Welcome back to our video recap of Summer Camp Music Festival 2017. Be sure and check out Part One if you missed it. Thursday and Friday were quite busy, so we were happy to slow down a bit for the second half of the fest.
One of our favorite bluegrass bands, The Infamous Stringdusters, got everyone on their dancing feet to kick things off. It’s been 10 years since they burst onto the scene and they have become quite popular in that time. Back in 2007 when I was pursuing my Music Business degree at Appalachian State, we took a class trip to Nashville to do some networking and meet people working in the industry. While there, I overheard a lot of talk about an up-and-coming bluegrass band and it turned out that they were talking about the Stringdusters!
Next up was the breakbeat, hip-hop duo Break Science who delivered a super dancey afternoon set. The drummer – Adam Deitch – also plays with Lettuce, another one of our favorite bands and a regular on the festival scene.
I was finally ready to get back out there in time for The Werks, an American rock band that spans many genres. They also have their own music festival called the Werk Out. It was our first time seeing them and we definitely enjoyed what we saw of their set.
Next, we headed back to the Moonshine Stage to hear some Gov’t Mule. The unfortunate news of Gregg Allman’s passing was the topic of the day and we were treated to a stellar cover of “The Whipping Post” to honor the iconic rock star.
Pretty Lights Live kicked off the evening’s revelries while we all enjoyed a stunning sunset. I was very excited to see this act as I’ve heard nothing but good things. Derek has come a long way from playing STS9 after parties in 2008. It’s been a lot of fun watching him progress and play bigger venues. The field at the Sunshine Stage was packed to the brim with one of the biggest crowds of the weekend.
After that, it was time for a rock show courtesy of Umphrey’s McGee. They delivered two solid sets complete with eye candy from their lighting director, Jefferson Waful. He’s definitely one of the best in the business, and they even had some new toys for SCamp in the form of some very colorful backdrops.
moe. invited members of Turkuaz onstage during their first set for a funky rendition of “Ophelia” and “Happy Hour Hero” by The Band. Once again, we didn’t catch a whole lot of moe. this year, but we did have fun sitting up on the lawn taking in bits and pieces of their sets.
We finished out the day with Pretty Lights Live in the Red Barn, the hottest ticket of the weekend. The barn was packed full of people, leaving us pushed up against the back wall since we got in late. It was fun and all, but the crowd plus the heat got to be too much. We bailed a bit early, slipped our wristbands to two grateful people, and caught the end of Turkuaz on the Campfire Stage instead.
The final day of a music festival is always bittersweet for me. Exhaustion begins to set in and I start daydreaming about sleeping in a bed and having a real shower. But the magic of a music festival is always a hard thing to walk away from. Fortunately, the Sunday lineups are always stacked and this particular Sunday did not disappoint!
First up was Umphrey’s McGee. They wasted no time by starting things off with “Glory.” It’s my favorite UM song and I always get a little teary-eyed as it was the song I walked down the aisle to at our wedding. They also played one of their famous mash-ups, combining Bob Marley and the Talking Heads in “Life During Exodus.”
For the first time all weekend, we stopped in the Vibe Tent and saw some of the Desert Dwellers set. I thought their downtempo beats were perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
Next, we saw Reed Mathis with Electric Beethoven – the world’s first CDM Band (classical dance music). It’s a great project that combines two of my favorite things – classical and dance music – to create funky, improvised tunes. I grew up playing piano and trumpet, so classical music was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence. They have an album coming out on September 30th aptly named “Beethoven.” It features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 6 with an orchestra of 14 members from the best-known bands in the jam scene. Read all about it here and don’t miss them on their upcoming tour.
After Electric Beethoven we saw Yonder Mountain String Band. They are my favorite bluegrass band to see on a Sunday afternoon festy lineup. It was my first time seeing them play with Allie Krall, and although I miss Jeff Austin, she is definitely the best replacement. We left their set a bit early to take a break at the campsite before seeing the evening bands.
Trey Anastasio Band turned things up to 11 to get the last night’s party started. Seeing them for the first time was something I had been looking forward to all weekend. They played two awesome sets of TAB’s greatest hits. I particularly enjoyed the “Soul Rebel” cover as well as “Clint Eastwood.” Of course, we were also treated to a rocking “First Tube” that saw Trey unleashing his inner Jedi at the end.
Back at the Moonshine stage, moe. ended their final set of the weekend with my favorite song – “Plane Crash.” They’ve been at every single Summer Camp, and this is definitely their festival. It’s come a long way since the first one back in 2002 and has undergone many changes, but moe. always remains.
Finally, it was time for my favorite band – The Disco Biscuits. Their set was one of the shortest headlining sets of the weekend but they brought the heat! They delivered an intense, tight, and all-around killer set complete with lasers. It sure does make me miss Bisco tour! They kicked it off with “Story Of The World” and didn’t stop until the final notes of “I-Man.” I was in heaven! They made a lot of new fans in those 75-minutes and had me dancing non-stop.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We closed out the weekend with one last trip to the Red Barn to see Gramatik. Their set was really mellow and thankfully there was actually some room to breathe in the barn this time around.
Thank you to everyone at Summer Camp Music Festival for a kick-ass lineup and all-around great weekend, despite the mud! Sasha had a great time as a first-time Camp Counselor. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year!