Cosmic Camp Out Day 1
Where do I begin? What a wonderful weekend.
Friday had finally come. Wookie Post was attending Cosmic Campout for full festival coverage. Our first festie gig. We were supposed to arrive at 10am Friday morning to set up our vending station on shakedown street. One of our correspondents (RONDO) slangs Grassroots hats and had a vendor’s pass for the weekend.
It was just us two, Rondo and Kloc. We awoke that morning only to realize it was 10 am and we were going to be late. Luckily, Cosmic Campout was located only 15 minutes away from our house, in Aldie, VA. Little did I know that Rondo wasn’t even packed yet. Needless-to-say we were 3 hours late to a festival that was right around the corner. But we did finally get there and started setting up our vending station and our camp site.
We rolled up to the festival entrance and were greeted by our new beloved friend, Rebecca Souther aka REB SOUTH. She’s the bomb diggidy and hooked it up all weekend. She gave us our passes and directed us to our camp site for the weekend, “All the way down and to the right.” It was prime time location. We were closest to the stage, the last vendor people see walking to the concert area and first vendor they see when leaving. Couldn’t have asked for a better spot!
After we finished setting up I decided to walk around the grounds with my camera and introduce myself and Wookie Post to everyone who was going to be there for the next three days.
The music kicked off with an awesome 5 piece band from Washington D.C. called Satro. I don’t really know what to say other than they killed it. Liora Valero, lead vocals, spilled her heart out on stage as she laid into the microphone, catching everyone off guard. For a small girl she has a very powerful voice. Hope to catch them again this summer. Check out more from Satro on their facebook.
Next on the set list was Chef Kreffington aka Stefan Ilie. This dude was awesome. Rocking out solo with his beat maker and guitar, the Chef threw down some tasty tunes. I ran into a couple of his buddies in the crowd, one of which ended up on stage jamming with him. This guy is on the up and up, and even though there was a couple technical difficulties during his set, it’s safe to say the Chef is cooking up some mean dishes for future audiences. Check out Chef Kreffington’s entire menu on his soundcloud.
To keep the solo acts rolling, Aarodynamics aka Aaron Malander took the stage to bring us “Sexy music to get slutty to.” Seriously though, this guy was talented. Laying down a smooth bass line, looping it, and then jamming on his sleek Jackson WRXT Warrior. On top of all that, this dude was spitting fire! Rapping the entire “Real Slim Shady” had the Wookie Post crew geeking out. We are looking forward to catching Aarodynamics again at Jammin’ Java Aug 8 and also at Mantrabash. Until then you can listen to his music for free on his soundcloud. Check out the only video we managed to grab all weekend! “Stupid Heady Jams”
The fourth act for the day was called Black Masala. A gypsy brass band from Washington D.C. Their style music was unmatched all weekend. A 9-piece band featuring instruments such as an accordion, tuba, two trombones, saxophone, banjo, and even a washboard. These guys are extremely energetic and brought the campers to the front of the stage for the first real dance party of the weekend. The band is comprised of members from Thievery Corporation, See-I, Yamamonem Jazz Band, Yellow Dubmarine, and Bellflur. According to thier facebook, Black Masala draws inspiration from the melodies of Eastern European brass bands, New Orleans jazz, Latin grooves, Ambient/Experimental Indie rock riffs, and even a hint of Appalachian twang. Listen to more Black Masala here
As the day carried on, Operation Dankstar took the stage. Another solo act, guitar and mixer. This guy has “it”. Shredding on the guitar, Michael Klicos was overwhelmed with excitment to be performing at Cosmic Campout. Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Operation Dankstar describes his music as “a dinosaur bodyslamming an oil tanker into a volcano”, “rage music”, “the bastard child of bass music and ripping guitar with influences from all walks of life.” Which is pretty much spot on. Although he is usually a solo artist, the drummer of DELTAnine, Chris Beck, sat in on his performance. Great vibes all around camp as this was the second time we have seen a guest performer on stage. Check out Operation Dankstar on soundcloud. Wookie Post will definitely be reaching out to him for an Artist Spotlight feature in the near future.
Segway was up next, or should we say ELM. The band recently had a name change in wake of a total make over. These guys always throw down hard. Jamtronica infused with funk and soul, their music is difficult to describe so definitely check them out next time they in your area. They love to party.
Segway had turned day into night, and it was now time for the much anticipated Mantras set. By this time the sun had set and the freaks were beginning to emerge from their tents. The lights were in full force and the visuals were of trippy space kittens (of course). The Mantras have a very interesting sound. Powerful, subtle, deep, epic, all blended together into one awe-inspiring performance. Based in Greenboro, NC, The Mantras recently released their fourth studio album entitled “Jam Bands Ruined My Life”. They will be touring up and down the east coast including shows in Ohio, Kentucky, and as far north as Vermont. Check out their entire tour schedule and steam their music for free. Also don’t forget to get you MantraBash tickets! Festival begins Aug. 29 – Sept 1.
The Mantras had finished one of the best sets of the day and now it was time for DELTAnine to shine. This three piece band out of Baltimore, MD started their journey in 2011 and have already opened for big names such as Dopapod, D.V.S* and Conspirator, just to name a few. These guys absolutely killed it, period. I had never seen a performance by them and I was blown away. Unfortunately during their set, the neighbors across the lake thought this party was becoming way too epic and couldn’t handle the stellar line up. They called the police and placed a noise complaint. The cops did show up and there were rumors going around that under covers had made their way into the festival grounds. The music was shut down for about an hour or so but only to come back on around 1-130 in the morning.
The staff did a great job of informing the campers of the situation and not to worry music would return just at a lower decibel level than before. At first, this was quite the debbie downer but soon Mateo Monk came to the rescue.
Wookie Post was oblivious to Mateo Monk before this weekend, but let us be the first to tell you that this guy is truly talented. Our buddy from Moogatu, Chris Lee, pointed us in the right direction for sure on this one. This “one-man-band” loops melodic guitar rhythms all the while murdering it on his flute. Ron Burgandy would stand no chance in a jazz (soft j) flute competition. This man’s life story is amazing and his music reflects it. Read his entire bio on his website http://www.mateomonkmusic.com/bio.html
Night number one ended on a soft note, but no one could really complain about it. Yea the music was turned down, but so what? Now we could converse with each other around the camp fire and listen to the soothing harmonies of Mateo Monk.
Something I had never seen before at a festival which I will never forget was the scene right in front of the stage for the last act of the night. Mateo Monk was still grooving, til the wee hours of 3am, and there was a crowd of campers sitting in front of him perched on a stool. They were all sitting cross legged, listening attentively, as if they were elementary kids during story time. I don’t know why this image is forever stuck in my head. Maybe because it was so peacefully perfect, so…right.
When the music shut off for the night, people made their way back to their tents to unwind from the adventures of the first day of Cosmic Campout. Others stayed huddled around the camp fire, sharing tales of previous festival experiences and fooling around on some acoustic guitar and hand drums. All in all you couldn’t have asked for a better day for a festival. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, slight breeze and mostly sunny. The bands were amazing. Every act seemed to lay it all out there and I for one really appreciate the effort.
The sky had started to turn from black to a deep blue and that’s when I knew it was time for bed. Some rest was needed, for day two music starts in only a couple hours…