Jam in the ‘Dam 2006 vs. 2007 Thoughts

jitd.jpgMemories.

The dudes behind the annual Jam in the ‘Dam festival have just posted a video capsule showing some highlights from the 2006 fest. Man, this took me back. The fact that I went with a music festival in Amsterdam as the anchor for a two-week run through Europe seems pretty intelligent in hindsight. It was a great spot to end the trip on. It was my four favorite bands playing in a small club in Amsterdam. It was a no-brainer, as I like to say…

For everyone else’s sake, I wish the lineup for the 2007 festival was as strong as the 2006 lineup. To be 100%, completely honest here — it just isn’t. The main anchor of this year’s festival is actually Dark Star Orchestra, a band that uses the songs and setlists of the Grateful Dead as the music that they play live. Do they write originals? Maybe…but they certainly don’t play them. They cover the Grateful Dead.

Said another way…THEY ARE A GRATEFUL DEAD COVER BAND.

They’re up there as one of the most unexciting things happening in music these days if you ask me. And I’ve never actually even listened to them. Talk about blissfully ignorant, huh?

Rounding out the lineup, you’ve got Keller Williams — who’s played Jam in the ‘Dam before and still continues to do the same if-you’ve-seen-it-once guitar and electronic looping — Galactic — who’s NOLA funk got excluded from last year’s fest after being originally announced — and Yonder Mountain String Band — the newgrass jamband that seemingly doesn’t fully mix well with the rest of the lineup (except for Keller’s forays into the bluegrass realm).

Am I missing something here?

I feel close to this festival — I feel invested — and I feel that we had this great festival that was pushing the limits and they’ve gone and taken a giant-ass 25-year step backwards. I feel that there are plenty of jamband fans that are willing to move on PAST the Grateful Dead as opposed to constantly living with their memories of “better times” when Jerry was alive and whatnot. Do we really need another festival dedicated to *his* memory? Is this homage-worthy or not? I’m curious as to your thoughts. Drop some knowledge in the comments…

58 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. or Mrs. Poster:

    ‘ya, ya, this lineup
    that don’t line up right
    im not happy
    so so not happy’
    —get over it.
    this vs. that, my uncle richard is fatter than yours; You are a blah blah whiney kiddie preppie elitist STICK IN THE MUD.Go shat in yer hit

  2. Mr. or Mrs. Poster:

    ‘ya, ya, this lineup
    that don’t line up right
    im not happy
    so so not happy’
    —get over it.
    this vs. that, my uncle richard is fatter than yours; You are a blah blah whiney kiddie preppie elitist STICK IN THE MUD.Go shat in yer hit

  3. Justback from the first night of the Jam in the Dam! I live in Ireland so it only took me an hour to get there.

    All in all a great great night – YMSB blew the Mellkweg away – really stong songs and had the whole place dancing. Keller was excellent and his set was definately aimed at getting people dancing. Galactic kept it going until the early hours on monday morning and was rockin again. With regards DSO, I was keen to see them mainly to hear some Dead tunes – they did a good job and while really a cover band the hall was packed and a lot of people dancing. An eclectic mix of bands brightened up a cold and snowy amsterdam and for 50 euros – a great night out!!!

    Let’s up 2008 gets even better!

  4. Justback from the first night of the Jam in the Dam! I live in Ireland so it only took me an hour to get there.

    All in all a great great night – YMSB blew the Mellkweg away – really stong songs and had the whole place dancing. Keller was excellent and his set was definately aimed at getting people dancing. Galactic kept it going until the early hours on monday morning and was rockin again. With regards DSO, I was keen to see them mainly to hear some Dead tunes – they did a good job and while really a cover band the hall was packed and a lot of people dancing. An eclectic mix of bands brightened up a cold and snowy amsterdam and for 50 euros – a great night out!!!

    Let’s up 2008 gets even better!

  5. we went to Jam in the Dam this year, and it was fantastic

    all four bands played stellar sets every night … i’d seen them all before, and was more excited about this line-up than i was when i went in 2005

    don’t get me wrong … UM, DB, Particle, all great bands … but they tend to draw the “ecstasy” crowd, with a higher wookie factor

    Keller put on the best sets i’ve ever seen him play … he stole the show, and was very entertaining … Keller should play JitD every year ! check out the shows on archive.org if someone is kind enough to upload them

    YMSB tore the roof off the Melkweg, as expected … four talented guys who never disappoint

    Galactic brought the funk … solid sets, especially when they closed the place

    DSO was great ! i’m not crazy about cover bands, but DSO sounds great, and the tunes they played were well-received by the crowd

    the crowd was over 90% American … unfortunate that locals don’t attend JitD … if they only knew

    Amsterdam is a beautiful place to visit, chill out for a few days, experience the finer things in life we should be able to experience everywhere :) and pour a little culture into your soul

    sorry to hear you feel that this was a 25-year step backwards … i welcomed the change in line-up and loved every minute … i’ll go back, whoever ends up being invited

    lookin’ forward to next year !

    arm

  6. we went to Jam in the Dam this year, and it was fantastic

    all four bands played stellar sets every night … i’d seen them all before, and was more excited about this line-up than i was when i went in 2005

    don’t get me wrong … UM, DB, Particle, all great bands … but they tend to draw the “ecstasy” crowd, with a higher wookie factor

    Keller put on the best sets i’ve ever seen him play … he stole the show, and was very entertaining … Keller should play JitD every year ! check out the shows on archive.org if someone is kind enough to upload them

    YMSB tore the roof off the Melkweg, as expected … four talented guys who never disappoint

    Galactic brought the funk … solid sets, especially when they closed the place

    DSO was great ! i’m not crazy about cover bands, but DSO sounds great, and the tunes they played were well-received by the crowd

    the crowd was over 90% American … unfortunate that locals don’t attend JitD … if they only knew

    Amsterdam is a beautiful place to visit, chill out for a few days, experience the finer things in life we should be able to experience everywhere :) and pour a little culture into your soul

    sorry to hear you feel that this was a 25-year step backwards … i welcomed the change in line-up and loved every minute … i’ll go back, whoever ends up being invited

    lookin’ forward to next year !

    arm

  7. Um well, i havnt been to the jam at the dam yet, i just moved to london, so the 2008 festival is a must for me, but if theres one thing i would like to see happen, which could be the most unlikely thing, is somehow persued phish to come play, if this happens, i will be the happiest person ever. but im looking forward to attending next years shows

  8. Um well, i havnt been to the jam at the dam yet, i just moved to london, so the 2008 festival is a must for me, but if theres one thing i would like to see happen, which could be the most unlikely thing, is somehow persued phish to come play, if this happens, i will be the happiest person ever. but im looking forward to attending next years shows

  9. There is one comment above that mentions in Amsterdam is won’t matter what you see, you will have a good time. I have to concur. I am going to Amsterdam and Europe first, Jam in the Dam second and this event is just a huge bonus as far as I am concerned. Way the by, I have not been to a DSO I haven’t enjoyed and being a Boulder boy, I have been swimming upstream with Leftover Salmon since 89′, YMSB rocks as well and if they were doing a solo show that would be enough to draw me, no question. I mean how bad can it be? Two or three bands you thoroughly enjoy, maybe one you could take or leave. Remember, you are in the Dam and once you walk out the Melkweg doors it is on like Donkey Kong regardless of who played. I thoroughly look forward to my Dam return and my inaugural JamintheDam party. See you in 08′!

  10. There is one comment above that mentions in Amsterdam is won’t matter what you see, you will have a good time. I have to concur. I am going to Amsterdam and Europe first, Jam in the Dam second and this event is just a huge bonus as far as I am concerned. Way the by, I have not been to a DSO I haven’t enjoyed and being a Boulder boy, I have been swimming upstream with Leftover Salmon since 89′, YMSB rocks as well and if they were doing a solo show that would be enough to draw me, no question. I mean how bad can it be? Two or three bands you thoroughly enjoy, maybe one you could take or leave. Remember, you are in the Dam and once you walk out the Melkweg doors it is on like Donkey Kong regardless of who played. I thoroughly look forward to my Dam return and my inaugural JamintheDam party. See you in 08′!

  11. I know this is late, but i just started getting the feed of this blog and got linked here.
    I agree with your dso comment but will just add that the 25 year anniversary is something to consider as a one year thing for this (hopefully long-standing) festie, at the same rate they were definitely the least of my motivations for going in ‘07.
    Aside from the actual musical aspect of umph and bisco, which I love, you must admit they do appeal to a younger crowd, and one that would have been sitting in the same coffeeshop for 16 hours everyday instead of really enjoying this city in addition to its pleasures. There is something to be said for the mature, traveler-minded vibe that ‘07 jitd brought. The crowds were there for the music, the experience, the memories, and brought a relaxing and very honest attitude to the festival. Jitd is a genuine “festival in a city”, the usual tent vendors have storefronts, the coffeeshops have menus and microscopes, and the stages are housed in clubs (and the heiny is delicious). It seemed to me to be the perfect fit for the crowd this year’s bands brought.
    One gripe: the seen-it-once comment really struck deep, as an avid keller fan. He is progressing as much or more than any band out there, and the loops are part of that progression. There are new directions for him at all times (note: album progression from spun->breathe->loop, wmd’s, theramin, keller and keels, kwi,). Sorry but you hit the sweet spot.
    Love the blog, keep up the good work.

  12. I know this is late, but i just started getting the feed of this blog and got linked here.
    I agree with your dso comment but will just add that the 25 year anniversary is something to consider as a one year thing for this (hopefully long-standing) festie, at the same rate they were definitely the least of my motivations for going in ‘07.
    Aside from the actual musical aspect of umph and bisco, which I love, you must admit they do appeal to a younger crowd, and one that would have been sitting in the same coffeeshop for 16 hours everyday instead of really enjoying this city in addition to its pleasures. There is something to be said for the mature, traveler-minded vibe that ‘07 jitd brought. The crowds were there for the music, the experience, the memories, and brought a relaxing and very honest attitude to the festival. Jitd is a genuine “festival in a city”, the usual tent vendors have storefronts, the coffeeshops have menus and microscopes, and the stages are housed in clubs (and the heiny is delicious). It seemed to me to be the perfect fit for the crowd this year’s bands brought.
    One gripe: the seen-it-once comment really struck deep, as an avid keller fan. He is progressing as much or more than any band out there, and the loops are part of that progression. There are new directions for him at all times (note: album progression from spun->breathe->loop, wmd’s, theramin, keller and keels, kwi,). Sorry but you hit the sweet spot.
    Love the blog, keep up the good work.

  13. I agree, DSO is a odd decision and I wouldn't pay $20 to see DSO across the street, let alone travel to Europe to see them.

    Galactic will put on a good show, but I am getting kind of bored with them.

    I am a huge Keller fan and I think he will put on a great show. He has toured and played alot with Yonder so I am sure they will do well together at Jam In The Dam.

    The last 4 times I have seen Yonder they have been on fire. They might be newgrass, but they gets the fans dancing and having fun.

    So I like 2 of the 4 bands alot, 1 band so so, and 1 band not at all.

    I would be surprised if many people would travel for this but I could be wrong.

    As to the comment above, if the decision was economics, in terms of inexpensive bands, then will the ticket price lower?