REVIEW: The Fest

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Last weekend I went to the Fest. Now I’m going home. Slowly. The time spent in a van with six other dudes has given me plenty of time to think about my life and the sad, directionless way I live it. Jokes. Everything rules. I wrote about this simple truth twice this week. And in the interest of spreading more of my never ending joy with people who read stuff on the internet, I present my complete minimal-sentence reviews of every single band I saw at the Fest this weekend. All 47 of them. Because I don’t have more important things to do and get stoked about.

But since I know not everyone is way into my opinion of Teenage Cool Kids (you should be, because my opinion is that they’re great), you can check ‘em out after the jump. You should. I spent all afternoon in a van writing this (and making this video). If not, cool. There’s other great stuff on this site to read. Haters.

DAY ONE.

Virgins: New band from Sam from New Mexican Disaster Squad which utterly rules. Kind of like NMDS but a little slower and more awesome. I bought a shirt.

Coffee Project: Buddy from Less Than Jake and Jake from Rehasher playing acoustic + trombone pop-punk. Did it work? 2 dollar PBR! Cool!

A Wilhelm Scream: Sounded like every other time I’ve seen them but with a few hundred more bodies flipping out. So even better. Great band, great dudes, great times.

The Falcon: Everyone in the Lawrence Arms plus the guy from Smoking Popes playing songs that kind of sound like the Lawrence Arms. Obviously great.

Rehasher: Roger from Less Than Jake playing really fast and totally rad pop-punk. This band never plays live and when they hit “Sinking” I was all pushing kids and yelling shit.

Ninja Gun: These dudes aren’t faking the whole cool-guy southern rock thing. They have accents! Whoa. And great tunes. I like them a lot.

Building the State: Like Mogwai if they were from DC in the late ‘80s. Which is to say, they were epic and aggressive and fucking really godamn good.

Cheeky: My first romance with Gainesville’s best venue, the Kickstand, meant that this band sounded so good and so happy I couldn’t help but be like, “Life is so good and so beautiful and so kind.” Thanks, guys.

Grabass Charlestons: There are bands you dig and are like, “Well, they live in Florida and never tour, so I’ll never see them.” Fuck you, logic. I saw the Grabass Charlestons, and it was great.

Five Star Pizza: Delicious.

LaSalle: Dude from Small Brown Bike continuing to be awesome. Like late-era Jawbox (so, Burning Airlines) but with a more aggressive mix of soft/harsh shit. Great great great.

This Bike is a Pipe Bomb: Saw, like, one song. It was really good. People with gross beards seemed especially excited.

Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves: One of the things I was most stoked about seeing. Chris from HWM and the Draft playing songs that basically sound like really slow Draft songs. Captivating and incredibly catchy without being too saccharine. Pretty fucking perfect.

Bouncing Souls: “Here we go here we go here we go!”

Paint in Black (in a U-Haul): Yup.

DAY TWO.

The No Idea BBQ and Yard Sale: Waited in a line for way too long to buy some records. You know when you see photos of muslims circling around the big black rock at mecca? Replace muslims dudes with beard punks and the black rock with the No Idea office, and that’s how it felt. Then I ate an amazing pulled pork sandwich.

Atom and his Package: Adam Goren broke up with himself in 2005. So I never thought I’d get to see him play “Pumping Iron for Enya”. Well, I did. This was one of my big reasons for travelling down to crazy ol’ Florida and it was really, really… ruling.

Coalesce: Crazy, heavy, amazing. The guitarist scares me. They all scare me, actually.

Banner Pilot: Too crowded to see shit, but sounded like Banner Pilot.

Armalite: One of my favourite No Idea bands ever. I love their one record, they never play shows, etc. Incredible, I wanted to hug everyone and spread my love like wildfire. Instead, I drank some Miller High Life.

The Lawrence Arms: Sometimes you’re lucky enough to see a band as seasoned as these dudes get truly affected by the way a crowd reacts to their songs. The Venue felt like a thousand watt campfire singalong.

Shook Ones: They’re great. They played a new song. It was great. Stoked.

None More Black: I never got super in to this band, even though I loved Kid Dynamite and I think the LaGrecia record are both (Jason fronts all said bands). But this was pretty amazing. Same as Lawrence Arms; during “Loud About Loathing”, the kid seemed pretty fucking wowed by the thousand people punk rock karaoke show. Pretty incredible.

Subway: Kind of soggy, but delicious.

Municipal Waste: This whole weird thrash trend is getting weird, but this was pretty fucking fun. They played a lot of thrash songs about thrashing.

Bridge and Tunnel: Their record is incredible, and their live show is incredible-er. If there is justice in this crazy world, they will be famous as fuck in two years.

Tin Armor: Back at the Kickstand, and since things were running late, I was lucky enough to catch these guys. They sounded like a really smart power-pop band and I bought their CD. I hope it’s good.

Slingshot Dakota: Oh man, they’re great. Got all the kids on stage, played “Waiting Room” (which sounds pretty sweet with just a keyboard and drums, who knew?), and stole my heart. My god. I want it back. But I’m just so in love.

The Sidekicks: Good. Will be better in six months. I bet.

Polar Bear Club: I’m the guy in the red plaid.

Able Baker Fox: Their third show (and fourth practice). Amazing. Yup. That’s it.

The Copyrights: Nice to listen to.

Broadway Calls at some warehouse: Showed up in time to see them cover Jawbreaker and Kid Dynamite. Best four minutes ever.

DAY THREE.

Asiago cheese bagel with butter and coffee from Bagels Unlimited: Sat in a parking lot and listened to Jawsome play some sick thrash while eating, sipping, and reading. Gainesville is kind of like magic.

Teenage Cool Kids: I just went ‘cause there wasn’t anything really exciting happening anywhere else at 2 in the afternoon and I wanted to walk to the Kickstand. In the Fest Guidebook is says these guys have synths and play some kind of dancey bullshit. Instead, they’re an amazing power-pop band that, like Bridge and Tunnel, should be famous in two years. Best happy accident of the whole weekend. Besides fathering a child with a woman from Tallahassee. Sorry, guys.

Nan Grizol: Theo from Defiance, Ohio continuing to be an incredible songwriter and storyteller. If you liked In the Aeroplane Over the Sea but wished it was more like a folk-punk album, this is pretty much exactly how this sounds.

The Hidden Spots: They sound like Hot Water Music, but happier.

The Arrivals: Not as awesome as I wanted.

Stressface: Exactly as awesome as I wanted.

Monikers: Another way-crowded set side stage at the Venue, but still awesome. They played this song “Wake Up” which is so good and could be in a really good beer commercial if it wasn’t SO FUCKING PUNK.

Gatorface: Some sweet riffs. Singer’s voice was pretty shot from, you know, being at the Fest. So shit was alright.

Off With Their Heads: So angry. So awesome. Kept bitching about how long their set was and asking if they could stop. But you could tell they were loving every second of it. But their bitterness just makes them so much more charming. And punk.

Black Tusk: Heaviest shit I saw all weekend. I could feel it in my balls. Great beards in this band. Even better riffs. And HEAVINESS.

Taco Bell: Not filling.

Shot Baker: Really great. Guaranteed these guys play a way bigger venue next year.

Subway: Filling.

OK Pilot: The Flats toured with these guys in Europe and made everyone watch their set. Holy shit. Like the Bronx but faster and more British.

The Ergs!: When Dead to Me dropped off due to Jack having a baby, there were a lot of rumors about who would fill their Sunday night slot. Hot Water Music? American Steel? The Draft? Against Me! (seriously, some kid told me that’s what he heard)? Nope. The Ergs! just played two sets, the second one consisting of their classic Dork Cork Rod in its entirety and some Descendents covers in memory of the late, great Frank Navetta. Truly awesome. Saw them in Toronto with a hundred people singing along at the top of their lungs; at the Fest, a full room of 1500 people were doing the same thing and it was fucking cool.

Leatherface: Leatherface.

In conclusion, I love America. And if you’re still reading this, let’s hang out. You and me both obviously have some time on our hands.

Posted on November 10, 2008 by | Hits & Misses, Live | 1 Comment »| Tags:


One Response »

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