has been a staple of Umphrey’s repertoire for over a decade, has also made the cut. “When you’re a young band in the studio, at first you think it’s about just playing the right notes and playing them in time and making something that sounds better than what you can do as a live band,” keyboardist Joel Cummins told Rolling Stone about the band’s process in a recent interview. “Now it’s about getting [the album,] emotionally, exactly where it needs to be.” According to Rolling Stone, the band will self-release the album and have financed it themselves. “I think there’s definitely a few tracks on this that will help make us some new fans,” Cummins also told Rolling Stone in the January interview. “I really hope this is something people are going to spend a lot of time listening to with headphones.”
Here’s the full tracklist for Similar Skin:
The Linear (Debuted Live – 1/22/10)
Cut The Cable (Debuted Live – 12/30/12)
Hourglass (Debuted Live – 5/27/11)
No Diablo (Debuted Live – 4/26/13)
Similar Skin (Never Played Live)
Puppet String (Debuted Live – 5/28/11)
Little Gift (Never Played Live)
Educated Guess (Never Played Live)
Loose Ends (Debuted Live 3/25/12)
Hindsight (Never Played Live)
Bridgless (Debuted Live – 1/30/04)
Sometimes getting back to ones roots is a great way to feel re-connected and rejuvenated with the music we love, that which is current in our lives and that which is no more. This past weekend I did a two-night run with Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) and Umphrey’s McGee- two bands that got me started down the path I currently walk today. I love STS9 and always have because they just have that way to get raw and weird with it. On the other hand, Umphrey’s is not my favorite band. They used to be my jam but as years have passed, my interests dwindled to other things. I’ve lost touch with them as a band, but I went into it with a very open mind, wholeheartedly ready to feel what all my UMPHfreak friends go nuts for.
The Louisville Palace, a gem of a venue housed in what used to be an old Broadway theatre, was our destination for the evening and it was beautiful. The inside had vaulting ceilings adorned with carved faces of historical figures. Gold and red paint covered the walls and large staircases took patrons to the upper levels. The traditional theatre even had orchestral seating and a balcony with the ceiling boasting an imitation nighttime sky. Unfortunately, the security was pretty uptight at this show, considering the venue was probably half-full. Ticketholders absolutely had to stay in their exact designated seat.
Umphrey’s opened their tour with an intense “Push The Pig” > “1348”. Their lighting was on point the whole night and the sound was phenomenal. The set’s highlight was the “Triple Wide” they seamlessly blended back into 1348 to end the show. STS9 started on time after setting up their intense lighting arrangement known as The Pyramid by avid fans. They opened with an awesome “Ramone & Emiglio” > “Moonsocket” and kept the heat coming all night long. My favorite moment of this night was the encore when Jake Cinninger came out and sat in for an instrumental version of “Sympathy For The Devil”, after which Tribe killed it with “When The Dust Settles”.
When we awoke the next morning it was time to get the show on the road as we headed back to Indy for our hometown throw down.
I couldn’t have been more excited to reconnect with these bands in the very venue that I first experienced them in years ago. We arrived to STS9 just in time to hear some of my favorite classic Tribe songs. As we got beers and walked to our meeting point, they busted into “Equinox” >” EHM” > “Inspire Strikes Back”, all back-to-back heavy hitters that just make you wanna dance your ass off. Their set felt a lot longer than it was, ending things with “Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist” and “20-12”.
As quickly as STS9 were off, Umphrey’s was setting up against a beautifully backlit Indianapolis skyline. This venue always brings a smile to my face. It’s simple, it’s sweet, they don’t hassle you too much and you literally see every person you know in Indianapolis when you come to a show at WRSP. Umphrey’s closed their set with Dave Murphy sitting in on “Another Brick In The Wall”- the perfect way to end an amazing two-night run.
Thursday’s kick off party at The Hangout Fest presented a stacked lineup that arguably rivals the coveted Friday and Saturday timeslots. Conspirator, Lotus, Dillion Francis, Railroad Earth, Benny Benassi, and Umphrey’s McGee topped the list of performers that attracted a notable crowd to the first night of the festival.
Conspirator’s set featured prominent favorites from their Unleashed album. The highly produced tracks translated well to a live setting, foregoing the electronic texture in lieu of improvisation. Hangout attendees were not denied the band’s famous cover of “Brink In The Wall”, nor were they shorted on previews of new songs. Conspirator shouted props to their “very good friends” Lotus and encouraged everyone to stick around for their subsequent set in the Boom Boom tent.
Lotus was the perfect bridge between Conspirator and Railroad Earth, playing groovy electronica that dropped into funk when least expected and even occasionally ventured into experimental alternative rock. Railroad Earth’s jamgrass set offered the chance to relax and reenergize for Umphrey’s while others persisted to rage at The Boom Boom tent with Dillon Francis. It was a classic case of EDM vs. Jam for the headlining 9:45-11:00 p.m. timeslot as Benny Benassi played opposite festival kings Umphrey’s McGee.
Someone in the audience anxiously shouted, “Play the Daft Punk song!” as the lights fell and Umphrey’s took stage- requesting to hear the cover of “Get Lucky” Umphrey’s debuted at Stubbs on 4/20- but the band never obliged. Guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss encouraged fans to applaud bassist Ryan Stasik for his flashy orange, black, and blue plaid polyester pants early on in the set. Bayliss continued to disclose that the band had spent the past four days in the studio (!) and that it felt good to be playing outside. The set was a mix of old and new, pleasing fans to the fullest in the short 75 minutes they had to perform. They concluded promptly at 11 and were not permitted to return to the stage for an encore. Kudos to The Hangout for strict adherence to the schedule, but the non-negotiable closing time can definitely be a bummer.
The evening air at Hangout was warm, but not hot; chill but not chilly. The Letting Go Stage acted as the night’s headlining venue for Railroad Earth and Umphrey’s McGee, keeping kickoff party attendees confined to grass, concrete, and pavement for the night.
Tonight, The Hangout Stage will open its gates and welcome patrons to kick off their sandals and dance barefoot in the sand as they watch Kings of Leon, Passion Pit, and Jim James from the beach. Other buzzed about sets on today’s schedule suggest an even split between The Shins and Big Gigantic, leaving an opportunity for an intimate set with Anders Osborne in the 7:30-8:30 hour.
Stay tuned for more live Hangout coverage tomorrow!
Photos by Brendon Riha, RS Digital Productions
When the new year began and music festivals started making announcement lineups (just like Christmas- it comes earlier and earlier every year) I made a vow to myself that in 2013 I would only attend major festival events that I have never been to. After three years at All Good, two at Electric Forest, two at Bonnaroo, and one at Wakarusa, Forecastle, and Summer Camp- it was time for something totally new.
I settled on two major events- both of which incorporated specific elements of my favorite festival of 2012, Forecastle. In March I journeyed to the live music capital of the world, Austin, for South By Southwest (SXSW)- one of the industry’s biggest conferences. Like Forecastle, SXSW is an urban festival that utilizes its host city’s existing infrastructure. Factor in the Texas weather (sunshine and high 70’s all week), vast genre and geographical representation, and the extensive personal networking opportunities and it wasn’t hard to fall in love with South By.
This week I’m headed south until I hit water. Destination: Gulf Shores, AL for The Hangout Fest.
The other thing that I liked so much about Forecastle is its small footprint that lets attendees hop from one stage to the next in a matter of minutes. The Hangout appears to boast the same layout advantage which will equate to savings in both time and energy- crucial elements that are always in low supply at music festivals. Factor in more awesome weather, a main concert venue blanketed in white sand, and a bill touting classics like Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and The Black Crowes and I’ve got another stacked southern vacation in order.
The Hangout is modest and discerning in their lineup selections and presents attendees with little scheduling conflict as a result. There are only four stages and no more than two are active at a time, not to mention the fact that festivities run for a mere 12 hours each day (11 am -11 pm). The outcome is a carefully crafted schedule whose obvious focus is on quality over quantity.
I’m looking forward to seeing some top tier performers for the first time ever including Stevie Wonder, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Black Crowes, Kendrick Lamar, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, Railroad Earth, Lotus, and Ellie Goulding.
Acts I’ve caught before but can’t pass up the chance to see again include Tom Petty, Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar (or, as my friends have affectionately renamed his Hangout appearance, Beachnectar), Big Gigantic, Conspirator and Jim James (though I’ve never technically seen him solo).
I’ll be speaking with a member of Umphrey’s McGee sometime on Thursday and I’m reaching out to fans for help in writing my interview questions. Post in the comments what you would ask the band if you had the chance to interview them.
Finally, I’m perhaps most excited for my interview with Bright Light Social Hour, and up-and-coming three-piece rock outfit based in Austin, TX. The group of road warriors have been touring relentlessly for the past two years and are about to settle down in the studio they’re currently building from scratch to start work on their next album. Tour videos suggest they’re quite the wild and crazy bunch, yet also down to earth and very friendly people. I look forward to hearing about life in a band that’s on the verge of tipping into stardom.
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