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Summer Camp provides bands galore at Marymoor
Tomorrow, nine up-and-coming acts will perform for a sold-out crowd. This year’s headlining band is Phantogram, an electronic rock duo from Greenwich, N.Y. The remaining acts will be Bleachers, Bear Hands, Wild Cub, Skaters, Sir Sly, The Orwells, Thumpers and Bad Suns.
Garett Michaels, program director for The End, said Summer Camp features on-the-rise artists who are usually on their first or second albums.
Previous Summer Camp artists include Neon Trees, Cold War Kids and fun.
“They’ve become really huge,” Michaels said about the latter band.
He said the idea is to offer concertgoers the opportunity to see many cool new bands at a low price.
“That’s worked out pretty well,” he said about the model, adding that Summer Camp tickets usually run around $40.
Michaels said the bands also recognize the value in performing for such a large audience as they would most likely be playing at smaller venues at this stage in their careers.
In addition, the bands often enjoy the opportunity to meet and see their fellow musicians.
Keegan DeWitt, singer for Wild Cub, said at these types of shows, he likes to see how others do what they do and learn from them. He said this helps him get re-energized to get back in the studio.
In addition to DeWitt, Wild Cub has four other members: Jeremy Bullock on guitar, Harry West on bass, Eric Wilson on keyboards and Dabney Morris on drums. Morris is also the band’s producer.
DeWitt said he is looking forward to seeing headliner Phantogram — who Wild Cub has performed alongside before — and learning as many tricks from them as possible.
Michaels agreed that this year’s headliner is a group to watch.
“Phantogram is really on the ascension,” he said, adding that the duo has also performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which has featured the likes of Arcade Fire, Muse, OutKast, Pharrell Williams and Lorde.
When asked about which acts he is looking forward to see perform at Summer Camp, Michaels likened it to trying to pick a favorite child.
“I’m excited to see all of them,” he said.
This being said, Michaels admitted to looking forward to Skaters and The Orwells because those bands are a bit of a throwback to 1990s-era alternative grunge and remind him of early 1990s bands such as The Strokes.
And while the bands playing Summer Camp are still at the beginning of their careers, a few have played in the Pacific Northwest before, including Wild Cub.
DeWitt, who grew up just a few hours south in Portland, Ore., said he and his bandmates performed at last year’s Capitol Hill Block Party and they really enjoyed it.
“It was a blast when we did it,” he said.
In addition to his regional roots, DeWitt said this area is particularly special for Wild Cub because they received a lot of early support from local radio stations — including The End — for their single “Thunder Clatter.”
While Wild Cub is returning as a band to perform, Bleachers will be bringing at least one band member back to the area.
The band’s frontman Jack Antonoff is also a member of fun. When The End approached Bleachers about this year’s Summer Camp, Antonoff was excited because he remembered the good time he had the first time with his other band, which Michaels said was great.