Friday at Summer Camp was a day to reconfigure, reassess and prepare for the onslaught of music that was ripe for the choosing. Now that your on site presence was established and something resembling a campsite had been formed among friends and neighbors. The weather was pristine: sunny skies, a passing cloud, a little dusty but it definitely felt like summer had arrived.
Music wise, it was a day long effort to see as much music as possible. Highlights included moe. getting things going and filling the bowl on the Moonshine Stage with “Buster” and “Captain America,” Oteil Burbridge and Roosevelt Collier making for a fantastic groovy duo. Deep bassy trance from Citizun; high energy bluegrass via Old Shoe, in the Soulshine Tent, and Xavier Rudd and the United Nations combining funk and world music for the highlight of the day.
But wait, there’s more!
Umphrey’s opened their first set of the weekend with “Mulche’s Odyssey”. Debuted a new song from UMBowl VI, “Remind Me” and a raging “Bad Friday”; Bassist Ryan Stasik effortlessly posing and strutting on the stage. For the second set, Umphrey’s brought up Gene Ween for GODBONER, with Gener singing “Spinal Meningitis,” “Baby Bitch,” “Voodoo Lady” and a surprisingly awesome cover of Billy Joel’s “The Stranger”. Set three was highlighted by “Phil’s Farm > Upwards > Phil’s Farm” and an encore of “Slacker”.
But if you weren’t at Umphrey’s, there were still some hidden gems to catch. While I was bummed to miss Krewella’s set, so were the fans who complained about the high energy duo on the lineup. Aqueous played to a more intimate crowd for the diehards compared to Thursday at the Camping Stage, blasting off a “Master of Puppets” cover to close the set. Dopapod played a tweener set on Starshine stage, raging a “Vol. 3 #86”.
Then the night got late. EOTO was a lot of noise and lasers, so STS9 was the preferred destination for the night. This band with new bassist Alana Rocklin, played one of the best all around sets, and is an improvement on the musical priapism that was sts9 of old. An unexpected Victor Wooten sit in was the icing on the cake.
Daft Rock – Future Rock performing a full set of Daft Punk made the Soulshine Stage a dusty haven for ‘A’ game dancing. With hits and a few deep cuts, Future Rock curated a set that was more than cursory covers of the legendary EDM duo. It felt like a club show with accelerated live mixes of Random Access Memories tracks. The Midwest has some hidden gems that are hard to compete with.
The annual tradition of sunrise kickball began with Ryan Stasik hosting a who’s who of who’s still awake. It was worth the spectacle if you were still awake, but after a day like Friday, it understandable if you caught rest while you could.
Time to get some sleep and prepare for what awaits on Saturday – Field Day, more moe., Umphrey’s, JRAD, The New Deal, The Motet and late night from Pink Talking Fish.