React Presents & SIM the 2013 Summer Set Music Festival
Sound In Motion and React Presents celebrated the 2nd Annual Summer Set Music Festival at the Somerset Amphitheater with guests and musicians from all over the globe in attendance. 15,000 people per day were in attendance. Big Gigantic, STS9, Girl Talk and Passion Pit headlined the event. Overall, it hinted at greatness in comparison to other music festivals. The three stage setup made it easy to catch most of the entertainment over August 9-11.
The weather on Friday at Summer Set was filled with a mix of clear blue skies, and partial clouds resting above the campgrounds. It was my first time covering the event, and I quickly noticed it was better to have arrived on Thursday. The weather in Somerset, Wisconsin during the early August is an excellent way to wrap up summer camping festivals in the states.
The Werks | Friday 1:30 – 2:30
The Werks, an organic compound of improvisational music from Ohio has lit up the music festival scene this summer. The crowd was younger and energetic. After I checked in at the Media Tent with the polite staff, I checked out the end of The Werks set on the Main Stage. Their midday sets tend to be a little less filling in comparison to their headlining sets, but it was still enjoyable.
Conspirator | Friday 3:00 – 4:00
Once I had my campsite setup, it was time for Conspirator to get going on the Main Stage. Conspirator is a side project/supergroup that has formed with members of The Disco Biscuits from Philadelphia. The sun beamed down gracefully over the band, guests and rage sticks.
The security team pumped water of the crowd to hydrate guests during high energy sets of music. Security overall at the event was professional, courteous, and responsive to any problems happening on site. The staff used vehicles to spray water on the roadways to cut down on the dust in the air. Medics and staff checked on any sick or injured guest. The crowd and staff worked well together.
An unspoken rule of etiquette I learned in the pit of the Conspirator show was that it is permissible for any guest to jump on your foot during the performance. There is a good chance that you will end up stepping on their foot as well. The crowd had a rowdy, rugby kind of attitude during shows, and a respectful, liberal attitude after shows let out. It was refreshing and exciting throughout the Conspirator set.
Beats Antique vs. Digital Tape Machine | Friday 4:30 – 5:30
Two amazing were playing the 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Time slot on Friday. There was few overlaps during the weekend, but these two bands are two of my favorite up and coming acts for this year.
Beats Antique, Oakland-based creative gurus continued their unforgettable 2013 tour with new music to start their set on Friday at Summer Set Music Festival. Their upcoming album “A Thousand Faces” is due out October 15. The band has been previewing new music all summer, and it is sounding like more great material for the band to work with on the road. Their mix of analog and digital music kept the crowd going for easily an hour. The crowd at the Main Stage for Beats was one of the most beautiful groups of people at a music festival.
Digital Tape Machine is another side project/supergroup featuring members of Umphrey’s McGee from Chicago. Their set at The Grove Stage midday was good, but they thrive on bigger stages in later time slots. This was my third time seeing them this summer, and they have continued to improve in just three months.
The Wailers| Friday 6:00 – 7:00
Jamaican’s finest reggae group, The Wailers touched down on the Main Stage late Friday afternoon. Guests moved down from the amphitheater to the pit for relaxing mix of Caribbean rhythm and blues. The band performed legendary tracks ‘Stir Me Up’ and ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ for the crowd. They lead into a cover of ‘What’s Love Got To Do with It’ with a charm and humor that carried on during their entire set.
Figure | 6:30 – 7:45
The festival’s energy was kicked into high gear for the Figure performance on The Grove Stage. That set drained my energy more than any other show. It was on the edge of overwhelming in the pit under the tent. Figure described it as feeling like we were in a tiny room, but in reality we were in a big ass tent.
Figure’s bass levels felt like they were at the highest levels of the weekend. I could tell when Adventure Club took The Grove Stage after his set. My vehicle stopped rattling from a quarter to half mile from the stage. Bass heads were most likely in heaven during this set.
Big Boi | Friday 9:00 – 10:05
“It’s the feeling when you leave your house, and you don’t know where you are going to wake up. We call that Free Fallin’.” – Big Boi
One half of the legendary hip-hop group known as OutKast took the stage Friday evening after an injury earlier this summer put Big Boi out of commission for a few months. The stage was set with a Thorne made for a ruler.
Last May, Big Boi injured his knee on stage at the Summer Camp Music Festival. He was able to make arrangements with his rehabbed knee to perform for the Summer Set crowd. I looked at his performance as being commendable by how Big Boi wanted to perform with an injured knee. The hour long set was good, but I think the festival scene needs a tour with OutKast to enhance the performance.
Sleepy Brown did make an appearance for the track’The Ways She Moves’. A fan requested ‘Ms. Jackson’ and the group performed it live on stage.
Big Gigantic & Griz on Friday Evening
Griz, producer from Detroit, brought a steady set of electronic music that he has been polishing up this year. I made my way to the tent at The Grove Stage for a chaotic mash-up of musical proportions.
The crowd was signing along with classic tracks that kept the crowd moving in between Big Boi and the Big Gigantic sets. Griz was an excellent way to transition in between the two bands, and provide a headline experience at the The Grove Stage Friday night.
Big Gigantic, Denver-based performers returned to headline the Main Stage. It was another solid set analog and digital remastering by two of the most talented musicians on the festival circuit today.
The Denver duo broke out new remixed favorites such as Macklemore and Jay-Z. They twist hip-hop royalty into a crazed electronic dance party that set off the Summer Set Music Festival in the best way. The two band members would also perform during the special late night performance with Gigantic Underground Conspiracy.
Continue reading for the Saturday Review.