Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nth Power & Orgone 6.29.15 (Photos)

Friday, June 26, 2015

ALO & Flowmotion 6.19.15 (Photos)

Nectar Lounge
Seattle, WA

Photos By Scott Shrader (J. Scott Shrader Photography)

View Scott's Full Photo Gallery Here!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Roosevelt Collier's "Colorado Get Down," Hot Buttered Rum & Dead Winter Carpenters 6.12.15

Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Bellvue, CO

Words By J. Picard
Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Upon the confirmation and announce of Roosevelt Collier's "Colorado Get Down" and Hot Buttered Rum at Mishawaka, there was a certain expectation of how the day would play out, including imagery of dancing alongside the Poudre River under the stars. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different plans, including rain and flooding the month leading up to the show. The day prior to the event our camp received an e-mail suggesting the possibility of moving the show inside. That night following delay after delay, I picked up Roosevelt from the airport and headed to The Bluebird Theater in Denver with my fiance, Carly, for a very special private album release for Keller Williams presented by O.pen Vape and featuring The Drunken Hearts. With the assistance of the ever-so-wonderful Kevin Anderson, we loaded in the gear and enjoyed a few songs from Andrew McConathy and company, who sounded fantastic. Towards the end of the set they called up Roosevelt, who had my lap steel in tow for a ripping jam. The band asked him to remain for the final song of the set where they were also joined by Keller. The result was weird. From The Bluebird we headed home only to awake and immediately start prepping, packing and watching the weather, which seemed to have cleared up. Regardless, around 1:30 PM we received the e-mail informing us the show would be moved indoors. As we drove up the canyon from Fort Collins, we wondered what the night would have in store for us.

Coming up the Poudre Canyon, the sun shined brightly through the trees and around every bend a more beautiful scene unfolded from the previous. We made a brief stop for Rosie to get a picture in front of a sign that read "Roosevelt National Forrest," before continuing on to The Mish. What greeted us was one of the most beautiful venues in the country. An incredible Colorado bluebird sky collided with sheer rock formations covered with pines, many burnt from a large fire a couple of years back, but in no way lacking in beauty. We loaded into the "Spokes Buzz Lounge" from the back side of the stage. As Rosie set up his pedal steel, I headed across the spacious main venue where I found the Poudre River at the highest level that I had seen. The water rushed by in shades of brown and white headed for lower ground down the canyon. Inside the greenroom I found Joey Porter and Garrett Sayers, as well as members of Hot Buttered Rum. A short time later Dave Watts arrived with Andy Thorn.

The band ran through a short soundcheck before Garrett and Joey departed for Fort Collins and Dave and Andy headed off for a hike, leaving Roosevelt, who was feeling under the weather, to recover prior to go time. As there was no cell or internet service at The Mish, I used the time to breathe, exhaling large amounts of CO2 and stress. At one point, I saw a family of deer, feeding on the lush green foliage on the other side of the river. I smiled and leaned back, staring straight at a sky littered with hummingbirds zipping in every direction. It was in that moment that I realized how truly lucky we were to be in such a special place. The frustration of the show being moved indoors on such a perfect day, started to wain. It also helped that Carly and I decided to head to the deck to dine at the venue's restaurant. As we did a group of kayakers floated by spinning in circles and flipping upside down as if to be performing stunts or mocking the powerful river.

The sun began to set triggering shades of orange, yellow, pink and eventually purple and the darkest of blues. The Mish was illuminated and felt like a biker bar on a lonesome highway, however in reality, there was nothing lonesome about it. Folks were filling in at a decent pace as Dead Winter Carpenters took the stage. At one point, early in the evening, the flow of incoming people came to a complete halt. It wasn't until a little bit later upon Joey and Garrett's arrival back at the venue that the news was communicated to me. Apparently, there had been an accident and authorities closed down the canyon for a potential helicopter rescue. Joey and Garrett were forced to take the long way around, instead coming down to The Mish instead of up. By that time Hot Buttered Rum had hit the stage to a packed room, though no more folks would be joining us for the evening.

The band was tight and output an energetic and fun sound. Folks danced along, many singing a lot of the band's catalog as they played. Outside airplanes and satellites passed by at high altitudes, further dwarfed by the occasional shooting star. As Hot Buttered Rum rounded out there set, they performed a crowd favorite, "3.2!" Sweaty fans poured out of the venue upon the conclusion of HBR's set to smoke, enjoy the evening's air and stretch for the closing set. I gathered the troops and we made our way from the greenroom to the stage. The Spokes Buzz lounge was packed and the crowd was ready for a Get Down!

Dave's drums hit at a consistent beat as the band geared up and Roosevelt jumped in on the pedal steel. Garrett, Joey and Andy follow and we were off to the races. Fans jumped in the air and waived their arms about wildly as Roosevelt dug into the slide and Andy shredded on the banjo. There were times when Andy went so high on the neck of the electric banjo that I thought he would run out of possible frets for notes. A couple of times during the set Andy featured Mark Vann's old banjo "Stump," which had an incredibly bright tone. Across the stage Joey took the intimate crowd to church initially, then dropped the funk on them, creating a sweaty dance party further fueled by the large disco ball that came to life at the front of the stage. Smiles covered the stage from the band to the crowd as Garrett dropped into one of his signature solos. The people who had seen it before smiled and danced; those who had not were stopped dead in their tracks.

Of the ten plus shows that I have seen this project perform, that night was one of my absolute favorites. The material ranged from Hendrix to Michael Jackson and back and featured ripping solos that had me yelling "come on!" Upon the evening's conclusion folks poured out of the venue and down the canyon, satisfied with the intimate show. What could have been a bad situation, whether the show was cancelled or even fewer folks made it up the canyon, turned out to be a magical night at Mishawaka in the packed lounge. It was a night that I will not soon forget. We loaded out the gear, thanked the staff and headed back down to Denver for the following day's LOHI Music Festival!

Nicholas' Photo Gallery


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lettuce, The Motet, Exmag & DJ Jazzy Jeff 6.5.15

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Despite the majestic beauty that is Red Rocks Amphitheatre, selling out this illustrious venue’s 9,450 seats is not the easiest task. I’ve been to many shows where the park is barely half full. Umphrey’s McGee struggled for the better part of a decade trying to nail down the formula to achieve a sell out. Ironically, they finally got there in 2014 by inviting The Motet to support. This would be the same approach for funk juggernauts, Lettuce. They teamed up with Colorado’s house band, The Motet, to sell out the historic amphitheater with support from DJ Jazzy Jeff and Exmag.

This spring Colorado has been inundated with precipitation. Several of the early spring shows at Red Rocks have had to deal with the weather. It would definitely be a factor on this particular evening. Hardcore funk fans got in early to secure a spot close to the action as the DJs started the off the night.

Most Millennials will remember the highly successful sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, staring Will Smith. In the years since his involvement with Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff has toured the globe and founded a highly successful music production company. However, it was my nostalgia for his early career that prompted me to head inside. Around 7:00 PM DJ Jazzy Jeff took the stage with Dayne Jordan aka Dosage. Dosage is now an accomplished rapper in his own right, but he pretty much acted as a hype man for Jazz for his forty five minute set. The good DJ treated us to some wobble-infused mash ups of pop music and bass. His selections ran the gamut from Michael Jackson to Phil Collins. At one point Jazz busted out Will Smith’s “Summertime” to an enthusiastic response from the audience.

Exmag, or Extraordinary Magnitude, was up next and during their set the skies began to look very ominous. Exmag blended digitally produced samples with live guitar riffs and ethereal sounds. Droplets of rain leaked from the sky giving us an indication of what was to come. I ran out and snapped a few pictures before retreating under an awning for the remainder of their set. The organic elements of the music flowed nicely with the heavy beats for an electrified funk feel. They made livetronica soulful. Exmag wrapped their set up just as the storm came.

Fans scattered as the sky opened up and dumped their contents upon us. Balls of hail rained down and lightning struck all around the venue. People were advised to head to their cars and wait until it was over. Some fans, including myself, found shelter inside Red Rocks; others were inevitably drenched. I’ll just say the storm felt biblical.

This being Colorado after about fifteen minutes the rain lightened and stopped completely. The crew swept the water off the stage and The Motet fired up the funk engine. The most amazing thing is that everyone who evacuated, returned to get down despite most of them getting soaked. The crew did a great shop getting the stage reset, and within thirty minutes The Motet emerged to a wet, but excited crowd.

Set One: Funny Bone > Knock It Down, Cloak ‘N’ Dagger, Fight The Power, Rynodub, 123 > Just Around The Corner, Sexx Laws > Keep On Don’t Stoppin’, Get Down Tonight > Jungle Jazz

The Motet began as a rotating funk super jam for Colorado musicians. More recently the lineup has solidified under the leadership of Dave Watts on drums. This particular lineup pulls in some of the best players from over the years including Garrett Sayers on bass, Joey Porter on keys, and Ryan Jalbert on guitar. The horn section consists of Gabe Mervine (trumpet) and Matt Pitts (saxaphone), and tying it all together is Jans Ingber on vocals and percussion. The Motet is best known for their theme shows, however more recently, they have focused on including more original material. Many tracks came from their self-titled album released last year including a snappy “Knock It Down” and a dark, but funky “Rynodub.” The funkiest jam of the night came during “123,” which seemed to stretch on and on. The Motet went into Beck’s “Sexx Laws” to honor Chris Gwin who recently passed away. They ended the set with K.C. and The Sunshine’s “Get Down Tonight” into the funkiest instrumental of “Jungle Boogie” ever undertaken.

Ironically, Brooklyn-based funkers, Lettuce, are also lead by their drummer. Adam Deitch is a modern day drumming messiah playing with absolutely everyone. Currently he primarily focuses on playing with Lettuce and Break Science. The rest of Lettuce is a veritable who’s who of the East Coast funk and jazz scene including Soulive’s Neal Evans on keys and Eric Krasno on guitar, Erick “Jesus” Coomes on bass, and Adam Smirnoff on guitar, Eric Benny Bloom on trumpet and Ryan Zoidis on sax. Saying their set at Red Rocks was intense might be an understatement.

Set One: Big Anthem, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, Colorado Knows How To Party, Get Greasy, Chief, Phyllis, Breakout > Relax > Jesus Dre > Trap > Madison Square, Squadlive > Lettsanity, Lett Zeppelin, Do It Like You Do > Makin' My Way Back Home

Lettuce absolutely threw down. The set was a selection of the new and the classic. “Colorado Knows How To Party” was a nod to all the drenched patrons in the audience. “Madison Square” was an obvious highlight for the beloved funk band. Nigel Hall joined the band to sing on “Lettsanity” and “Do It Like You Do.” Lettuce took full advantage of this co-bill with The Motet. They delivered a hard-hitting, funky free-for-all to a sold out crowd at one of the most beautiful venues on the planet. Be on the look out for this band, they are playing a slew of festivals this summer across the country.

All in all this was a very special evening on the Rocks for both The Motet and Lettuce. These bands combined their raw talent for a very special, albeit rain soaked show. I honestly would not be surprised to see these two bands team up again next summer. Time will tell.

Nick’s Photo Gallery


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Camp Music Festival 5.21 - 5.24.15

Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

What began as a glorified beer bash with a few bands in the backwoods of Illinois, has grown over the last decade and a half into the Midwest’s premiere music and cultural experience. Summer Camp 2015 was a year for reflection with many fans heard proclaiming the number of times they made the trek to Chillicothe. For me it was my tenth year and yet another opportunity to work as a Camp Counselor with a whole batch of new recruits ready to hit the ground running. I got in early on Wednesday night so as to avoid the infamous line to get into GA. Fans were already starting to que up when I arrived late in the evening. The pre-party for the pre-party went all night until the gates opened up around noon. The recently re-imagined entryway allowed for smoother access than years past with multiple stations set up for receiving patrons.

Thursday May 21, 2015:

The Thursday Pre-Party has almost become a mandatory component of the Summer Camp experience. Not only does it give fans a chance to nail down a sought-after spot in the woods, the music keeps getting better and better each year. This time around Summer Camp pulled no punches with the lineup. The day got started with the hard-hitting Chicago Funk Mafia on the Starshine Stage. Many of the Summer Camp On The Road Winners were given slots on Thursday, giving them a chance to play and then enjoy the rest of the festival. Two bands from Colorado, Moontang and Hog MaGundy got the day going early. Moontang is an electro-funk rock outfit from Boulder who has a truly engaging sound. Their set drew in curious attendees and some hometown fans as well. Hog MaGundy pulled a bigger audience, with songs like “Sweet Dready Momma” and a ripping version of the Grateful Dead’s “Althea.”

Festival favorite Family Groove Company treated fans to a huge instrumental version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to start their hour-long set.

“I heard EOTO was going to play some Dead tunes.” –Random Summer Camper

Family Groove Company invited a horn section, which added an entirely new layer to their typical style. Yojimbo is the next phase for musical novelty, Carly Meyers, and drummer, Adam Gertner. They were both touring relentlessly as part of Mike Dillon’s backing band, formerly known as the Band of Outsiders. At some point they jumped off to start their own project. Dillon’s tutelage can be heard in Yojimbo’s vibrant melodic interplay. Their set fused snappy beats, brass, and the occasional sample. Carly treated fans to an extended trombone solo towards the end of their set. This band is a bucket of energy and so worth checking out. As the sun began to set behind the miles of soybean fields that frame Summer Camp, Floodwood took the stage for the first Grateful Dead themed set of the weekend.

Floodwood is the acoustic Americana outfit that features two members of moe., Al Schnier on guitar and Vinnie Amico on the drums. This band is part of the fabric and history of Summer Camp. They cut their teeth at this festival in 2012 and they have continued to play here every year since. Floodwood and its members primarily reside and play in Upstate New York. So Summer Camp gives them an opportunity to entertain a whole new fan base. Their Thursday night Dead set contained many early acoustic covers including a bouncy “Cumberland Blues” and a stunning “Dire Wolf.” Towards the end Floodwood pulled a classic switcheroo with Vinnie taking the microphone for “Casey Jones.” Al jumped on drums with Nick, Zach and Jason passing their instruments to each other as well. It was an unusual way to close the set, but I support anything that gives Vinnie a minute in the spotlight. They closed with a textbook “Candyman.”

Future Rock played to a sizeable audience next while The Werks got down to an equally impressive crowd at the Campfire stage. Even as the darkness fell over Summer Camp, new arrivals continued to flow into the grounds. By now the massive tractor was making regular trips in and out to help with the schlep. Thursday was also Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Championship between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks. Summer Camp was nice enough to set up a viewing station in the Soulshine Tent so that hockey fans could keep track of the score. They did the same on Saturday for Game 4. The Nth Power provided us with a soulful funk explosion lead by Nikki Glaspie. I found my way back to the tent as The Infamous Strindusters played into the wee hours of the night.

Friday May 22, 2015:

I found myself in the VIP lounge listening to the docile sounds of Sun Stereo who opened up with their extravagant romp “Fuck em Up.” They performed for about an hour to an enthusiastic audience.

“I have a VIP Tent for you” –Well-wisher to Sax Player in Sun Stereo

I wandered out to catch eclectic acoustic experiment Bone Jugs N’ Harmony before Summer Camp Music Festival got into full swing on Friday with moe. on The Moonshine stage. The rest of the Summer Camp Counselors and I were given the opportunity to introduce the band and let people know about the program. Moe opened with an energetic “Spine Of A Dog” into the always-appreciated “Buster.”

The Grateful Dead celebration got into full swing with the star-studded Grateful Grass show featuring Keller Williams and all five of The Infamous Stringdusters. The newly formed super group opened up with a breezy “Eyes Of The World.” The feet began to stomp as this all-string homage to GD50 got started. Keller gave a nod to his backing band by playing the Stringduster’s original “The Place That I Call Home.” The rest of the set save for one detour to the “Port-a-Potty Line” was all classic Grateful Dead tunes. The highlights were a grass-alicious “Bertha,” and a mind-bending “Shakedown Street.”

Keller Williams Live at Summer Camp Music Festival on May 22, 2015

Friday could have easily been known as Umphrey’s McGee day with the boys from Chicago playing three full sets. Smack dab in the middle was the highly anticipated Gene Ween meets Godboner set. This year UM broke with tradition by only playing Summer Camp for two days. Hardcore Umphreaks voiced their concern prior to the festival. However, come show time Umphrey’s delivered five stunning sets of music over Friday and Saturday. Their first set featured a powerful “Mulche’s Odyssey” and a solid “Bad Friday” to close. Set two started as a regular Umph show. After warming up the audience with “Puppet String” into “JaJunk,” the weathered Gene Ween appeared onstage. He has finally found sobriety and despite the lack of a Ween reunion all of the members are playing around the country respectively. Gene has wandered through the valley of addiction and emerged clean, but alone. This was the perfect opportunity for this type of collaboration, which seems to happen time and time again at Summer Camp. At one point during their hour or so together Gene called UM, “pinpoint” in terms of their renditions of his songs. Other than the vocals “The Grobe” sounds so much like an Umphrey’s tune I’m amazed they haven’t covered it previously. “Spinal Meningitis” felt eerie, while “Baby Bitch” became a sing along. “Voodoo Lady” was a huge peak with UM nailing that raw psychedelic sound that made Ween famous. Umphrey’s would come back solo for their third set that included a mesmerizing “Phil’s Farm” into “Upward” back into “Phil’s Farm.” They encored with “Slacker” to end a huge night of music.

Umphreys McGee Live at Summer Camp on May 22, 2015

Let me rewind because going all Umphrey’s there I missed a few sets. Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles scored a spot on the Moonshine this year. The string band played a smoking “Come Back Home” off their newly released album Wild Animals. They continue to be one of the most enthralling bluegrass groups touring today. After Godboner, I went to check out Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Denson took a break from the Rolling Stones tour to play a set at Summer Camp. Their jazz and funk filled show was all energy. Denson and his Universe brought the heat to the Starshine Stage. It was definitely a night for fans of electronic music. String Cheese side project EOTO played to a massive crowd. While Sound Tribe Sector 9 invited up Victor Wooten for a bass blasted “Gobnugget.” Meanwhile, the rock and roll stylings of Trigger Hippy, featuring the vivacious Joan Osborne, were going full speed at the Campfire Stage. This was their second set of the day. Moe teamed up with The New Deal for Red Barn duties, and Keller Williams played until 4 AM, but I was in bed before that happened. I realize, as I get older if I want to enjoy the festival sometimes I have to call it a night earlier than I’d like.

Saturday May 23, 2015:

As the sun rose on day three at Summer Camp Music Festival, the campground and its inhabitants seemed to be one. A temporary city filled with people from across the planet had assembled throughout the usually quiet Three Sisters Park. Saturday also marks Field Day at Summer Camp. As an original member of the Purple Team I take pride in joining in some of the festivities before hitting the shows. Family Groove Company got the day started around noon and acted as the background music for the tug-o-war. I was again the anchor for the Purple Team and during our match against the Yellow Team we actually snapped the rope. I considered that a personal victory despite loosing the rematch. Ultimately, it would come down to a tight race between the defending champion Red Team and Yellow. Red would again claim the cup, but that was just one of the many sideshows going on all over the grounds this year.

Floodwood again took the stage this time with an original set of music; the eager audience happily welcomed their acoustic dance party. Their set included a sweet “I Know You Rider” and the Summer Camp inspired “Chillicothe Clouds.” Old Shoe finally found their fans at the Campfire stage. The assembled boogied down and the dust began to rise.

Old Shoe Live at Summer Camp (Campfire Stage) on May 23, 2015

“The Music Never Stopped” into “Beer” was an obvious highlight from Old Shoe’s set. Summer Camp favorites Caravan Of Thieves also made their appearance on Saturday. Their brand of gypsy jazz is intoxicating. Despite the midday sun Caravan regaled us with a vibrant set of music. Their music is like Django Reinhardt and a bucket-banging busker formed a family band. They went into the “Devil Medley” that featured a mash up of “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Devil Inside,” “Devil Went Down To Georgia” and “Devil’s Haircut.” Yeah… they did that. Victor Wooten hosted his super jam in the VIP Lounge. This has almost become a yearly tradition where Wooten plays bandleader to a ridiculous assemblage of performers. Janis Wallin, Alana Rocklin, members of Brainchild, and more were all on hand to join in the jam. At one point the whole band really gelled on an incredible “One Nation Under A Groove.”

Saturday’s Grateful Dead offering came in the form of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. In a very short time JRAD has become one of the premiere Dead experiences touring today. They opened with a correct “Dancing In The Street,” which seemed to set the mood for the rest of their 90-minute set. JRAD has been playing across the country since last year. They’ve come to Colorado numerous times including a three night run through Denver and Boulder last February. Tommy Hamilton is a guitar robot sent from the future to make sure we are content with our Dead music. The highlight of the show was a transcendental “Throw Stones” that went well over fifteen minutes long. After a fiery “Bertha,” the band called it, but they were wooed back onstage by the enthusiastic audience. Russo informed us the band was a little gun shy because they played over by about four minutes at the previous show and had they had the power shut down just recently. JRAD returned with a sublime “Uncle John’s Band” to close their set.

Joe Russos Almost Dead Live at Summer Camp Music Festival on May 23, 2015

The Motet played Starshine while Sun Stereo brought their style of soulful funky goodness to the Campfire. Next up we got the chance to see the world famous Violent Femmes. After decades of playing together, Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie still have the ability to throw down hard. It was about the fourth song into their set that they chose to play their self-copulation classic “Blister In The Sun.” They appeared to do this to get rid of the tourists. What was left was a hardcore dance party at Summer Camp. “Kiss Off” and “Gone Daddy Gone” were obvious highlights. I really appreciate the inclusion of the Violent Femmes on the lineup. They absolutely killed their set.

And Saturday continued as it usually does with the intertwining moe. and Umphrey’s sets. These two bands are so ingrained into the fabric of this festival that it’s easy to pass on catching every show. That would have been a mistake on this particular night as both bands performed strong sets of music. Highlights from the Umph included a bone-crushing “Pay The Snucka” into “Higgins” which featured The New Deal’s Jamie Shields sitting in on keys. “Divisions” became a theme in the second set as well as the encore. The now somewhat rare Warren G’s “Regulate” was another crowd pleaser. Umprhey’s McGee is still by far one of the most technical bands playing live. Their shows require concentration and deep knowledge. Their five sets at Summer Camp demonstrated that this band is still very much at the top of their game.

Moe is another group that never stops being amazing. In their 25th year as a touring group they are not slowing down. Including the Red Barn show they performed six sets of music over three days. Their first set began with a ridiculous “32 Things” sandwich with “St. Augustine” as the roast beef. The set closing “George” was another high spot. During the second set they invited Marco Benevento up to play a twenty-five minute “Meat.” This was a great way to end my third night at Summer Camp 2015.

Sunday May 24, 2015:

The final day of any festival is always bittersweet. You are thinking about heading back to real life, but damn there is still a ton of music to see. I tried to sleep in a bit, but we were fixed on seeing the final Dead themed set of the weekend. This time it was Bruce Hornsby with moe. as his backing band playing from the Grateful Dead songbook. As we packed up and started to head out a downpour happened. It rained pretty substantially for about twenty minutes. We ducked under a neighbor’s tarp and rode out the storm. We would get some threatening winds later in the evening but this was the only real rain of the entire weekend. To be perfectly honest this was one of the best years for weather I’ve had at Summer Camp in quite some time.

As the rains stopped we made a b-line for the Moonshine stage where they were sweeping off the water and setting back up. The delay was fairly minor here, but Sunshine ended up being pushed a little behind. Bruce Hornsby emerged and took a seat at the Grand Piano on stage right followed by his backing band, 5 guys named moe. This set was very special. Obviously the proximity to Chicago and the Dead50 Celebration was enough for Summer Camp to create a musical thread for the weekend. However, to bring a participant (Hornsby) and have him jam with the headliners (moe.) who will also be in Chicago on 4th of July weekend is just above and beyond in my humble opinion. The misty weather continued, but by the end of the set the sun would be shining on us all. They opened with a piano-infused “New York City” before getting into the nitty-gritty of the set. Serious highlights included a flawless “Loser” and an amazing “Franklin’s Tower.” This set is probably partially responsible for the wife and I buying tickets to Santa Clara.

Summer Camper #1:“Who is playing bag pipes?”
Summer Camper #2: “Dude it’s Summer Camp someone is always playing bagpipes.”

Venturing over to the Sunshine Stage it became obvious that those bagpipes were coming form Gaelic Storm and this show was running late. The rains hit Sunshine hardest putting them a good 30 minutes behind schedule. The nice thing about it was the opportunity to catch a bit of Gaelic Storm who put on an incredibly interesting performance inspired by their native music in Ireland. Eventually Yonder Mountain String Band emerged and the day continued as planned. While we lost a little time with YMSB they made up for it by showcasing one of their newest members Allie Kral. Allie has a long history with Summer Camp; it’s where she played her last show with Cornmeal. Having her come back with Yonder felt like a homecoming and a truly triumphant return. She sang a tight version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and a beautiful interpretation of Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man.” They also got the chance to play a couple of songs off the new album including the title track “Black Sheep.” Yonder 2.0 is sounding like they are a new band with a new firm footing looking towards a bright future. This band has a softer edge; it’s not just the addition of Allie and Jake, but also the departure of Jeff. What they lost in intensity they got back in gracefulness. Hornsby continued the day with the Noisemakers while John Butler Trio wowed a huge crowd with his unbelievable guitar riffs.

Steve Miller Band is an American legend and we didn’t miss the opportunity to see him perform. His set went quite as expected, but I was impressed with his energy and vocals given his age. SMB gave us all of the classics including “Jungle Love” and “Take The Money And Run,” but the thing is they are all classics. His set felt like going to a BBQ in someone’s backyard on the West Coast circa 1977. Eventually he got into “Joker,” which became a massive sing-along. This was a great addition to Summer Camp 2015. Widespread Panic made it back to Chillicothe for the first time since 2011. They performed two full sets at the Sunshine Stage. This was classic WSP with no funny business. During the first set we were treated to a rowdy “Tall Boy” and a perfect “Travelin’ Light” to close. During the second, Panic found their flow with some seriously tight transitions and huge solos. “Dyin’ Man” was just sick, but the encore “Imitation Leather Shoes” blew the non-existent roof off the place.

In between WSP sets we checked out the petrified human remains turned dirty funk band, Here Come The Mummies. Apparently, this band has been around for a while, but this was my first chance to see them live. Each member decked out head to toe as a mummy complete with tattered rags and rotting flesh. They danced around the stage singing songs with double entendres and carnal references. This band was pure entertainment, and their hour-long set definitely made an impression on Summer Camp as a whole. They would go on to sit in with moe. during their last set on “Do Or Die.” The Motet would end up sitting in with Big Gigantic to one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. I took a little break with Greensky Bluegrass who was shredding it on the Starshine Stage. They always sound amazing and this set was no different. moe. took the honors of closing down the Moonshine Stage on Sunday. Their set went until 2 AM and included the Mummies sit in, and an “Opium” into “Brent Black” that was monumental. As we wandered back to our camp in the darkness the feeling of another Summer Camp gone washed over us. This was my tenth and the festival’s fifteenth. Where has the time gone? At the first Summer Camp I was a spry college student full of wonder for the scene that I had found through bands like Phish and moe. Now a decade and a half later, I am more connected with that music and that world than I could have ever imagined. A lot of that is thanks to Summer Camp. Because of their innovative ideas, a couple dozen others and myself have gotten the chance to be true ambassadors for Summer Camp. In doing so, we’ve gotten a behind the scenes experience that continues year after year. That gives us the opportunity to share a unique perspective with the other attendees and hopefully give them some insight as to how it all went down. So again, thanks Summer Camp for a glorious fifteenth year, let’s do another fifteen.

Nick’s Photo Gallery


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Euforquestra, Juno What and Mikey Thunder 5.30.15

Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Bellvue, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Mishawaka recently relinquished the control of booking their calendar to the Boulder-based Z2 Entertainment. They are best known for operating both The Boulder Theater and The Fox. Z2 is better equipped to bring in nationally touring acts to the historic venue on the Poudre, and this year they are doing exactly that. However, this concert felt more like a hometown hootenanny. Fort Collins-based powerhouse Euforquestra shared the bill with the electro-funk Motet, side-project Juno What, and DJ Mikey Thunder started the show. Fans feared the weather as Colorado has continued to get pummeled by precipitation for what has been a very wet spring. However, the rains held off and the four hundred or so souls brave enough to make the trip were rewarded with a beautiful star-filled sky.

Mikey Thunder got started early around 8 PM as the buses continued to make the round trip to and from The Mish. Thunder has an eclectic mix, which centers on funky jazz riffs and hard-hitting beats. Basically, Mikey brings the party with him no matter where he goes, and he can cater to the crowd depending on with whom he is sharing the stage. He utilized some Ray Charles riffs that added a huge soul element to his electronic output. His R&B soaked samples brought an organic feel to his flow, which made for an agreeable set. I’m not the biggest fan of produced music, however DJ Mikey Thunder put on a solid set for all the early arrivers.

Juno What has gone through an evolution of sorts over the last year. This band was once a trio lead by Joey Porter on keys and talkbox with Steve Watkins basically doing the same, and Dave Watts on the skins. Currently, Porter is still leading the band with the ridiculously talented Corey Baker on the drums, Garrett Sayers on bass and synth bass and Dan Schwindt on guitar. However, Shwinty Rock was at Beanstalk with Kyle Hollingsworth Band so the always-impeccable Ryan Jalbert filled in for the show at The Mish. The electric guitar is immediately noticeable in the new mix. Early in the set, Juno What treated fans to an especially funky “Shameless” and a gritty “Stranger.” I’m not sure where Corey Baker came from, but the man is a beast on the kit. He played in the pocket all night, but always with the quick break or a tight fill. Later in the set Porter treated us to the elegantly funky “Don’t Wake.”

“This is called Electro-City ya’ll.” –Joey Porter

After that proclamation, Juno What went into an extended jam that melted into a flawless rendition of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue.” This was a great way to end the electro-funk portion of the show. Juno What continues to be an engaging and unique group here on the Front Range. With The Motet playing so many noteworthy shows as of late I would not be surprised if we begin to see less of Juno What. That being said go see them if you get the chance. They are all about bending the genre of funk to their own will and creating an amazing live experience. Their set at The Mishawaka accomplished that marvelously.

Euforquestra is still touring relentlessly while maintaining their high standards of funky worldly music. As a band they have continued to innovate through their songwriting as well as their choices of guest performers. Ryan Jeter is a founding member of Euforquestra, and he made the move to Colorado with the band. For the last three years he has been diving head first into parenthood so he has shied away from the extensive touring and late nights. Well, the indefinite hiatus ended at The Mishawaka with Jeter’s triumphant return directly to the right of Austin Zalatel. (That’s where he belongs.) They also invited original member Matt Grundstad back to play some percussion for the evening. They opened with “Colorado Kicked.”

Set 1: Colorado Kicked, Cause A Reaction, Black Pearl> TCB or TYA, Price Is Right, Road Funk, Colonial Mentality, 64-18, Take Me Dancing, Built To Last, Don’t Boom Boom, Wasted, Soup> Instant Coffee> Slippery People> Instant Coffee

Encore: Whole Lotta Love

This set featured some classic Euforquestra along with some unbelievable vocals form the talented Kim Dawson. She sang a version of Bobby Patterson’s Soul-Funk explosion “T.C.B or T.Y.A.” Later she would sing a rowdy rendition of Lillian Hale’s “Don’t Boom Boom.” Fan favorites like “Price Is Right” and “Road Funk” were nice highlights, but the Fela Kuti’s “Colonial Mentality” was a real peak. Matt Wright took vocals on the newly penned “Built To Last.” Zalatel got to tell a nice story about his grandmother during “Soup.” Tallman took his turn on a perfect “Slippery People” by the Talking Heads before the whole band shifted back to “Instant Coffee” to close. Kim Dawson returned for a Led Zepplin meets Tina Turner version of “Whole Lotta Love.” This concert was another example of the high level of playing we’ve come to expect from Euforquestra. Their musical output has not slowed one bit, and the inclusion of guests has added a real spark to their live performances. They recently earned a spot at the prestigious Telluride Jazz Festival. So look for them there or touring across the country this summer.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

PREVIEW: LOHI Music Festival 6.13.15

Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Join us on Saturday June 13, 2015 for LOHI Music Festival! The line-up includes The Infamous Stringdusters (2 Sets), Kung Fu, Hot Buttered Rum, Roosevelt Collier's "Colorado Get Down," The Malah, Joey Porter's Vital Organ & Vine Street Vibes!

-Festival Only: $35.00
-Festival / Late Night: $50.00
-VIP: $161.00 (Includes Special Viewing Area, Food, Drinks & Late Night Ticket)

Tickets are available at www.lohimusicfestival.com!