We had an absolute blast at this year’s Catskill Chill. From the friendly and helpful staff, to the top notch musical acts and tribute sets from many genres, to the “chill” environment all around, there are so many facets of this festival worth mentioning. L4LM Presents the Catskill Chill Music Festival Awards!
Best Food At Catskill Chill: Dave’s Mini Donuts
Dave’s Mini Donuts by the B-Stage had the best chai lattes, breakfast sandwiches, and most importantly free samples of donuts for those waiting on line. While it may have gotten a bit crowded at times, the food was always worth the wait.
Honorable Mention: Professor JD Cornucopia’s Fantastic Foodmagorium & Great American Eatery
The food catering backstage in the artist green room at Catskill Chill is better than Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, LockN’, and every other festival combined. JD Farva takes your order and makes sure to serve you the best possible food you’ll ever find at a festival. Catskill provided a great change of pace for music industry folks traveling festival to festival. Artist Todd Stoops commented, “Good seeing you and great food! D’Angelo himself would be proud.”
Best Acoustic Set: Aron Magner & Tom Hamilton: Acoustic Again
Good friends Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits and Tom Hamilton of American Babies teamed up for one of their rare acoustic sets, a treat you’ll rarely ever find at any other festivals. All in attendance got a chance to see acoustic versions of some of their favorite songs as well as some fun covers.
Runner Up: Consider The Source
Usually known for their heavy metal sci-fi sets, the contrast of hearing acoustic versions of their songs gave fans a newfound appreciation for their work.
Best Cabin Party: ShwiKus
The ShWiZZ and FiKus Cabin raged all hours of the night, drawing such big crowds you’d think it was its own stage.
Runner Up: Good Looks New York Silent Disco Cabin
The Good Looks New York cabin brought their own silent disco to this year’s Catskill Chill, hosting surprise DJ sets as well as a sunrise set by Narkatta.
CATSKILL CHILL STAFF MVPs: Josh Cohen
Josh Cohen can be seen running around the campgrounds 24/7, dealing with the smallest and largest of issues. From people checked into the right cabin, to lighting and sound issues, security concerns, vendor concerns and band hospitality issues, every camper’s needs were always taken care of and always with a smile on his face.
MVP#2: Destiny Spang
If you happen to be reading an article, interview, or review from any media outlet about Catskill Chill, you can be sure Destiny Spang and Brotherly Love Productions was behind it. She’s also one of the nicest, sweetest, and gorgeous Public Relations people in the game right now.
MVP #3: Greg Sarafan
Greg Sarafan of Sensible Reason stayed on top of media, marketing, and social networking throughout the entire weekend. Any photos, tweets, instgrams, and Facebook posts you’ll be seeing over the next couple of weeks can be attributed to his hard work and organizational skills.
Tastiest Set: Pancakes by Dopapod (Dopacakes)
Dopapod pulled an awesome stunt at Catskill Chill that really connected the band with their fans in a way that has never been done before. Their “Power Hour Pancake Set” saw them noodling around while serving free pancakes to attendees, who grinned ear to ear as they were served food by their jamband heros.
Best Red Bull Truck DJ Set: Subset
Live For Live Music’s favorite DJ really knows how to read a crowd, winning them over whether playing a deep house party or opening for anyone from The Soul Rebels to Slick Rick to Rusko. He kills it at our When In Robe parties, at his Saturday residency at the BASSment of Webster Hall and at festivals around the country. For Catskill Chill he closed with some funky renditions of some classics such as the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyption,” “Walk Like a Dinosaur”, and Nelly’s “Ride With Me” mixed in with Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
Runner Up: Brownie DJ Set with Wyllys
Brownie gushed of his set, “I had an incredible amount of nervous energy with regards to last nights DJ set at Catskill Chill. Thank you all so much for coming out and supporting me and Wyllys last night, as we spun between vinyl and Serrato, beat matching between our two systems. The dude who ran the Red Bull truck complimented my set at the end and said, ‘you had by far the biggest crowd at this stage all weekend long!!’ That is super exciting to me!
I am gaining so much respect for how much work it is to play a set of DJ music, especially when unplanned, not preprogrammed, but played on instinct, and mixed and beat matched live. I know my equipment most likely has a button on it that will sync the tracks perfectly, but I’m technologically challenged and haven’t found that button. As a consequence, I’ve had to spend lots of time mixing the way vinyl DJs do, matching the beats and tempos, and I had to bail on no less than 5 mixes last night. But when you catch the beat, and preview the mix, and hear that you are about to bring another song in smoothly and perfectly, that’s a feeling that I haven’t experienced before. It’s so exciting to smoothly mix tracks together. I had an incredible time playing for you, and I look forward to playing at the 1UP in Denver on Wednesday with my buddy Dr Fameus and one of our all time heroes, LTJ Bukem!”
Sexiest Sound: The Nth Power
The Nth Power laid down the sexiest sounds of the weekend on Saturday night, hands down. This new band comprised of Nigel Hall, Nikki Glaspie, Nick Cassarino, Nate Edgar, and Weedie Braimah truly spreads the message of love, while oozing sex appeal, and embodies that heartwarming New Orleans funky soul music we all love.
Best Bluegrass Set: Yonder Mountain String Band
Festival headliners Yonder Mountain String Band joined by special guest Allie Kral really brought the heat with their heavy hitting bluegrass set on the Main Stage. Weaving through tunes like “Troubled Mind,” “Hope,” “Girlfriend,” “Pockets,” they were really on point. The set ended with a special jam, then encored with “40 Miles” and “So. Flavor”.
Runner Up: Cabinet
Cabinet played an amazing jamgrass set of Grateful Dead covers. Listen to the set below:
Best Tribute Set: Turkuaz (Sly and The Family Stone)
Brooklyn based funk outfit Turkuaz put together a masterful set of Sly and The Family Stone covers ranging from renditions of “Luv and Haight,” “In Time,” “Babies Making Babies,” “Thank You,” “The Skin I’m In,” “M’Lady,” and more. It was definitely one of the funkiest sets of the weekend! Listen below:
Runner Up: ShwiKus (P- Funk)
The combo of FiKus and Shwizz resulted in a massive conglomerate of individuals uniting on stage to lay down the funk of Parliament Funkadelic. The crowd enthusiastically sang along to “We Want The Funk,” “Flashlight,” and many other well-known classics. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were at a P-Funk concert!
Honorable Mention: Pink Talking Fish
They covered the music of our three favorite bands… Phish, Pink Floyd, and The Talking Heads! Watch the full set below:
Best Jam Band Set: Twiddle
This up-and-coming jamband shell shocked their audience in their teenage mutant ninja turtle costumes over the course of two sets at Catskill Chill. Their main stage set included a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and sit-ins by Todd Stoops of Kung Fu, Wiley from MUN, and Eli from Dopapod.
Best DJ Set– Shpongle
Shpongle took the cake as the best DJ set of the weekend. His style of psy-trance was a complete mindfuck that some may never recover from.
Best Livetronica Act: Electron
Livetronica supergroup Electron had all the heavy hitters pulling out all the stops. Comprised of Aron Magner & Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits, Mike Greenfield of Lotus, and Tom Hamilton of Brothers Past, they played Disco Biscuits classics like “Home Again,” a Grateful Dead rendition of “Shakedown Street,” and even closed with Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Tom Hamilton’s guitar playing was off the charts and the band projected their synergy in a way that is virtually unseen in supergroups today.
Runner Up: Break Science
Break Science tore it up at the B- Stage with guest sit-ins from The Shady Horns, Eric Krasno, Jesus Coomes, and Nigel Hall. Even a random festival attendee was so enthralled that he decided to run on stage and casually tune and play Jesus’s bass before being forcefully escorted off the stage. Seeing Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee do their thing is always a treat, but when you throw in all-star guest sit-ins, the show gets elevated to another level.
Best Original Funk Set: Lettuce
As the first night’s headliner, coming in hot straight from Lockn’ music festival, Lettuce funked it up with almost the entire festival in attendance. As one of the last shows the band will be playing before Fall Tour, they really set the precedent for any bands following them on the main stage to bring their A-Game. The ever bashful Jesus Coomes laid down the groove on bass, while Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff and Eric Krasno traded guitar licks and the Shady Horns kept the crowd alive. Neal Evans kept the funk flowing on keys and Adam Deitch’s drum beats never quit. All were quickly reminded of why this is the best funk band in the game! Highlights included “Yakatori,” “Outta Here”>”New Deitch,” “Do It Like You Do,” “Madison Square,” and a “Blast Off” encore. Listen to their cover of Soul Vibrations -Dump
Runner Up: Kung Fu
Kung Fu’s funk-jam fusion set on the main stage Sunday night had the crowd going wild. Tons of fans in attendance donned Kung Fu attire and tossed around blow up ninja dolls while singing lyrics to every Kung Fu song, even off the new album. Made up of Adrian Tramontano, Chris DeAngelis, Rob Somerville, Tim Palmieri, and Todd Stoops, the band played their hits “Premium,” “Hollywood,” “Cramp Your Style,” “Gold Coast,” and “Haven’t Done Nothin’!”