The Catskill Chill celebrated its 4th annual music festival weekend on September 6th-8th at the scenic Camp Minglewood of Hancock, NY, located in the heart of the Catskills. The festival brought together another year of great music with a talented lineup and loving community known as the Chill Fam. What was once a summer sleep away camp gave festival goers the ultimate end to the summer party with the rustic and wooden stages, laid back staff and fun seeking friends that brought back memories of childhood and past Chill weekends. Guests had the option of renting cabins, complete with bunk beds, bathrooms and showers as well as plenty of tent camping for those seeking a view of the clear star filled skies at night while vendors were set up near the stages offering a variety of foods, clothes and odd ends at all hours of the weekend, complete with an Ice Cream Silent Disco Truck.
American Babies, kicked off the festival weekend on the Main Stage with a gentle rock vibe with slight southern twang. Keyboardist Adam Flicker kept a very close ear to his organ almost as if he was resting his head on every note. “Blue Skies” brought an enchanting melody of endless sunshine while their rendition of The Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie” helped the crowd stretch out their singing chops and dancing muscles. Spiritual Rez is a reggae ska band that can dance harder than you and they aren’t afraid to show it. Toft Willingham is a total talented nutcase as he sings and rocks on guitar all over the stage, encouraging the crowd to join in on a massive primal scream. Drummer Ian Miller, having recently broken his right arm, still managed to beat the hell out of the drums left handed and Mohamed Araki took a break from his keyboards to excite the crowd with a stage shaking keytar solo. Making their third appearance at The Chill, the four piece electronic rock band, Particle sent the crowd rocketing with their “Launchpad” opener into Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue.” It was an unusual, somewhat early (5pm) set for the group but that didn’t stop the Chill Fam from packing out the Main Stage area for their spacy dance jams. The band congratulated the crowd on making the right choice to attend this year’s Catskill Chill as it is one of their favorite festivals to perform at and went on to cover Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.”
Jimkata had the crowd grooving in a beautiful unison with angelic yet robotic synthesizers and hard hitting guitar riffs. Drummer Packy Lunn slams relentlessly on the cymbals throughout “Die Digital” as Evan Friedell’s vocals cascade around the dance floor. Capital Zen, the progressive funk rock band from Upstate New York had music going in every direction. Their lyrics are fast spitting poetry that hits you at warp speed as their electronic tunes mix with hardcore rock and eventually into a cover of Primus’ “My Name is Mud.” Lotus brought the sound of lasers to life as they blasted the Main Stage to pieces with “Uffi” into “Golden Ghost”. Big electronic build ups throughout the set with heavy beats and intense guitar shredding provided a never-ending dance groove for the Chill Fam. The set got kicked up a notch as Particle keyboardist, Steve Molitz, joined the band for “Greet the Mind” for the ultimate get down. “Alright, we are pretty lite up” joked Alan Evans after their set opener, “They Call Me Velvet.” Given only an hour and a few minutes to play on Stage B, the Alan Evans trio didn’t waste a minute of pure funk explosion. Keyboardist Beau Sasser could barely sit down as he shook the keys and Guitarist Danny Mayer’s riffs were so sharp, they could cut right through you.