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Summer Camp Music Festival Saturday Recap

Saturday started with a light mist over the campgrounds. The rain would continue over the next few days, but I decided try to stay dry by avoiding as many rain storms as possible on Saturday and Sunday. My first set of music that I experienced was Diplo on the Moonshine Stage. It was interesting, but I was more intrigued by the Break Science set with Charlie 2na sitting on during their performance. Sun Stereo performed one of their many sets midday Saturday with a beefy horn section on the Camping Stage.


One of the highlights to my weekend was being able to attend a drum workshop on Saturday with Randall Moore, percussionist for The Ragbirds, and Vinnie Amico, drummer for Moe, Kris Myers, drummer for Umphrey’s McGee and a group of other talented drum players in the Church demo drum techniques collectively.

Vinnie and Randall spoke about performing as drummers and the interrelations between drive and progression in production.

“Similar to when Vinnie was talking about driving a band. When a drummer doesn’t have good timing, they may be pushing and pulling the tempo. You are going to feel it. You are going to feel that, and its maybe the thing that makes your song groove or not groove,” Moore said.

Vinnie also mentioned the importance for beginning drummers to use a metronome during their training at first. As I journalist, I also found this lesson to be relative to my career. The drum workshop is a tradition at Summer Camp that has gone on for several years, and as a drummer, I noticed that attendees to these seminars obtain access to free drum lessons with some of the best drummers in the country. That is just one of the Summer Camp trademarks that they continue to provide for their guests.

Break Science launched a new sound-system on Saturday from 5-6:15 p.m. with the lyricist master, Chali 2na, vocalist for Jurassic 5. Their set at Summer Camp in 2012 was impressive, and I was amped to see how they were planning to layer his vocal presence on stage for their performance this year. The performance was a little before its time in a way. It was a treat to experience it in the intimate surroundings of the Starshine Stage area. I can visualize the performance being held on much larger stages, and with additional guests. Their sound system on Saturday was in a light rain, but it was also one of the best sets of the weekend. The entertainers bucked the idea of letting the weather conditions bring down the atmosphere in the area. In return, it created a prodigious experience.

Chali 2na
Chali 2na

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe jammed their way through the light rain on the Sunshine Stage in the late afternoon hours on Saturday. Denson’s horn playing is always above par, and continues to amaze audiences year after year. His set was just before the Thievery Corporation’s day set on the Moonshine Stage. I walked from the Sunshine Stage to the Moonshine with little problems on Saturday, and the grounds were still walkable.

Thievery Corporation performed their first set at Summer Camp on Saturday, May 25. Their live performances are always top notch, and innovative on several levels. The band layers digital and analog instruments skillfully. They performed late Sunday in the Redbarn, but I made my exit before the lighting storm late Sunday evening.

The Werks performed on the Campfire Stage Saturday at Summer Camp. They have been relentlessly touring around the country. The band hosts they own festival similar to Summer Camp in Ohio each year. It is a real treat watching The Werks on smaller stages at events across the United States, and seeing them do their thing in front of their hometown audience. Summer Camp does an excellent job of hosting local, national and international bands each year to give this vibe at each set.

Moe. & Umphrey’s performed later on Saturday on the Moonshine and Sunshine Stages. Each stage has to have a limit of guests it can hold. During the Saturday night Moe. set, and during the STS9 headlining performance on the Moonshine Stage, it seemed both bands were getting close to hitting the limit of guests that area can hold. The Sunshine Stage appears to hold more guests. This year the festival increased attendance despite the weather. After hearing about the weather that occurred at the 2013 Wakarusa Music Festival taking place Thursday, May 30th to Sunday, June 2, it appears that the Summer Camp guests were lucky with the weather. My Saturday night did end early, but Thievery Corporation, Big Gigantic, Griz and Gramatik kept things going in the Redbarn late night.

Continue reading with Sunday’s recap. [Web Link].

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Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.