Words: Nick Draper | Photos: Ben Bowen
Through the muck to solid ground
Mild temperatures on Thursday turned to wild weather on Friday, when early in the day a storm cell reduced much of the ground to muck.
Mother nature dumped the water on SCamp right as moe. was going to kick off their first set for the weekend, bringing the show to a halt.
The delay continued until the rain stopped, but not before a few more sets (including The Main Squeeze) were called on account of safety. Two campers were even taken to a nearby hospital as a result of the storm.
But the swamp was no deterrent for the rest of the tenacious SCampers, who made their way to Phish bassist Mike Gordon’s set.
After the ground was cleared, security let campers approach the rail and Gordon rewarded them a set dominated by his low end, sonically cutting through the sludge.
The Claypool Lennon Delerium, a collaborative project between it's namesake musicians -- Les Claypool and Sean Lennon -- was a much anticipated set for many SCampers. The duo's vocals and playing styles blend together for a psychedelic and lively sound, bordering on the bizarre.
“Breath of a Salesman” is definitely worth listening to in an inch or two of mud.
But if there was one band that helped destroy all semblance of solid ground at The Sunshine Stage it was Umphrey's McGee. UM's first set of the weekend was a straight get-down, even while mired in the muck.
Their second set proved to be another energetic set, with the band opening with crowd favorite “In the Kitchen”
Claypool was back with Primus later in the evening, who kept the night thoroughly weird.
“My Name is Mud” was the obvious choice for the night, so when it hit some minds were definitely blown. Fun psych-outs were peppered throughout the set. Highlights included a cover of Rush’s “YYZ” which shifted a break-neck pace into “Jon the Fisherman".
Despite the joy of combining as much variety in my musical appetite as possible, Zed's Dead, featuring duo Dylan Mamid and Zachary Rapp-Rovan, was a set that I found hard to leave. As the rain sent the temps plummeting, Zed's brought the heat, dropping some of their older tracks like “Lost You" into the set.
While the mud kept many away from Run The Jewels, it was one of my most anticipated sets of the weekend and I wouldn't be denied. Nor could it stop RTJ from absolutely crushing it.
The duo’s light setup was captivating and the set was nearly flawless, for my tastes. “Panther Like a Panther” was unforgettable.
Finally, Aqueous guitarist and vocalist Mike Gantzer along with Umphrey's bassist Ryan Stasik and drummer Kris Meyers helped wrap the night up with covers from Green Day’s Dookie and other classic punk rock hits.
With solid ground under the Soulshine Tent, their cover of the Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” was a secret gem of the night and set the tone for the rest of the, hopefully drier, weekend.