Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, 8/17/14
Summer Set Music & Camping Festival
Somerset Amphitheater, Somerset
Sunday, August 17, 2014
We returned for the final evening of Summer Set Music & Camping Festival with ears still somewhat weary from the previous day's onslaught of thundering EDM. This time, there were two separate lines for people to be searched upon entering the festival: one for women, and one for men.See also:
Slideshow: Summer Set: People and Scenes
Inside, the crowd appeared to be a bit thinner than the day before. Sunday began with some local talent, as the Minneapolis hip-hop trio Kids Like Us rocked the Saloon stage alongside Beak Nasty. Tyler the Creator went on early, serving as a replacement for Chance the Rapper, who had canceled his scheduled appearance just days before the festival. Tyler engaged in his typical stage manner, inciting the audience and acting provocatively. He always brings a great amount of energy and hype to the stage, and the crowd at Summer Set was apparently full of Odd Future fans.
At the Big Top stage, Illinois house and techno DJ Green Velvet was satisfying the needs of concertgoers who were still starved for more EDM. Underneath the tent was its own world. Though it was still light outside, the lights on stage were so bright that it created the illusion that it was actually somehow quite dark under the tent. A single figure stood atop a box encased within a screen, another larger screen looming menacingly behind him, both flashing obnoxiously and causing him to appear as just a black outline. Confetti shot through the air, and people danced wildly, waving their homemade signs in the air.
Green Velvet played pounding four-on-the-floor beats, rattling the ceiling of the tent. It was far more techno-oriented than any of the electronic music we'd heard on Saturday, slipping into a sprawling repetition rather than being broken up over and over with drops and anxiety-causing build-ups. Green Velvet's music was both chill and dance-friendly, taking some of the frantic edge off of the rave kids. A guy in a furry dog costume wandered behind the sound guy stationed at the center of the tent, threatening black claws poking through the tips of his gloves.
Down the woodchip trail to the Grove, Umphrey's McGee played their unique brand of progressive rock, which sounded like a strange mixture of metal and Pink Floyd-esque instrumental jamming. The system was absolutely deafening. Umphrey's McGee seemed like an unlikely fit with the rest of the acts on the bill, but there were plenty of people who were really digging the jam band vibes. It was pretty clear, though, that the energy had gone down a bit on this third day. Some looked raved out, like they were forcing themselves to keep partying. An enthusiastic rendition of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" seemed to wake people up a bit, at least enough for everyone to start wandering back over to the Main Stage.
There, Flying Lotus was demanding that someone turn all of the lights on the stage off. He quickly got his wish, and continued playing his signature experimental hip-hop and electronic sounds. A giant purple octopus standing on tall sticks was spread over the crowd, different people holding each of its tentacles down to the ground. The girl with the "I hate heroin" sign caught Flying Lotus' eye too, as he said down to her from the stage, "I don't like heroin either." Flying Lotus engaged in lots of banter with the crowd, cultivating a more intimate environment than any of the other singular electronic artists had created. "I'm just drunk enough!" he exclaimed, then continued to make comments about the technical side of things: "I have no control over the volume. Just letting you know, a motherfucker might be deaf tomorrow." He played a wide range of his own music off of Cosmogramma and this year's You're Dead!
The light was turning to a golden yellow as the sun fell behind the haze. People sprawled lazily upon the hills, smoking cigarettes and drinking water with their signs laid out next to them. Groups of girls were hula-hooping towards the back of the concrete lot that stretched out from the stage toward the carnival rides. A girl clung to her inflated donut, frosted in pink and dusted with rainbow sprinkles. A bro in a neon tank-top carrying a "Where's Waldo?" sign walked by. Another bro sat on the hill before us, holding a sign with a photo of a random guy on it. "My drug dealer," the bro explained. "Best drugs I've ever had."