Enjoy my thoughts on the Jam in the ‘Dam festival, easily a good excuse to get yourself to Amsterdam to visit that magical city. Just don’t ask me where I stayed…I won’t tell you. =]

Jam in the ‘Dam | Night #1 -written 3/20/06

BISCO & crowd

The buildup, the anticipation, the bands, the city, the venue and surrounding location–everything building up to the Jam in the ‘Dam festival converged, collided, and exploded last night with a hugely successful and well-managed music festival night one. Seriously, run-on sentence or not, last night rocked…

We arrived at the festival halfway through the Disco Biscuits opening slot, and we came into the music at a great time and enough to see a solid, preview of the Disco Biscuits and what they’re planning on bringing while in the ‘Dam. We wanted to make it through to Umphrey’s McGee ending the show at 3am so the Disco Biscuits only got a little bit of our love the first night. The jam in “And the Ladies…” was disgusting…that’s the only word I have to describe it…and I’m sure I missed a stellar “Voices Insane” and their Conspirator-lead “Liquid Handcuffs.”

Duo in the Dam

We spent more time over at the Duo, much to my delight. Both Marco (Benevento) and Joe (Russo) were clearly inebriated, which clearly lead to a more adventurous and fun-filled night of music. Their set was amazing from the moments I saw, with an awesome “Welcome Red,” (HAAAAAS!!!!) and an excellent “9×9.” I was completely blown away by the boys and I kept smiling just remembering that I had two more nights of this to go.

STS9 in the Dam

We got into STS9 earlier than later to try and grab a good spot, and we stayed through an amazing “Ramone & Emiglio” opener and some really great stuff afterwards. I never remember the names to their songs, but that’s usually the case with a mostly instrumental band. They were playing solid and groovy as usual.

Umphrey's McGee with Marco in the Dam

From there, into Umphrey’s McGee early to grab a spot Brendan Bayliss side. That proved to be a great spot to take in the band and the unpredictable Benevento/Russo Duo stage antics. Marco came out during “Utopian Fur” which led to Joe coming out to lend a hand with some of the guitar duties. Fun, fun stuff.

Joe Russo & Brendan Bayliss rockin'

Jam in the ‘Dam rules. More on this later, but I wanted to get an update up before I head to Night #2.

Jam in the Dam | Night #2 – written 3/28/06

Surprisingly, I remember feeling quite well after our first night at Jam in the ‘Dam. My “dogs” were still hurting me after all the walking and steps and lack of being in-shape, so we chose to relax during the day yet again to get ready for two more nights of music. Thank gosh this was a nice venue…

Personally, night one was unbelievable from the beginning of the festival onward. I got to meet Hans, the man behind Here comes the flood. I’ve been enjoying his blog since the very beginning of the Live Music Blog and it was really cool to shake his hand. He had a friend with him named Harm who asked me how my feet were doing, and that was quite a surreal moment for me. Wait, people actually do read this blog? I met him on my way out of the Disco Biscuits set onto the Duo, and we never crossed paths again during the evening. No big deal, though, I’ll FOR SURE be back to Amsterdam one of these days and Hans and I can go for a bike ride then.

On another personal note, I was supposed to meet up with SuperDee from JamBase but it fell through. Unfortunately, though, it was quite weird for me. I saw her when she arrived with her posse, and she actually received a public greeting like people knew her already. Whoah, she’s like, famous or something. It was during Umphrey’s McGee when I had my chance, albeit a short one, and it was one of those “uhm, for some reason I don’t feel comfortable just introducing myself to a complete stranger…” moments of terror. She was dancing and taking photos with Vince, Umphrey’s McGee’s road manager, and it was at that moment that it struck me…THAT’S NOT ME.

I’ve had my chance to talk to Vince. Numerous times I’ve seen him working, and here I am, some music blogger, just trying to have fun at a concert. The last thing I feel like doing when I’m at a concert is sitting there and talking shop. But what’s more, one of the last things on my mind at a concert is trying to make sure that I’m getting included in the crowd that gets to go backstage seamlessly. For no reason. It was a weird moment for me. I just had this impression that if I went up to them and introduced myself, they’d be like, “Live Music who?”

So yeah, I opted not to.

Musically, night two was extremely strong. We started off with a rip-roaring Umphrey’s McGee set, and I’m quite bummed that I missed their take on “Liquid.” We walked in as it was finishing up, but this is easily one of the weirder ones from their new album, Safety in Numbers. I really wanted to catch this live and they happened to play it while I was out eating pancakes. Bummer.

I did catch some video of “Eat,” one that I’ve never heard before. I can’t upload it to YouTube anymore, but maybe I’ll post it to YouSendIt if there’s any interest.

From there, we walked into the Duo’s superjam featuring Bobby Previtte, Charlie Hunter, Reed Mathis, a bunch of other dudes, overall noodling, boring, loud and annoying for possibly twenty minutes straight…here’s all the proof you need.

On to Disco Biscuits then, I remember being quite wiped out after all the music and it was nice to grab a seat waiting for their set to start in the big hall. I remembered enjoying the set and feeling that typical Bisco sound that I’ve really grown to love over the past few years. I’ve only seen them a handful of times and I’m impressed that they’re back and better than ever (albeit, in certain new and different ways). “Caterpillar” was great as always. Overall, a very good set.

We stayed for most of STS9 after parting ways with the Disco Biscuits. We had started to get tired so we left a little bit earlier than their set closer.

Jam in the ‘Dam | Night #3 – written 4/3/06

Night three would bring many more photos and a much better spot on the balcony for Umphrey’s McGee and the Duo. Again, all the bands were great and all, but I got so sick of “jamming” after the festival was done. I can’t even sit back and properly reflect on it anymore.

I did get some good Night 3 photos, though…

Umphrey's rockin'


Enlightened STS9

STS9 with disco ball

I like this one

Duo and lights

Duo sweet balc spot

Sorry for that minor lack of enthusiasm. I think it’s just hard to listen to that much of anything within a three day period anymore. Am I losing my festival spirit? This year will surely test its limits!