The final day of Summer Camp featured some of the largest acts on the lineup and two regular contributors to the festival: Rain and wind. Even with the beautiful weather the past few days a little rain was expected, if not needed. A strong storm cell blew through around 1pm, causing minor delays in the music while cooling down the festival grounds and erasing the dust that had been ever present during the weekend. Strong winds tested the strength of tents and EZ-Ups, with gusts barely ceasing until fans began to load out on Monday. After three days of near-perfect weather, it was a refreshing change of pace.
moe.’s rain-delayed set with Bruce Hornsby featured “New York City” and five Grateful Dead songs: “Sugaree,” “Loser” and the trio “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot” > “Franklin’s Tower.” Bruce then came out with The Noisemakers for his own set of originals and classics. Steve Miller Band treated an enormous crowd to a slew of hits, including “Jungle Love,” “Abracabadra” and the less well known “Sugar Babe.” It was hard to find anyone not singing along to or bobbing their head to these classics.
On the Sunshine Stage, Yonder Mountain String Band treated fans to a set that highlighted new member Allie Kral (Cornmeal) who sang lead on “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Jolene” before closing with an enthusiastic “Casualty.”
Widespread Panic’s eagerly anticipated sets were nothing short of fantastic and treated first-timers to impressive jamming of songs that typically got a more standard treatment. Opening up with a jam that worked into “Little Kin” and represented tighter segues than in past years, especially from “Action Man” > “Pleas”. The second set opened with “Junior” > “Second Skin” and a monster jam during “Rebirtha” and the newer song “Honky Red.” Widespread Panic could be in the middle of a band renaissance, due in part to Duane Trucks’ presence behind the drum kit for the past year. John Bell thanks the rain gods for holding off during their set, which may have tipped the gods off because shortly afterwards, the skies opened up once again to cool the hot night down.
The Starshine Stage featured the progressive jamgrass of Greensky Bluegrass, who tore through Traffic’s “Light up or Leave me Alone” with a jam of “Tweezer Reprise” in the middle. Meanwhile at the Moonshine Stage, Big Gigantic brought the house down with an impressively loud set, similar to Griz’s set on the Sunshine Stage. If you needed a bit more moe., there was plenty to be had during their final set from 12:30 am to 2 am, highlighted by “Do or Die” featuring breakout group Here Come the Mummies joining the band onstage.
On the VIP stage, Twiddle invited Scott Hannay of Mister F to sit in during “Apples,” to which keyboardist Ryan Dempsey cartwheeled off stage. Hannay sat in later that night with Twiddle, along with Dan Shaw from The Werks on keys at the Campfire Stage during “Mamunes the Faun”.
The final set of the night to check out was North American Scum, an LCD Soundsystem cover band who might be the best band to close out Summer Camp. Members of the group are formerly of This Must be the Band, a Talking Heads band from Chicago, who have traditionally played one of the final sets at Summer Camp. This incredible two hour set featured the entire Sound of Silver album and, because everyone else was playing Grateful Dead songs, a spirited version of “Scarlet Begonias” to cap the night.
Monday morning came and the campgrounds were half abandoned with dreary and exhausted looking fans milling about their sites, packing up tents, deciding what property would be left behind to make the trip to the parking lots easier. By late Monday, Three Sisters Park was vacated and the cleanup beginning in earnest. With all the memories from this year’s festival, one full year until Summer Camp 16 doesn’t seem too far away.
Check out our coverage of all four days of Summer Camp 2015