Summer Camp 2010 Chillicothe, IL: Sunday

Article and Photos By Greg Molitor

Three Sisters Park – Chillicothe, Illinois

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

It was slightly saddening waking up to our neighbors packing their gear as their actions signaled the inevitable end to the festivities. I had decided the previous night that I was going to spend some time with friends for a few hours and skip the stages until Umphrey’s set at 2:00 P.M. This meant that I was going to miss a few acts that I had planned on seeing such as Groovatron and Hot Buttered Rum, but what good is a festival if you can’t spend time with your best friends? Since most of my weekend had been a solo act until this point, I made the executive decision to chill for a few hours and see how my friends’ weekend had unfolded.


After hearing my group’s Summer Camp success stories, I again was reminded how amazing my friends are. Having an experience is important, but that experience loses importance if an individual doesn’t have the means to share its worthiness with loved ones. Taking just a few hours to relax and wax philosophical on my weekend was the therapy I desperately needed after constantly being on-the-go Thursday through Saturday. Honestly, my time at Camp would mean nothing if my friends weren’t smiling nearby! Thank you all for contributing to the time-of-my-life!


I didn’t see as many shows on Sunday in comparison to the other days at Summer Camp, but the quality of the music held strong throughout. Here are some of the shows I saw on Sunday…

Umphrey’s McGee (Day Set)

Umphrey’s McGee’s day set began well as the band opened with a “JaJunk” that led into a fantastically exploratory “Much Obliged”. “Partyin’ Peeps” and “The Fussy Dutchman” were also played well, but after they butchered a cover of The Eagles’, “Seven Bridges Road”, it was time to check out Chicago Farmer.


Chicago Farmer

I’m glad I caught the last fifteen minutes of Cody Diekhoff’s set at the Camping Stage. Diekhoff, aka The Chicago Farmer, had a sound heavily rooted in folk but was more flavorful than a simple definition such as ‘folk’ could describe. With his friend Jaik Willis watching nearby, The Chicago Farmer charmed his audience through sharp lyrics and a welcoming vocal approach. My favorite moment was Diekhoff’s personal take on Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel”. Halfway through the performance of the tune, The Chicago Farmer told a story about how he received permission from Old Crow to add a final ‘Chicago-based’ verse to the song, which he sang immediately following. If the audience was not sold on Chicago Farmer prior to the Old Crow cover, they certainly were afterwards as I saw nothing but grins throughout the crowd.


Avett Brothers

I probably sound like I’ve been living under a rock for saying this, but this Moonshine Stage set was my first experience with the North Carolina-based group, The Avett Brothers. I was planning on taking a few shots of the band and moving along, but as soon as the band took the stage and began performing, I was instantly drawn to their sound. I tend to be a rock and roll guy, normally shying away from acts similar to the Avett Brothers, but there was something exciting happening on stage that I couldn’t deny.


The Avett Brothers play a light, lyrically driven style of folk-rock and pop, and they do it extremely well. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen a group of musicians this focused on their overall sound. There have been many pretenders, but The Avett Brothers were the real deal. Not only was the band tight and concise, but the emotional output was so heartfelt and raw, the audience couldn’t help but cling onto every lyric sang by Scott and Seth Avett.


Soul can be a difficult term to wrap one’s head around, but regardless of its definition, The Avett Brothers certainly have it. I’m seen a lot of great musicians since I’ve been following music, but legitimately great bands are much rarer to find. Since this set, I’ve been waiting to tell the world how amazing this band is!


Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa

After The Avett Brothers’ set, I traveled to the Sunshine Stage’s photo pit to get ready for Zappa Plays Zappa. This was a set I had been looking forward to seeing all weekend, but unfortunately, there were sound-check issues when I arrived. As many minutes passed, sound techs continued to scramble back and forth onstage, desperately attempting to fix whatever wasn’t functioning. Thirty-five minutes after its slotted start time, Zappa Plays Zappa took the stage. Dweezil Zappa, the son of legendary composer Frank Zappa, introduced himself and apologized for both the delay and the lack of a complete set of working instruments. In the grand scheme of things, neither of these mishaps mattered.


As the group began their set, there were some classic Zappa sounds missing from the performance. And yes, the audience missed three songs or so due to the delay. But who cares?! It was becoming a beautiful Sunday evening at Summer Camp, and the Frank Zappa’s music was being recreated masterfully by his son right in front of me! How could I possibly complain about anything!?!? The sounds that were working carried a clean but heavy low-end and were led by a thumping bass tone that shook any doubts of greatness out of my body. In order for me to stick to my schedule, I was only able to watch a couple tunes before leaving for Moe. While I was there, though, ZPZ’s dynamite version of “Florentine Pogen” blew me away and had me begging for more.


Moe. (Set 1)

Zappa Plays Zappa taking the stage late forced a bullwhip effect on the next two sets I saw. Since I stayed longer than planned at the ZPZ show, I lost some time seeing both Moe. and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus. I’ve seen both bands plenty of times and Sunday is a laidback day, so I went with the flow.


Moe. started off their first set with a walloping “Bearsong” that still makes me slightly scared to think about. When the band jams, Moe. is a train destined for a beautiful crash everyone wants to see. Their distorted guitar tones can be terrifying at times, but it’s a fun fear that urges those listening to share their tension-induced panic together. As the jam progressed, percussionist Jim Loughlin kept the train rolling with his fancy mallikat work while bassist Rob Derhak slapped the groove into the familiar territory of a “Timmy Tucker” segue. “Timmy Tucker” is one of their best, but I couldn’t stay for the whole tune. There was somewhere else I needed to be.

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus

Normally when I track music, I stick to popular, more well-known artists as opposed to local groups. Usually, local acts tend to be unprofessional and unfocused, unable to take the necessary steps to progress. With that being said, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, or UV Hippo as many know them, has revived my passion in seeing local acts over the past year and a half.



When describing the band’s sound, explosive would be an understatement. The group plays a variety of styles with a fierce, fiery attitude that demands attention. Whether UV Hippo is digging into more bluegrass or perhaps reggae on a particular night, their vibe always promises an intense trance-rock show, and it would be naïve to think the band’s sound is built for everyone. However, anyone to which I have introduced Ultraviolet Hippopotamus has been impressed by the band’s unique sound, songwriting skills, and top-notch technical abilities.


I was running late to UV Hippo’s show at Summer Camp, but I did manage to catch the end of their set at the Campfire Stage. The band had a larger-than-expected crowd considering they were directly scheduled against the biggest headliner at the festival, and UV Hippo wasn’t in the mood for messing around. With no time to waste, UV Hippo jammed their infectious, signature trance-rock to dizzying heights for the twenty minutes I watched them play. Each member is a brilliant musician, but keyboardist Dave Sanders and his lightning fast, Herbie Hancock-influenced phrases is what sets this group apart from other local acts. With a sound and style as fresh as anything pushing boundaries in 2010, UV Hippo brings their intensity every show they play. If their focus remains bold, the sky is the limit for the group.


After the band’s reggae-grass encore, “Run Rabbit Run”, drummer Joe Phillion took a few minutes before tearing down to chill with me and my crew. Joe is a great drummer but an even greater human-being, and I always enjoy taking a minute or two to catch up and see how he’s livin’.


Moe. (Set 2)

Always delivering the goods when the lights are solely on them, Moe. closed down the main stage with yet another solid set of improvised rock and roll. “Crab Eyes” got the ball rollin’ as Jim’s complex mallikat rhythms informed all in attendance that Moe. still had something to prove in their sixth and final set of the weekend.


Other highlights from the sixth Moe. set included the always appreciated rocker, “Okayalright”, a “Blue Jeans Pizza” featuring String Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth, and a colossal “The Road” > “The Pit” < “The Road”. Impressing me throughout the weekend, Moe.’s playing at Summer Camp 2010 was much more consistent and intense than their efforts at the few club shows I saw them play eight months ago. After witnessing the magic the band created this year, I am officially ready to call myself a moe.ron! I skipped out on the encore so I could return to my tent one last time before Umphrey’s McGee’s late-night shot.


Umphrey’s McGee (Late Night)

For some odd reason, Umphrey’s McGee’s management only allowed a select few members of the press into the photography pit. As a passionate fan that has traveled many miles on the road in order to stuff my hard-earned dollars into their wallets, I was shocked and upset by my denial…


I took this opportunity to get some wide angle shots of the action while I enjoyed the show with the general crowd. Umphrey’s set proved to be one giant “Pay the Snucka” sandwich; the band clearly was aiming for electro-heavy sounds as the set featured multiple funk and trance beats that keep the crowd on their toes. Highlights included a sit-in from The Macpodz’ Jesse Clayton during “Slacker” and a slammin’ 1348 that showcased Kris Myers’ forceful, exact drumming. The music was deep and moving, but I left the late night with a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m not used to being blindly treated like I’m a ‘nobody’, and that’s exactly how UM management perceived me as they didn’t allow me to finish my job. As upsetting as this was, I’ve learned to let go and not allow small issues like this bother me. There was absolutely no way this incident could change my perceptions on the weekend. Summer Camp 2010 was a blast!


Summer Camp 2010 was an experience unlike any other. Thanks to everyone involved…the promoters, artists, volunteers, security, vendors, happy campers…you are both the cause and the effect…the reason why this event is so special! I hope to see you all at Summer Camp 2011. Trust me…it only gets better ever year!



www.summercampfestival.com

Comments

  1. I'm totally the one on the right holding the red lighsaber...third Picture up....

    P.S."AIRHORN!"

    Best,
    Ryan McGuire

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  2. well people lets charish these days, although there may not be another woodstock, our generation can still hang with the best. these are our days to enjoy and tell ourgrand kids about, well some of it lol...some of the best times of my life summercamp.thanks to all who put on the show and perform.

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