This past weekend, the 7th annual Catskill Chill debuted at its new home–a Lakewood, PA summer camp that the festival dubbed New Minglewood. While the party moved to a new venue 15 miles away across the PA border, festival founder Dave Marzollo explained that the choosing this venue was a no-brainer, as it allowed the Chill to maintain its identity as an “intimate experience which delivers big name acts up close and personal in a private environment where our ‘all love, all the time’ culture flourishes.”

[Drone photo: David Heath]

As always, Catskill Chill did an incredible job of showcasing the artists on their lineup. In addition to fantastic sets from some of the most exciting bands on the scene today, many of the artists were booked for collaborative and themed sets, and even more stuck around for surprise sit-ins. Often times, festival sets can’t give you the full scope of a band’s abilities for a variety of reasons (time constraints, scheduling conflicts, shit happening, etc.). But Chill gave its artists space to stretch out, which allowed attendees to see many different aspects of the performers’ abilities. There was a sense of community and collaboration among the bands as well as the crowd, making for an immersive and exciting festival experience.

Chill 2016 kicked off with a pre-party Thursday night including sets from Aqueous and Jimkata followed by a full two-set show by Twiddle full of fan-favorite originals, including a first-set closing “Doinkinbonk” featuring Scott Hannay (Mister F) on keys. The show also marked the return of keyboard player Ryan Dempsey, who had missed a handful of shows due to illness. Finally, a late-night set from Trakstar brought the Thursday warm-up round to a close. You can listen to Twiddle’s full set here.chill-twiddlel-chad-anderson-2016-2017
[Photo: Chad Anderson]

The festival got going in earnest on Friday with all five of its stages open for business. The day kicked off with performances from Funky Dawgz Brass BandWest End BlendZach Deputy, Mister F, Hayley Jane & The PrimatesKung Fu, and Primate Fiasco before Reed Mathis’ Electric Beethoven, the guitarist’s new classical dance music project, continued to cut their teeth as a performing act with a well-received performance.

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

The meat of the Friday lineup came next, as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and Mike Gordon both played standout sets at the Main Stage. You can read the Mike Gordon setlist below:

Mike Gordon – Catskill Chill Main Stage – Friday, 9/23/16

Say Something, Jumping, Waking Up Dead*, Andelmans’ Yard, Horizon Line, How Do I Know > Looking For Clues, Don’t Chin The Dog, Let’s Go*, Tiny Little World
Encore: Yarmouth Road
notes: * 1st time played with solo band

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

Pink Talking Fish played not one but two dream set lists. The first was their usual high-energy hybrid of Pink FloydTalking Heads, and Phish, featuring Kung Fu guitarist Tim Palmieri playing the vocal parts from Floyd’s “Great Gig In The Sky” on guitar before helping close out the set on “Crosseyed and Painless”. The Palmieri sit-in offered a little taste of what was to come, as he and the rest of of Kung Fu joined PTF– billed as Pink Talking Fu–for a set of Prince and David Bowie covers, paying tribute to two legends lost earlier this year. The tribute set also featured a pair of surprise sit-ins, with Hayley Jane singing on “Under Pressure”, Turkuaz‘s Shira Elias lending her pipes to “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, and both talented vocalists joining in for a “Purple Rain”>”Memory Of A Free Festival” combo to close the set. Check out set list for Pink Talking Fish as well as Pink Talking Fu below:

Pink Talking Fish – Catskill Chill B Stage – Friday, 9/23/16

Llama> In The Flesh> Thank You For Sending Me An Angel Moma Dance> Fearless> Bug*> Psycho Killer> David Bowie> Shine On You Crazy Diamond> David Bowie Girlfriend Is Better Great Gig In The Sky **%> Crosseyed And Painless**
notes: *ending vocals and solo only **w/ Tim Palmieri on guitar % Tim played the vocal solo on his guitar

Pink Talking Fu – Catskill Chill B Stage – Friday, 9/23/16

Musicology, Fame> 1999, Golden Years> Take Me With You, Under Pressure*, Let’s Go Crazy, Let’s Dance, I Wanna Be Your Lover%> Space Oddity, Purple Rain*%> Memory Of A Free Festival*%
notes: *w/ Hayley Jane on vocals; %w/ Shira Elias on vocals

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

Saturday’s festivities offered something for everyone, with standout sets by a widely varied group of bands, including CabinetParticleTaukShwizz, Fikus, and more. The funk was strong on this evening as well, as The Main Squeeze, Turkuaz, Lettuce, and more kept the relatively intimate crowd dancing. Saturday night also brought a wide sampling of tribute sets: Shwizz and Fikus teamed up after their respective sets for Shwikus Plays The Beatleslespecial paid tribute to PrimusKeller Williams continued his Grateful Grass concept with a new lineup; The Heavy Pets played an 80’s show; Turkuaz and Dopapod teamed up for a set of note-perfect Yacht Rock covers as Dopakuaz. Finally, after day rich in both tribute jams and collabs, the CHILLFAM ALLSTARS superjam brought the night to a close with a Michael Jackson dance party (featuring Eric Gould of Pink Talking Fish, Adrian Tramamontano and Robert Somerville of Kung Fu, Danny Mayer of Eric Krasno Band/Danny Mayer Trio, Steve Molitz of Particle, Shira Elias, Chris Brouwers, and Michelangelo Carubba of Turkuaz, Robert Volo of Deep Banana Blackout, and vocalist Elise Testone). You can see full set lists for Turkuaz, Dopakuaz, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, The Heavy Pets’ 80’s set, lespecial’s Primus set, and the CHILLFAM ALLSTARS Michael Jackson set below:

Turkuaz – Catskill Chill B Stage – Saturday, 9/24/16

Typa-Like, Bubba Slide, The Mountain, Murder Face, Tiptoe Through the Crypto, 20 Dollar Bill, It’s So Hard, Snap Your Fingers, Digital Hard, The Generator, The Toolbelt, Looking Though Feel, Chatte Lunatique, Money Fingers

Dopakuaz Does Yacht Rock – Catskill Chill B Stage – Saturday, 9/24/16

Life in the Fast Lane, I Keep Forgetting, Power of Love > Back in Time, You Make My Dreams Come True > Rich Girl > Man Eater > I Can’t Go for That, Hold the Line, Hey, I’m All Right > Foot Loose > Danger Zone, What a Fool Believes, Easy Lover, Rosanna, Black Cow > AJA Hits > Reelin, The Chain

Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass – Catskill Chill Main Stage – Saturday, 9/24/16

Scarlet Begonias, Sugaree, Eyes of the World, Sampson and Delilah, Mississippi Moon, Big Railroad Blues, Inglewood Blues, Friend of the Devil, Cold Rain and Snow, They Cumberlove Each Other (mashup), Feel Like a Stranger, Mountains of the Moon, Brown Eyed Women, Shakedown Street

lespecial does Primus – Catskill Chill Club Chill Stage – Saturday, 9/24/16 

To Defy the Laws of Tradition, Groundhog’s Day, Duchess and the Proverbial Mindspread, Here Come the Bastards, Southbound Pachyderm, Too Many Puppies>Hello Skinny, Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers>Highball with the Devil>Tweekers, Shake Hands With Beef, The Chastising of Renegade, South Park Theme, Welcome to this World, Jilly’s On Smack, My Name is Mud

CHILLFAM ALLSTARS – Catskill Chill Late Night Stage – Saturday, 9/24/16

Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)> Wanna Be Starting, Something>Smooth Criminal, The Way You Make Me Feel, Bad, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Beat It, Thriller, Working Day And Night, P.Y.T.

notes: Superjam made up of artists on the Chill lineup, including Eric Gould on bass (Pink Talking Fish), Adrian Tramontano on drums (Kung Fu), Danny Mayer on guitar (Eric Krasno Band), Steve Molitz on keys (Particle), Elise Testone on vocals, Shira Elias on vocals (Turkuaz), Robert Somerville on sax (Kung Fu), Chris Brouwers on trumpet (Turkuaz), Robert Volo on trombone (Deep Banana Blackout), Michelangelo Carubba on percussion (Turkuaz).

Sunday, the festival’s final day, was also arguably its strongest. With a non-stop schedule of must-see acts, you had to do a little running around to catch it all. But with New Minglewood’s compact layout, it was possible to get between stages quickly and see a bit of everything, making for a truly memorable day of music. Roosevelt Collier’s NY Get Down started things off with one of the best sets of the day, as the pedal steel master issued a high-energy wake up call featuring Dopapod’s Eli Winderman and Rob Compa along with Turkuaz’s Michelangelo Carubba and Taylor Shell. The set saw each musician onstage dialed in with Collier, bringing some of the high-energy jamming that was conspicuously missing from their Dopakuaz yacht rock set the night before.

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

Next, Eric “Benny” BloomRyan Zoidis, Adam Deitch, Jesus CoomesNigel Hall, and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, brought Bitches Bloom, their incredible tribute to Miles Davis, to the B Stage. The set was a highlight of the weekend, as the band gave the crowd a chance to see a different side of these musicians than their usual Lettuce/Break Science roles allow. Davis was a major influence for these talented musicians, and they seemed visibly excited to be tackling his work. Bloom even commented on the idea during the show, joking that he hopes Miles would have thought this was cool and not wanted to beat him up, but that he thinks he’s keeping with the late jazz legend’s legacy by saying “fuck it” and doing what they want.

[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were perhaps the day’s MVP’s, playing one afternoon and one late-night set, both of which hit hard. Their early show at the B Stage drew a noticeably large crowd, as they tore through a set of fan favorites complete with a “Rugrats” tease in “Julia” and a sit-in by two of Turkuaz’s horns players on “F.U.”. For a weekend when the night-time temperatures consistently dropped into the 30s, Pigeons’ late-night set at Chill Club brought the heat both literally and figuratively, as chilly attendees were hit with a particularly nerve-shocking yet totally welcome wall of heat when walking into the indoor stage. Dubbed the “Under Cover” set, the show saw the band run through covers by beloved bands including the Dead, SteppenwolfJamiroquai, PhishBee GeesRed Hot Chili Peppers, and more, with help from a string of guests including Tom Hamilton, Shira Elias, Steve Molitz (Particle), Elise Testone, and Rob Somerville. Both Pigeons set lists can be seen below:

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – Catskill Chill B Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16

Walk Outside, Fun In Funk, Time To Ride, Julia, King Kong, Burning Up My Time^ > F.U.*, Too Long, Horizon

notes: ^ Unfinished; * w/ Greg (sax) and Chris (trumpet) from Turkuaz. “Julia” contained a “Rugrats” tease

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – Late Night “Under Cover” Set – Catskill Chill Chill Club – Sunday, 9/25/16

Cliffs*# > Lovefool% > Slipknot^ > Magic Carpet Ride > Get Back**, Canned Heat~ > Birds of A Feather# > Get Down Tonight^^ > Controversy^^ > The Wall > Groove Is In The Heart > The Wall > Aeroplane > Cliffs^

notes: “Under Cover” set; * w/ Tom Hamilton on guitar; # Unfinished; % w/ Shira Elias (Turkuaz) on vocals; ^ Ending only; ** w/ Steve Molitz (Particle) on keys; ~ w/ Elise Testone on vocals; ^^ w/ Rob Somerville (Kung Fu) on sax

By the time Dopapod played their set on the main stage, the Chill audience had already seen various members of the band in a handful of sets, and anticipation was high for their full-band show. The band came through with flying colors, putting on a fun, energetic performance, including a particularly well-played version of “Trapper Keeper”. The afternoon lineup maintained its momentum as Nikki Glaspie and The Nth Power laid down high-intensity funk, with members of Lettuce, Pigeons, The Main Squeeze, and more milling around the audience, soaking it in. Nth was followed in quick succession by sets from Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Elise Testone’s Led Zeppelin Tribute, and Broccoli Samurai. (Setlists can be found below)

Dopapod – Catskill Chill Main Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16

 BahbiHappy Song > Trapper KeeperBlastCloud WorldPresent GhostsBubblebrainVol. 3 #86French Bowling

Tom Hamilton’s American Babies – Catskill Chill Chill Club Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16

Bullseye Blues, Synth Driver, Running in Place, Old Time Religion > Bitches > Half Step > Bitches, Gangs

Elise Testone’s Led Zeppelin Tribute – Catskill Chill Late Night Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16

Dazed And Confused> Heartbreaker> Living Loving Maid, Trampled Under Foot, What Is and What Should Never Be, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, The Ocean, No Quarter, Ramble On, Fool In The Rain, Black Dog> Moby Dick, Good Times Bad Times, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Rock And Roll, Immigrant Song

Greensky Bluegrass and Perpetual Groove offered a nice, varied one-two punch as the big early-evening sets before Sunday headliner Electron (featuring Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of Disco BiscuitsMike Greenfield of Lotus, and versatile guitarist Tom Hamilton) continued the weekend’s collaborative theme, closing out the Main Stage schedule with a bang,  including a rousing rendition of Pink Floyd classic “Time”. The 11pm-1am time slot on Sunday presented one of the weekend’s toughest scheduling conflicts, as Break Science Live Band (featuring members of Lettuce), The Werks, and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were all scheduled for simultaneous sets. While you had to split your time to get to all three, each performance proved to be more than worth the time. Finally, PartiWerks (a Particle + The Werks collab) and G-Nome Project closed out a fantastic weekend of music. Electron and Break Science set lists can be seen below:

Electron – Catskill Chill Main Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16 

Plan B, Triumph > Neaba, Ladies > Rock Candy > Naeba, Time, Little Lai > Confrontation > Tantalize >Confrontation

E: Shelby Rose, Home Again

Break Science – Catskill Chill B Stage – Sunday, 9/25/16

Throwback, Spins, Anthemy, Lonly Heart > Goin Down, Ice Breaker, Funky Style > Put Em Up, Guiding Light, Zion, Walk >Tycho, Reno, Tonight > In Full Effect, Boogie Down, Good Together, Force of Nature, Brain Reaction

[Photo: Chad Anderson]

While festivals can often falter when making a big change, Catskill Chill managed to successfully keep its time-tested identity, providing mind-blowing sets by a wide variety of bands, creative and unique tributes, and unique collaborations in an intimate setting. We’re already excited to head back to New Minglewood next Fall!

And if you don’t want to wait til next year for more mind-blowing collaborations, come check out Brooklyn Comes Alive on October 22nd! This one-day festival brings together once-in-a-lifetime collaborations by members of your favorite bands. This year, many of the artists on the Chill lineup will converge on Williamsburg for BCA, including members of Lettuce, Break Science, Electron/Disco Biscuits, Dopapod, The Nth Power, Kung Fu, Deep Banana Blackout, Electric Beethoven, Tom Hamilton, Roosevelt Collier, Elise Testone,  and many more! The event will span three of Brooklyn’s most popular venues — Brooklyn Bowl, The Hall at MP, and Music Hall of Williamsburg — all within a 10 minute walking radius. [Get tickets here]

[Drone cover photo: David Heath]