Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Fire Ceremony-340There were plenty of amazing moments at the 6th Annual Wham Bam Thank U Jam held August 14-16 at Hannon’s Camp America. Earlier in the week, I shared with you the first part of my Wham Bam experience. Now, it’s my pleasure to bring you Part 2 of this magical weekend!

Saturday

Saturday’s festivities began in the barn with Tracy Lakes and his early morning wake upWham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Sharon Lane and Friends-637 call, followed by Eric Henry & Miss Melissa, Harlot, and Sharon Lane & friends. While things were bustling in the barn, I took a stroll around the campground to grab a few pics of all the happy people who chose to spend the weekend with us, and of course to spread the good word about Music Connection Dayton and W937 Dayton Radio.

As I made my way to the top of the campgrounds to check out things at the gate, I was greeted by many of the volunteers who made thisWham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Fire Sculpture-128 wonderful celebration possible, and on my way back to the barn, I noticed that several members of The United SpaceRangers Association were hard at work preparing the GIANT fire sculpture. The fire ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of the weekend and one that would not have been possible without the SpaceRangers. A special shout out also has to go to Guitars to Gunstocks and Fairborn Canoe Club for all of their efforts in collecting and hauling in the wood for this fire as it was a HUGE undertaking!

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Far From Eden-029Back at the booth, Kimberly was getting ready for her set with Far From Eden. Lisa was a pro as she watched after things while I went to grab some shots of the boss in action. As the band began their set, Mother Nature provided us with a brief shower to cool things off a bit. The down pour didn’t slow things down on stage though! Far From Eden killed it!

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Lemon Sky-101

The sun made its return just in time
for the psychedelic hard rock sounds
of Lemon Sky. These guys are always
one of the highlights of the weekend,
and Wham Bam 6 might be their best performance to date!

 

Up next, fans gathered for the soulful reggae sounds of Jonny Dreads and the Mystiks. No Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Jonny Dreads and the Mystiks-158matter what kind of day you’re having, these guys will take you to your happy place with their mix of funk, soul, and reggae. One of the memorable moments of the set was when the band welcomed Danny Sauers (Subterranean) to the stage to lead us in a kick ass version of Michael Franti’s “Hello Bonjour” that had everyone singing.

 

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - To No End-204

Next, reggae gave way to the bluesy alt-rock sounds of Nick Dellaposta and To No End. The band’s Peril & Paracosm CD is a favorite on W937 Dayton Radio, and the release of their sequel called Remora had us chomping at the bit to see some of their new tunes performed live. The only thing better than listening to a To No End CD is seeing the band live because they rock the stage every time they play! To No End’s Wham Bam debut was insane and was one of the best performances of the weekend!

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Jah Soul-267Jah Soul grabbed the reigns next. This Dayton based band has a way of getting your body moving to the grooves of their signature sound of funk, reggae, disco and soul. Go ahead and try to sit through a Jah Soul set. I dare ya!

As the sun began to set, the excitement was building, and final preparations were being made for the fire ceremony.

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Grover-312Grover hit the stage to set the mood with their smooth grooves and funk/rock sound. I grabbed my tripod and made my way up the tower to get a bird’s eye view of the festivities. The view was absolutely surreal. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional thinking about my Wham Bam family and what it means to come and celebrate our love for one another and our appreciation for life. It’s a beautiful thing!


Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Fire Ceremony-350As the giant fire sculpture was lit, 
the flames quickly illuminated the campgrounds and the fireworks lit up the sky. Mark Christianson (one of the founding fathers of Love of Life) ventured up the platform to join me for a little toast. The two of us were in awe of the spectacle we were witnessing below. It’s hard to believe this all started as a backyard celebration.

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - The Almighty Get Down-370

The atmosphere was electric following the Grover set, and it was time for The Almighty Get Down to get plugged in. Willy Moran and the boys are one of the hottest tickets around, and their performance at Wham Bam only solidified their position as one of the best live acts around! The band’s raw energy is contagious as was evident by the hundreds of smiles and happy feet I encountered on my way back to the stage.

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Magic Jackson-398The celebration continued after that amazing set with the uber-talented guys in Magic Jackson. The guys who put FUN in the word FUNk were back at Wham Bam for the first time in a couple years, much to the delight everyone in attendance! I have to say that Funk is alive and well as long as these cats keep doin their thing!

 

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Boogie Matrix-480It was a bitter sweet moment when it came time for Boogie Matrix to take the stage. After a great 10 year run as one of Ohio’s premiere party bands, Wham Bam 6 would mark Boogie’s final show. Fans were well aware, and many good folks followed the band from Toledo for this LastWham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Boogie Matrix-582 Hurrah. Johnny K and the guys took full advantage of their time on the Wham Bam stage working Boogie fans into a frenzy. The band treated us to a variety of favorites that included “Ragelife”, “Reputable Plummer”, “Mushroom Hunting” and more, and the guys garnered a well deserved ovation followed by an encore that included Baoku Moses and several Boogie fans. It was the perfect way to say farewell. We wish all the guys in Boogie Matrix nothing but the best!

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Drum Circle-605The night wasn’t over yet though! Now it was time for Wham Bam’s infamous drum circle led by the multi-talented Baoku Moses. The ambiance around the circle was almost mystical. The warmth from the massive fire only intensified the steady beat of the drums that echoed throughout the campground.

 

 

Wham Bam Thank U Jam 2015 - Fan Photos-618As the night wore on, Lisa and I made our way to the bar of the VIP tent. We were ready for a couple of little beers before calling it a night. We spent most of the next day trying to recuperate before packing up and heading back Sunday evening. We would usually stay an extra day, but we had to be in Cincinnati early on Monday to greet our new granddaughter Frannie into the world.

We had an amazing time at Wham Bam 6. BIG thanks go out to all the great folks at Love of Life Inc. for allowing Music Connection Dayton to be a part of this incredible event and for putting on one of the best events of the summer!   

  • There were no delays in the music.
  • The sound and lights were top-notch thanks to Matt Hohenbrink and his crew at PROfound Sound. The stage was amazing thanks to the new cover brought out by Brad Denson as well as the folks who rebuilt the new stage earlier in the year.   
  • The entertainment, food, and vendors were amazing and well thought out to create a fabulous atmosphere overall.
  • The staff, volunteers, Hannon’s Camp crew and all who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make things go well – you were all pros!
  • We would also like to thank all the bands that rocked us all weekend, and we have to give a special thank you to those bands who had the faith to allow us to sell their merch or simply came up to say hello. It was truly an honor to do something to help connect the fans and the bands and look forward to future adventures together!

  • Thank you to Lisa and Nate for helping us keep our heads together in the heat and all the help you provided without ever having been asked. Without you, we would have been a wreck.

  • Last, but certainly not least, thanks also must go out to all the amazing people we met at the celebration! We hope to see you at next year’s celebration, if not sooner!

Check out more great pics from Saturday’s festivities below.

Photos by Jimmy & Lisa C and copyright Music Connection Dayton and available to reproduce or crop with attribution. 

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