Music News

Summer Camp Land

Each year on memorial day weekend Three Sisters park transforms into a magical world overflowing with smiles, laughs, and good vibes. For some of us Summer Camp has been our home for over a decade, and for others this dream-like land has just been discovered. Whether it’s a monsoon or a dustbowl, we just keep coming back for more. . I’m sure you all missed slip n’ sliding in the rain and watching people wipe out in the mud. However, Mother Nature must’ve been in high spirits this year because she blessed us with warm weather and sunshine. Instead of coming home with wet sleeping bags and mud-caked boots, we’ve all got the black lung and my personal favorite: The Dirt Tan.
If you’re a seasoned wood camper, then it’s likely you arrived on Wednesday night and waited in line until the ass-crack of dawn to ensure you got the best spot in the forest. Never mind the possibility of ticks and poison ivy, everybody knows the woods are where it’s at. Now, the responsible thing to do after staying up all night and then setting up camp is to nap, but we’re FINALLY AT SCAMP; so instead we just guzzle down an iced coffee and start the adventure.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the Pre-Party Pass next year (if you don’t already) because Thursday night was out of control! Future Rock kicked off the night with their ever-groovy electronic madness taking fans for a wild ride, while artists Derek Gruen and Alicia M. Post painted psychedelic art for the live audience. Then we boogied down to Sun Stereo, a super funky, theatrical jazz band from Urbana, Illinois. From there the madness only continued with Manic Focus, Digital Tape Machine, and finally EOTO closing out the Red Barn. Go on and get your free downloads ya’ll.
Friday was jam packed with awesome sets! Moe played a glorious set in the sunshine, followed by Matisyahu, Slightly Stoopid, Blues Travelers then Umphrey’s McGee, Beats Antique, and more UMPHS….Then finally we got to hear the legendary Les Claypool of Primus talk about hot buttered toast in-between your butt cheeks. YUM. If you haven’t popped your Primus cherry yet, then hear me when I say: the sooner you accept the fact that their shows are basically just a giant acid trip, the better off you’ll be. You’ll probably still end your night scratching your head like, “WTF?!” But at least now you’ve been warned… Go see Primus next time you need a good laugh. Enjoy.
There were quite a bit of overlapping sets this year but if you’re anything like me, than your undiagnosed, ADD self just loves bouncing from stage to stage, meeting hundreds of scampers along the way. This year I had the chance to roam the festival grounds for hours each day meeting tons of lovely faces and friends along the way. I came across an amazing little art booth called Electrified Designs. Two dudes from Michigan specialize in spray-painting vivid, psychedelic portraits of bands like Big Gigantic, Break Science, and even the infamous Walter White. They use a special linen-canvas blend almost like soft leather so you can roll your painting up for easy transporting. And if that weren’t enough… they do BASSNECTAR body tags. They’ll be at Electric Forest, Summer Set, and Riot Fest so check them out next time you’re on the road.
Day inevitably turned to dusk and thank god it did because I got to see one of my favorite sets of the weekend: LOTUS!! I’ve always been a huge fan of Lotus but DAMN; on the top of a hill, with the blazing sun melting into the trees, surrounded by thousands of fellow scampers is HANDS DOWN, the very best way to see Lotus. After their enchanting [sun] set, the magic continued with another incredible Umphrey’s set, The Works, more umphs, then Moe.
Fast forward to one of my other favorite sets of the weekend…Whether I like to admit it or not I consider myself a certified bass junkie, and I must say Bassnectar put on one hell of a show. It was the perfect mix of old and new; a carefully curated combo of old grime meets new soul. I’m crying just thinking about it. Some of my favorites were “So High,” “Liquid Summer,” “Wildstyle,” “When I Grow Up,” and of course his new tracks “You and Me,” and “Now.” I could honestly go on forever so you should probably just re listen to the set yourself. BASSNECTAR’S FULL SET FROM SUMMERCAMP
For anyone else going through Summer Camp withdrawals, I leave you with this: Twas a magical weekend to be cherished and remembered forever. Let us all surround ourselves with wonderful, positive beings and see as much live music as our wallets allow. The Summer Camp vibe is pure and true, so let’s keep it going all year long, and pick up where we left off next year. Keep laughing, keep lovin’. Cheers Friends!