Words and Photos: Adam Parker
The second moe. set was not only one of the best sets at Summer Camp, but quite possibly one of the best sets I’ve ever seen, period. The boys opened with their oldie “Crab Eyes”, only there were no instruments being used. The whole band played the song on ipads! A stunt that will surely be talked about for years to come. An energetic “Buster” set it off, then moe. did what they do best; jam. “Skrunk>Lazarus>McBain>Recreational Chemistry” finished their set and my mind for the night.
Sunday started off similar to the previous two days; not too hot, not too cold, and a slight hangover. After breakfast some of our camping neighbors told us about a local band we had to check out called Brainchild. So, of course, we did. Playing at the smaller Campfire Stage, Brainchild pleased their local fans and impressed first-timers like myself. About halfway through their shredding set the wind quickly picked up and dark ominous-looking clouds rolled in. We realized that our campsite was not at all ready for rain so decided to head back. We did not make it far when it hit. The sky turned completely dark gray with even darker clouds floating about. The wind started hurling tents and gazebos as the rain went straight from a 1 to a 9. After a long, scary hour of huddling under and holding down our one remaining canopy, it abruptly stopped and people slowly started to emerge to check out the damage.
Umphrey’s McGee’s set had to be pushed back due to the weather which actually worked out because it gave me a chance to check out the extremely talented Bela Fleck & the Flecktones on the main stage. It was so muddy that barefoot was the only way to go for this show. Later, Umphrey's again showed that they’ve been working hard, opening with “All In Time” and then pulled another new one out of the hat “Room to Breathe.” They then brought on the rock & roll legend, Huey Lewis in a collaboration; calling themselves Huey Lewis & the rUMors. This set was as excellent as you could imagine playing an eclectic mix of Huey Lewis originals, rock classics, and a few Umphrey’s McGee favorites. The most important part of the festival to me was seeing the sun creep out as Huey Lewis & the rUMors covered The Band classic “Up On Cripple Creek” as people danced, smiled, and some played in the mud.
The Avett Brothers were next on the main stage and were absolutely as good as advertised with their high-energy brand of folk. Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers made a big splash at their first Summer Camp by having Jimmy Herring and Bela Fleck sit in with them. In moe.’s first set of the night they invited beer brewer/String Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth to appropriately sit in on “Happy Hour Hero”. The band also played another new, Al Schnier original that already sounds polished called “Rain Shine”. The guys also knocked the dust off of their catalogue by treating us with the rare “Farmer Ben”.
the biggest crowd of the festival. As they are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year and through their energy and the way they played you can tell it is special to them.
We headed back to the campsite to regroup and prepare for the last moe. set of Summer Camp 2011. From there we were again able to perfectly hear the main stage which was the ‘wah-wah’ of Bassnectar. Later moe. opened their last set of the festival with a filthy “Plane Crash” and then had Bela Fleck join them for “Shoot First”. The encore of “Rebubula” seemed to sum up how most people felt after the long weekend, “Rip off all my limbs/Poke out both my eyes/Pull out my swollen tongue/Wear a thin disguise/And then the sirens’ song/Sweetly sucks me down/Into the ocean blue/I’ll find my way back to you”. I’ll find my way back to you next year, Summer Camp.