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Summercamp
A Concert Review

May 10, 1997

The Metro

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
So, I arrive at The Metro in Chicago to cover Summercamp. I quickly check the schedule on the door and see that they are set to go on at 7:00. It's 6:30, no problem. I go in, get past the security dudes, and hear them talking that one of the bands for the night's triple bill hasn't shown up yet. Hmm, well, "it can't be Summercamp," I thought, "they're first up. They should have been here long ago." I get to the main floor, take a look at the stage, and say, "Uh oh!" Nothing was set up, this might be a really short night, and as I'm standing there wondering if the band is going to show, Gina shows up and asks me if I wanted something to drink.

Well, Gina comes back with a tall, cold one, sees my camera gear, and asks me who I'm there to cover. I tell her "Summercamp, but I don't think they've made it yet." She looks a little bit confused, but asks me what I thought of them. I tell her that I've never seen them live before, and still might not, but I've heard some of their songs and they were alright. She tells me she heard they sucked. I tell her "We'll have to wait and see."

7:00 rolls around, and low and behold the band shows up. Through probably one of the quickest set-ups I've seen, 7:15 comes around, the band is trying to figure out the problem with their bass equipment, finally seem to say "Screw it, let's play." and proceed to surprise me.

No sound check, no set list, and now their playing time trimmed to a mere 30 minutes, Summercamp did their best to show these Chicagoans what a band from Santa Barbara, CA, can sound like. Working off of their latest release, "Pure Juice," the dudes of the band proceeded to blast through some eight songs from the upcoming CD, and still maintain some nice rapport with the audience. And the audience responded nicely.

To describe Summercamp's style of music is kinda hard to do, and this show proved no different. From the great guitar work to band melodies, the songs range from post-grunge to modern, from pop-rock to almost metal. Maybe that's the only problem I have with the band - they can't seem to make up their mind as to exactly which direction they want to go. And you know, the crowd this night seemed sort of the same, not sure whether they should think of starting a mosh-pit, or just bang their heads, but as the crowd sort of tried to do both, Summercamp sure did one hell of a job overcoming their discombobulation of showing up late and putting on a high energy show.

So, what can you expect from this band, that you've probably never heard of, if you go to a show and they are an opening act? Well, expect a tight-knit band, with some great guitar work, lyrics that tend to be depressing at times (it's that whole relationship thing), and four guys that will give you their all even if they show up late.

Wrapping up, it's about a half-an-hour later, I'm hanging off to the side enjoying the show, and Gina comes by again. She looks my way and asks if I needed another drink. I shake my head "No," but ask what she thought of the band. She smiled, bounced away during "Two Shades of Grey," turned around, and gave me a big thumb up. So, I guess I'll stick with Gina's rating of ONE THUMB UP for Summercamp. I guess they don't suck, I just hope next time they don't underestimate the power of Chicago traffic!

That's if for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!

 

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