Ahhhh yes, everyone’s favorite jam band festival (okay, the ONLY jam band festival) Summer Camp, returns once again to Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL for a Memorial Day Weekend packed full of music. One of the lost arts of music festivals these days is the idea that you can hear music at all hours during the day and night. Summer Camp is one of the few that still employ this strategy which makes it a fascinating festival to not just attend, but to cover as well. With Umphrey’s and moe. in their traditional headlining slots, they have also invited Jane’s Addiction to “close” the festival on Sunday night, continuing a tradition started last year with the addition of Widespread Panic. Because this festival is so expansive and deep, we wanted to give you a day by day preview so you know what to expect on every day of the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival.
Can’t Miss: Digital Tape Machine
This was a tough call between DTM, Van Ghost, and Cornmeal, but in the end I had to go with Digital Tape Machine. The Chicago based modern electronic band features members of five different bands, but is most noted for being the side project for Umphrey’s McGee members Joel Cummins and Kris Myers. The band will take the Starshine Stage at 8 PM and will rock for an hour before the main act, Cornmeal. Be sure not to miss a second of this musical smorgasbord as it is sure to start your Summer Camp weekend the right way.
Don’t Sleep On: Jimkata
At a jam band festival, you might as well discover some new jam bands to listen to, and Jimkata is one of those. The New York rockers take the Campfire stage from 6-7 PM and are sure to deliver some serious fireworks before the weekend begins. If you want one of those sets that will get you dancing out of your shoes, go see Jimkata. Trust me.
Extra Curricular Activities: The Infamous Stringdusters
The Boston bluegrass band takes the late night spot on this Thursday night, and while the Chicago Super Jam does look intriguing,The Infamous Stringdusters will be the party spot on this night. With a 90 minute slot from 1:30-3 AM, you will dance the night away with some pulsating bluegrass that is sure to bring the perfect vibe to the festival before you turn in for the evening. Get some sleep or play through, we don’t care, just check out The Infamous Stringdusters before you check out for the night.
Can’t Miss: Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio
Yeah, ya know, that guy from The Grateful Dead along with the dude from The Black Crowes and that guy who covers The Grateful Dead all the time? That should be a fun set. The Bob Weir, Chris Robinson, Jackie Greene Acoustic Trio is surely going to be very interesting. The three amigos have united before for acoustic shows, and sets are filled with Grateful Dead classics along with covers and whatever else they are feeling at that time.
Don’t Sleep On: Preservation Hall Jazz Band
If there’s one thing Chillicothe, Illinois needs, it’s more New Orleans flavor. A music festival is always better when there is some of the Bayou present, and these guys are the heart of that sound. Every time I have passed up a chance to see the PHJB, I’ve ultimately regretted it. Known for their heavy jazz sound and unpredictable live shows, the historic band will not just feature great New Orleans music, but also a flurry of potential guest appearances and collaborations. Everyone from Warren Haynes to Derek Trucks to Grace Potter has joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on stage, so don’t sleep on this set from 8-9 PM at the Campfire.
Extra Curricular Activities: Cornmeal
Heed this warning on Friday: You have two sets of Umphrey’s McGee, an afternoon date with moe., Keller Williams, Primus, Gogol Bordello, and much more to see on Friday. Make sure you pace yourself because you don’t want to miss a late night Cornmeal set. Let the smooth sounds of Allie Kral and Co close out your night. Something tells me the band will play a little longer and finish when the sun comes up, which is sure to be an incredible moment, but I’ll let you experience that for yourself. PACE YOURSELF!
Can’t Miss: Anders Osborne
Saturday at Summer Camp is one where the undercard really gets to shine. Umphrey’s and moe. play alternating sets starting at 8 PM, but the majority of the day is devoted to the undercard. Anders Osborne is the cream of the crop on this day. Supporting his new album Black Eye Galaxy, The Bearded Swede will bring his particular brand of rock and roll to the Campfire from 5-6 PM. Expect a devoted effort from Osborne as he plays an hour long set full of new cuts and old favorites.
Don’t Sleep On: Gov’t Mule
This may seem odd, but I feel like a lot of people, particularly those found at Summer Camp Music Festival and the like, sleep on Gov’t Mule more often than they should. Finding their way to the Moonshine Stage prior to moe. at 7-8:30 PM, the Warren Haynes project fresh off it’s year long hiatus will return to Summer Camp with a new found energy and passion. What is sure to be one of the most energetic sets of the weekend, Gov’t Mule will not disappoint. If you like rock and roll, and Warren Haynes, get in on this Mule set. And if you are one of those who may have grown tired of the band over recent years, give them another shot and check out the 2012 version of Gov’t Mule.
Extra Curricular Activities: Brain Damaged Eggmen
Yes. The crown jewel of Summer Camp Music Festival 2012. The return, finally, of The Brain Damaged Eggmen. FINALLY. Comprised of Brendan Bayliss, Jake Cinninger, and Kris Myers from Umphrey’s McGee along with Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits, this supergroup wowed fans in 2006 and several times after with their incredible, sometimes wacky shows. They are back for the first time since 2007 with a late night slot at Summer Camp. Be sure to make your way over to their set as you will not want to miss what happens during the latest Brain Damaged Eggmen set.
Can’t Miss: Victor Wooten
The best bassist on the planet will be at Summer Camp on the Starshine Stage from 7-8 PM. If you miss him, you have missed out on one of the most mind-blowing experiences of your musical lives. Victor Wooten is not just a wizard at his instrument, but he is a master composer. The exhibition he will put on will be something you never forget, and whether you’re seeing hm for the first time or for the 100th time, you will still walk away with your jaw on the floor.
Don’t Sleep On: Jane’s Addiction
Along the same lines as Gov’t Mule, really. Not a band I would suspect people to be sleeping on, but one that I’ve heard many say they will leave early and skip out on. Big mistake. Yes, I know the Red Hot Chili Pepper rumors didn’t come true, and that could be disappointing to some, but Perry Farrell and his gang know exactly what to do in the closing spot. They will deliver a face melting good time. So have fun singing along to “Been Caught Stealin’”, “Jane Says”, and everything else that Jane’s Addiction has to offer, and then go get a good spot for the final moe. set of the weekend.
Extra Curricular Activities: Greensky Bluegrass
Who says you have to go home? Greensky has your late night fun covered for Sunday night, as they will play well into the morning with a 2:30-4 AM set scheduled. If you’ve got any gas left, check out the bluegrass band that will once again get you singing and dancing not just the night, but the festival, away. This is your last chance to hear music played on the Three Sisters Park grounds until Memorial Day 2013, so blow it all out with 90+ minutes of bluegrass and then head home, back to the real world, in the morning.
And that is the day by day preview of the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival. Like I mentioned in the Hangout preview, stay tuned to iClips on all channels for their Summer of Jam announcement. Summer Camp is a popular festival to webcast, so if you’re not in attendance, you just might have the chance to watch it on your couch to kick off the summer festival season.