Summer Set music review

Photo by Troy Manley

Photo by Troy Manley


Summer Set Music & Camping festival returned to Somerset Amphitheater in Somerset, Wisconsin for its sophomore year. Kicking off early Friday afternoon and running through Sunday night, the festival was home to over 60 acts across three stages. The lineup was very heavy on the electronic side of things, which drew a younger crowd, so it was poised to be a nonstop dance party. With the option of early entry camping, many festival goers arrived Thursday afternoon to start the festivities early.

This year, one of my personal favorite bands, STS9, was headlining the last night of the festival. The lineup in 2013 was much more heavy on the electronic side of things than the lineup was in 2012, which brought in a younger crowd that was ready to get down all weekend long. The large focus on EDM attracted a large number of people that were only there for that genre, so the Grove stage – a dedicated EDM stage – was always packed. At one point in time, right before GRiZ, I was denied access to the Grove stage because it was far beyond capacity. Next year, the festival should learn to not put a headliner quality name on any stage but the main.

Apart from that slip up, the weekend went incredibly smoothly, and I had a rockin’ good time. Friday night Big Gigantic headlined the main stage, and they played one of the best sets I had seen them play since early 2010. They pulled out a lot of their old stuff, and Jeremy got down on the sax like I hadn’t seen him in quite some time. Saturday saw the likes of many acts, one of which was Minneapolis based Doomtree, which I was lucky enough to catch up with for a couple of minutes.

Doomtree is a hip-hop collective out of Minneapolis, MN made up of seven members: rappers – P.O.S., Dessa, Cecil Otter, Sims and Mike Mictlan; and producers – Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger. Doomtree is an independent label, and when asked what inspired them to get going as musicians, Sims replied: “there’s not specific thing that inspires us, we’ve always wanted to make music. We do it because love because we love it. We all grew up making music from when we were young adolescents until now. As far as inspiration goes, it’s everywhere you look – music is second nature for us.”

Cecil Otter added: “I make music because I love it. I’m really happy when I’m doing it. I’m addicted to doing it.” With music as awesome as theirs, and a name just as unique I was sure it had to mean something, but according to Sims its just “from Stef’s crazy brain and it means nothing.” Bummer. P.O.S. is another interesting name involved with Doomtree, when asked what that alias stood for I was informed that “at this point in [his] life, nothing at all. Just the worst rap name ever.” Sims jokingly added that it meant “Peace out Sims!”

Sims, Cecil, and P.O.S having all completed their first performances by the conclusion of their freshmen year of high school, music was definitely in their future. What wasn’t in the cards however was super-human powers. If given the opportunity to choose their own powers, Ceceil would have, and I quote, the ability to “Walk through walls or anything whenever I wanted to. I mean I could lean on a wall, but if I wanted to walk through it I could.” P.O.S. would have telekinesis. Simes would have super-human beat working abilities, and Dessa would have incredible footwork. Unfortunately they don’t have these powers and instead music rely on their incredible talent as musicians.

When asked if we can expect anything new, P.O.S. said “yeah probably” and Sims added, “We as Doomtree have an album coming out later, but right now as Doomtree the label we just put out the new Dessa album, ‘Parts of speech.’” P.O.S. came added that “there’s always something, just go to There’s always something.”

Saturday night was home to Passion Pit delivering an incredible set right before Girl Talk brought down the house. Sunday was pretty solid throughout the day but the main stage headliner, STS9, is what it was all about.

Overall, the festival was an incredible time, and I cannot wait for the third rendition of this amazing festival next year. Kudos to the entire production staff and especially SIMshows for having me at the festival and hosting such an awesome weekend! Until next year my friends, until next year.