Show Reviews

    Catskill Chill 2016


    Catskill Chill Sept. 23-25, 2016 Lakewood, PA by Miles Hurley The huge gallery of photos by Karl McWherter is here. To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.   From the American Babies page:   Catskill Chill came and went for it’s seventh year, this past weekend from Sept. 23 to 25. From insane musical moments hitting audiences from left and right, to the smorgasbord of creativity coloring everything from yoga classes to artistic showcases, it proved itself, again to it’s longtime family but also to it’s first-timers, in terms of how special a weekend music event can be when done right all around. Headliners have always been pretty choice here. Mike Gordon Band on Saturday night put on a wonderful set to vie for best of the weekend-cohesive, and exploratory, but very clean and well maneuvered the whole time. Starting off with a long, tasty jam out of “Jumping,” the band also tried a couple tunes for the first time in “Waking Up Dead” and “Let’s Go.”

    by Karl McWherter
    While I missed Greensky Bluegrass due to another commitment (in spite of what downward facing iPhone users will tell you, you can’t catch ’em all), they did invite Roosevelt Collier up for what must have been some spirited covers in “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and Ain’t No Bread In The Breadbox.” I did catch Collier’s NY Getdown set with split help from Dopapod and Turkuaz members, and he can play like none other, technically and tonally speaking-don’t think Pod and Kuaz dudes didn’t keep up though; awesome Saturday morning set all around. Electron, a first-rate band, continued their headlining tradition grandly. I remember sitting at the top of the nice grassy hill Chill’s main stage area has working for it, and hearing this funk-oriented jam coming out of “Home,” and running down the grass to hear it front and center at the rail because, musically, it was personally one of the weekend’s highlights for me (which with the performances throughout this weekend is definitely saying something). They also brought up Hamilton’s Babies’ guitarist Justin Mazer for a nice treat in “Time.” The huge gallery of photos by Karl McWherter is here. Sit-ins, yes-something Chill can stake the argument for doing better than most festivals. But the sit-in frenzy isn’t something you could really coordinate from any kind of coordinator position. That’s something that is born and kept going in the artists themselves, from a comfortability and enthusiasm found in playing together all the time in this sort of scene. Artists like singer Haley Jane, Turkuaz drummer Michelangelo Carubba, guitarists Danny Mayer, Tim Palmeri, amongst others no doubt, all shared on multiple sets, and their busy-work in spreading their talents pleased a crowd and added to a set in every case. As if Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s midday and late night sets weren’t dynamite enough (talk about that Another Brick In The Wall -> Groove Is In The Heart -> Brick in the Wall!) they win the collaboration gold medal for having, at different points in their two sets, keyboardist Steve Molitz, guitarist Tom Hamilton, horn wizards Greg and Chris from Turkuaz and Rob Sommerville from Kung Fu, and singers Elise Testone and Shira Elias all contribute to their dance-crazed jams. From the Cabinet page This year’s Chill threw a savory-looking laundry list of tribute sets as us on their lineup, and by god if the musicians contributing left and right to this event didn’t rock every single one. In the Michael Jackson tribute, newcomer Elise Testone wowed its audience with how well her voice complimented the original artist’s. Lofty expectations of all three dual band sets, from Pink Talking Fish and Kung Fu, to Dopapod and Turkuaz, to Particle and The Werks were for sure met all around. Lespecial, with a history of covering Primus, showcased the material as perfectly as they’ve been known to do, with a mighty heavy mid-day set. You heard high talk of their set all around the campground after they’d finished.
    by Karl McWherter
    People were expecting repeat magic from Dopakuaz in particular, and leave it to two of the most unique in the jam business today to deliver again, this time on Yacht Rock, with classy attire, champagne glasses and a giant beautiful old school sound. From a Hall and Oates triple decker in “Man Eater -> Rich Girl -> I Can’t Go For That,” to “I’m Alright -> Footloose -> Danger Zone,” to “The Chain” closer, they put a shine on the superhits. Also do yacht owners typically crowd surf? There are music festivals out there with a venue change resulting in grievances here and there staining their histories-but Catskill Chill is not one of them. While it’s something that took some sinking in and adjusting to, the consensus I gathered from people met here and there was one of satisfied confidence in a continued future at Lakewood. The camping setup, especially, was an upgrade, that was agreed up all around. As I knew going in, and was only reassured walking out from Monday AM, there’s a completely unique genuineness about this music festival that Chill keeps matching with each year and Overall, the fest’s success at recreating, even upping, their high fest standard from previous years on new grounds should be nodded to with respect. From the youtube channel 215music The huge gallery of photos by Karl McWherter is here. To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.