Saturday brought a day full of nothing but sunshine to Summer Camp Music Festival. Despite the extreme heat bands and fans enjoyed themselves for another beautiful day of the festival.
With the mantra of the day manifested in “blazing,” Spafford played an earlier set and took to the Sunshine Stage. The name couldn’t have been more indicative. During their sixty minute set, fans were delivered their brand of improvisational rock-and-roll, and a whole lot of the sun. “Backdoor Funk” was extremely funky and made sure to leave everyone glistening, if not drenched, under the deep blue sky.
One of the most unique sets belonged to Mike Dillon’s Punk Rock Consortium. A band which compiles all sorts of percussionists, the sounds of the band are exactly what one would expect from a bunch of grown adults banging on all sorts of stuff- drums, xylophones, djembas, and other known and unknown instruments. Band leader Mike Dillon organized all the chaos, ensuring some sort of melody throughout the set. It was neat to see STS9’s Jeffree Lerner and moe.’s Jim Loughlin play a couple songs with them as well.
Leftover Salmon had a busy afternoon playing the Sunshine Stage and VIP tent over the course of the afternoon. Just days after releasing their newest album Something Higher, the band leaned heavily on their newer songs, playing tracks such as “Game of Thorns”, “House of Cards”, and “Places”. The new material sounded great in the live setting and worked very well alongside covers like “Dear Prudence” and “I Know You Rider.”
Aspiring guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Neuerbauer wowed the Camping Stage crowd with his string wizardry. It was cool to see various musicians of some of the higher profile bands come check out Taz’s set just to see the chops the kid has. Rappers Cypress Hill had the crowd bumping, especially when they played the popular “Insane in the Membrane.”
Sound Tribe Sector 9 played a great set to while the sun painted the sky in a magnificent orange and purple. Their setlist was pretty standard with a few older tunes like “Kamuy,” “Instantly,” and a set-closing “The Rabble.” Their fellow jamtronica compatriots Papadosio immediately followed with a spacey and improv-heavy four song set. The instrumental “Water Song” was probably the most jammed out while “Ear to Ear” featured vocalist Anthony Thogmartin on something similar to a vocoder which created a much different version than the studio one.
The best part of any Saturday night at Summer Camp is the moe./UM segment. The sets alternated by the two headliners delivered on all expectations. Umphrey’s McGee flew in M.C. Pumpernickel and Cousin Eli via chopper for a rendition of “Ain’t No Fun”. Umphrey’s had everyone in bliss when they nailed a second-set cover of Prince’s “1999.” Bassist Ryan Stasik made a stunning announcement that he is officially retiring… from Summer Camp sunrise kickball. The masses then moved together in one true herd from UM to moe and they proceeded to rock the Moonshine Stage. The true amphitheater style venue in the park offered the band’s spacey jams. They played a raging version of Pink Floyd’s “Time” that was a highlight of their set.
One day remains at Summer Camp. With plenty of good music remaining, most notably Phil Lesh, the final Sunday aims to end the fest on a high note.