The Jeep Outside World Fest rolled into the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ in the midst of a brutal heat wave. I cannot think of anything worse than going to cover an all day outside festival
.yeah right, I was just fuckin with ya Ted. Don't get me wrong, it was hot as you know what, but the heat was breaking by the time the music was starting.
First on my list of bands to check out was another EmpyreLounge.com favorite, rubyhorse. Getting to see two real good bands in 4 days is always a good thing, the first being Greenwheel
. The Irish rockers in rubyhorse are riding high on the heels of their single "Sparkle," which has been on heavy rotation down in the city of Brotherly Love. Not getting much help from Jeep definitely hurt though as their starting time 4.30 didn't help the band draw a crowd as the Tweeter was maybe about 1/4 full at the time. Ripping through songs off of their debut Rise
, the band fought hard to try to get the crowd going. The band started to hit its stride with "Punchdrunk," especially with the tribute of the late George Harrison with his "My Sweet Lord" tacked on at the end. "Horseless" and "Bitter" also were killer live songs but the high point was the set closer, "Into the Lavender." Marred by some humming speakers, rubyhorse fought hard to get the crowd going and still managed to have a great, but short set. Speaking with the band afterwards, they seemed relieved that their time on the Jeep Fest was now over.
The other main reason to be at the Jeep Outside Fest was for another young band, of a revolution (O.A.R.). Many in the audience agreed with me as the "pit" area was packed for the first time of the night. If you never have, I suggest checking out an O.A.R. show as their unique sound does nothing but get everyone off their ass and onto their feet.
Starting off with "On Top The Cage," the crowd roared with delight. A new song, "Tragedy in Waiting" followed, with many of the die-hard O.A.R. fans already knowing the words. Two standout numbers highlighted the energy packed set. The first was easily the cover of the Kingsmen classic "Louie Louie" right into the bands own "Hey Girl." With the crowd yelling and singing with approval, the band flowed through their set culminating in the always-entertaining "That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker."
Funny thing was, a ton of people left after this set. People were there to see O.A.R. and wanted no part of the rest of the show. Having seen the two bands I was really jazzed for, I may have left as well if I wasn't there to cover the rest of the show.
Train was up next and put on a decent performance that did not stray too far from their recorded material. Where as O.A.R. and rubyhorse weaved covers into their songs, train was content to let their two covers be the high point of their set. Singer Patrick Monahan did his best Robert Plant impression on the Led Zepplin classic "Ramble On," and nailed Steven Tyler's voice in the very impressive cover of "Dream On." Out of the rest of the Train set, only "Meet Virginia" had me impressed.
Closing out the evening was the ever-so-hot Sheryl Crow. Is she really 40? Goddamn! Sounding great, Sheryl played something for everyone and played more of the "older" stuff than I had expected. An early highlight was "You're An Original" with Doyle Bramhall on guitar & Chris Bruce on bass. Other highpoints included "There Goes the Neighborhood," and the show closer, another Led Zepplin cover, this time though it was "Rock N Roll."
The Jeep Outside Fest brought a lot of good bands playing short chunks with two big chunks of Train and Sheryl Crow. Next time, cut a band or two and let everyone play at least one CDs worth of material. What a help that would have been to new bands like O.A.R., rubyhorse, Maroon5, Five for Fighting, and Remy Shand
.all who fought to gain attention in their 35 minutes soaking up the sun.