By: John Neave
Last year React Presents decided to present their first camp out festival. Summer Set Music Festival is an ode to summer on its way to a close, and without much history behind it, this festival has memories that are only waiting to be made. Hosted in the beautiful landscape of Somerset, Wisconsin, held within an arid field, surrounded by lush forestation, hills and rivers, Summer Set provides music fans with one of the more tranquil and engaging environments of all music festivals. The lineup has evolved into a three day extravaganza of musical energy and excitement.
One of the most inviting features of this festival is its organic atmosphere.
Summer Set features 3 stages; the Main Stage, The Grove, and The Saloon. The Main Stage is the featured artist’s stage, which has hosted names like Pretty Lights, Umphrey’s McGee, and Big Gigantic. This year’s lineup is action packed with so many different genres of music it will make your head spin. So who should you make a point to see this weekend? These are my picks for Summer Set Music Festival 2013.
If it’s been said once, it’s been said 100 times. There is no excuse to miss the harmonious fusion of jazz and electronic music displayed by Dom and Jeremy of Big Gigantic. These two incredibly talented musicians will be headlining Friday night, and there won’t be a better place to be. Big G electrifies every crowd they play for and this will be their second Summer Set in a row. Expect them to bring the house down with their incredible music vibrations.
What a moment it’s going to be when The Wailers take the stage on Friday. That’s right, THE Wailers will be bringing back the classic reggae vibes reminiscent of the days when they shared the stage with Bob Marley. It’s always a must to see artists with such vibrant and impactful history while they are still playing, and this is the perfect chance for any music fan to share an experience like no other.
Think ancient gypsy music combined with modern day glitch and downtempo; add in the beautiful seductive dancing talent that is Zoe Jakes, and it makes for a full range of musical performance and entertainment like none other. Beats Antique will get you hooked with their unique sounds and styles, it’s a party onstage that we will surely be present for.
Chicago’s own Manic Focus is set to make his Summer Set debut on Friday. With the ability to bend and shape sounds at his will, John McCarten is set to bring his alter-ego Manic Focus into the limelight. With an extreme mixture of downtempo and dubstep sounds, Manic Focus is a must see early Friday as festival-goers arrive.
If you miss Griz’s set at Summer Set, you’ll probably leave feeling like you left something behind at the festival. One of the fastest rising superstars in the EDM world, Griz brings an incredible fusion of jazz, funk and dubstep, all while mixing it with live saxophone, creating one of the most exhilarating music experiences possible. You won’t want to miss this.
As Saturday approaches, one artist to watch is Kill Paris. With a sound that has gotten praise from OWSLA as well as producers like Gramatik and Griz, Kill Paris has been rising through the ranks. This funky dubstep/downtempo producer is sure to keep the crowd bouncing.
One of the more aggressive sets of the whole weekend will be thrown down when Zomboy takes the stage on Saturday. With a sound fueled with energy and aggression, Zomboy brings a new element to the festival all the way from the UK. If you’re looking for some ridiculously dirty 140 BPM dubstep, this set is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
If you haven’t seen a Zedd set yet, I suggest you do at Summer Set. One of the most flawless and energized sets I have ever seen, Zedd will become an instant favorite after you see him live. Bringing with him one of the most killer electro house sounds straight from Germany, this is a set you won’t want to miss.
Adding to the groove on Saturday will be an incredibly cool duo from the great state of Alabama, Boombox. Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux bring out a true rock and roll experience. Godchaux, whose parents both played for the Grateful Dead, is on lead vocals and guitar, while Randolph handles the sequencers and turn-tables.
One of the household names performing will Sound Tribe Sector Nine, a staple at almost every music festival. The Tribe brings one of the most unique live music experiences out there to Summer Set. Straight out of Atlanta, Georgia, Hunter Brown (guitar/midi keyboard), Jeffree Lerner (percussion/handsonic), David Murphy (bass/midi keyboard), David Phipps (keyboards), Zach Velmer (drums) will take you on a journey through the ninth sector as they close out the festival Sunday night.
Chicago’s own Lonnie Lynn, along with Big Boi, bring the hip hop MC game to Summer Set in full force. True lyricism still lives in Common’s music as well as that hypnotic sound that seems to be an afterthought in all of rap music nowadays. Common brings an intellectual taste to the table, and is sure to keep the crowd in touch with the world as he dominates the stage Sunday evening.
What sounds like outer space? I don’t know if you’ll find anything closer than the sounds of Christian Bauhofer as Minnesota. Blending melodic downtempo and dubstep sounds, this musical veteran is set to take the stage on Sunday and will be any electronic music junkie’s place to be. Minnesota hasn’t ascended to the top like other artists, but has still remained true to the sounds that fans expect.
Straight out of Nashville comes a sound that is anything but what you’d expect from the capital of country music. Wick-It The Instigator taps into the classic hip hop game, all while mixing in an electronic sound that is unmistakable. One of the game’s most various producers, Wick-It also has some killer dubstep tracks and is sure to keep any crowd on their feet. You’d be a fool to miss this!