Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Set Music and Camping Festival - Official Review

This year, the 4th iteration of what is quickly becoming one of the best festivals in the country has come to a close. The amount of local and national acts ranging from so many genres drew the largest crowd to date. The production level of this years event was evident as soon as we walked into the gates. The main stage grew to include more screens, more speakers and one hell of a drink bar. They went as far as adding a new stage and moving the big top down towards the grove.

Fire breathing sculpture at The Grove stage

The grove continues to be our favorite stage and the perfect location to start of the weekend. Lotus was first on our list. Only recently getting into their music I was excited to see what they had to offer on the stage. They know what they are doing on stage and it's evident almost the second they begin playing. The seamless transition between songs keeps the crowd in it until the end.

Griz fans everywhere, some more excited than others...

We meandered our way back to the main stage continuing to absorb the electric atmosphere that was apparent directly from the start. We had Odesza on the radar and knew we had to make the trek back down to the grove and wait for them to grace us with their presence. They had a couple drums and I was pumped to see what they could do with those. Throwing down tracks from their newest release they had everyone flooding in from the hill side to get as close as possible. My favorite jam they threw down was their Pretty Lights remix "One Day They'll Know".  After that track we had one thing on our mind, food.

Odesza throwing down with a spectacular light show.

Hurrying back to the camp site to munch down some grub was exactly what we needed. Bassnectar was closing out the main stage and we knew we had to catch that set. He didn't disappoint, we have been a fan since I first heard the mix tape "Dream Tempo". His music has continued to evolve and he definitely knows how to manipulate his set to move with the crowd. Having 15,000 people bouncing to the subtle changes in the set definitely has to make you happy.

Not an extra inch of space for Bass Nectar - Photo cred SCOTIFY

Friday nights after party is what had us the most excited, Griz has been on our super short list since he performed two years ago and we missed it. This was the perfect setting to see him for the first time after listening to his music intently for the last two years. His set started out with the new Big G and Griz joint and was exactly what was needed to get the crowd into it. Blending old and new along with and epic Grizmatik drop, had our faces on the ground. Of course he blew the top off the stage to end his set and we began the long trek across the street to our camp site.

After being told a half dozen ways to get out of the grounds we finally figured that out. It was a two hour journey that should have taken no more then 30 minutes. Any ways, it was time for some pizza quesadillas and attempt to catch some sleep.

Saturday morning sure came in a hurry and it was on to day two of the fest. We dipped out to pick up our third member of the crew, upon arrival back at the site it was directly to the river to cool off. Three lawn chairs in waist deep water with some cold beverages was exactly what our crew needed.

Manic Focus representing his home town in style.

Manic Focus and Lizzo were two early acts we had to check out. Of course it was the same set times at two different stages. We meandered to both sets and were overwhelmed with the amount of activity that place sees all hours of the day. Manic Focus is a hot ticket in my opinion and with the live drummer, it's a recipe for success. We managed to make it back through the site after a quick detour through VIP camping.

Lizzo had everyone enthralled.

The Weeknd was of course on our list of must sees, as one of the most popular acts of today we knew it was an opportunity we had to take advantage of. Our photographer managed to snag some really good shots and we were bumping along with the tunes. He had the crowd surging as he serenaded us with an amazing voice. With the crowd screaming for more he graced our presence one more time for his second encore ever. That whole set was an amazing experience.

The Weeknd moved to the main stage. How he didn't melt, we're not sure.

After The Weeknd it was of course time for one of my favorite acts to see in concert, and this is the perfect setting every time. Big Gigantic continues to impress every single year. I have seen them every year they have been at Summer Set and this was by our favorite set of theirs, ever. Don't get me wrong I dig their new releases but that old school funk that they first entered the scene is still my favorite. And boy did they bring it, they threw down hit after hit for the entire set. When Dom rails on the sax that hard you know they were into it almost as much as the crowd was. They could play three nights in a row and I would not be disappointed.

Jeremy of Big G pounding out the funky beats.

Then it was off to the races with the rest of the crowd to The Grove Stage for The Floozies. I have listened to there music and had a pretty good idea how they would sound, I was wrong. They blew us away with that dirty funk sound that resonated throughout the valley. The Floozies had the whole crowd raging from start to finish. I would definitely put them on my short list of acts to see in person. It's a close tie between Big G and The Floozies as who had the best set of the weekend.

The Floozies finishing off Saturday night with arguably the best set of the weekend.

It was time to head back to the campsite, again. By this time my FitBit had gone off for my daily goal of 10,000 steps before I had gone to bed Sunday morning.

Unfortunately the MN Underground crew has to be adults on Monday so we usually don't make it the whole day on Sunday. Lettuce was on my short list but with the rain and the suspension of the festival for those few hours we didn't miss much. I am bummed that we missed out on Zed's Dead which destroys almost everywhere they go.

Sims Shows and React did one hell of a job this year, from the step up in production to the heavy hitting three day lineup I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with next year. Thanks again to everyone who helped us along and we look forward to mingling with the eclectic crowd again next year!

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