FEST 10 REVIEW: Day 1 – 10.28.11
All photos by Nicole Kibert
Fest is again upon us. The yearly event brings in people to Gainesville who are looking to catch their favorite bands as well as hear new bands that they may not otherwise be exposed to. Along the way fest-goers enjoy drinking to the point of liver damage, and being generally ridiculous. It’s always a good time. With no further ado, let’s begin SubAp!’s daily coverage of the event.
Beasts of No Nation – Laboratory – 5:30pm
The first band to play Fest for the day was Washington D.C.s Beasts of no Nation. Made up of members of Trial by Fire, the Explosion and Darkest Hour, Beasts songs have a more punk sound than I expected considering the bands lineage. They’ve played together for almost 7 years though they just officially became an “active” band this past August when they played their inaugural show. Things are obviously picking up for this quartette and hopefully I’ll see lots more of them.
The Holy Mountain - Double Down – 6:30
The No Idea band The Holy Mountain has been together for 2002. Well, the name has been around since about then, but the members of the band have changed non-stop. Even so, The Holy Mountain continues to churn out consistent aggressive metal/punk. Their set at Double Down was unrelenting and near flawless. The fairly small crowd (since a good deal of Fest attendees were still standing in the registration line waiting for armbands) did not let size stop them. Flailing, kicking, and circle pitting, they let Holy Mountain know they were there for them.
Asshole Parade - Double Down – 7:20
Asshole Parade plays skate thrash at its best. Double Down continued to fill with fans as the band took the stage after Holy Mountain. By the time they started, the audience had almost double in size, and in turn, the pit did as well. Fan’s of the band clobbered each other while Asshole Parade blasted through an intense set of their style of minute long (on average, maybe less) hardcore. Good stuff.
Samiam - Florida Theater – 7:35
Holy crap Florida Theater was packed! This was the first timing I had to see Samiam since I missed them when they used to come to venues like Club Detroit, etc. Now they play considerably bigger venues to kids who were probably in diapers when the band was active. The band sounded as good as I expected but were honestly not the liveliest band to watch. The good news was that actually managing to see them play was near impossible. Thanks to the poor set up of the venue I saw a LOT of the back of people heads though. Great haircuts Gainesville! Anyway, Samiam played old classics as well as new material that still maintained the sound that made them popular. I can scratch them of my list of bands I’ve always wanted to see now. Yeah.
Magrudergrind - Double Down – 8:20
Now back to Double Down to see Magrudegrind who I recently missed at Transitions Art Gallery in Tampa when they came through. I had heard that I missed a hell of a show and now that I’ve seen them live I am certain I missed out. Magrudegrind play fast, intense, tight grindcore and are incredibly good at what they do. There was a good-sized crowd inside the venue and the line to get into double down was growing longer still. I missed the first 10 minutes of the 20-minute set but the 10 minutes that I did see were brutal. The band was allotted a 30-minute set but ended 10 minutes early. Considering the speed of the music and lengths of their songs, they probably could have play 10 more songs in that time. No complaints though as their set was AWESOME!
Kid Dynamite - Florida Theater – 8:45
Lifetime cancelled and to make up for the disappointment, we we’re given Kid Dynamite. In many peoples’ opinion, a very fair trade. Florida Theater was sweltering and packed for the fairly recently reunited Dynamite who did not disappoint the crowd. They ripped through a set of their anthemic punk songs accompanied by fans belting out lyrics throughout the venue with arms raised. Once again, I saw the back of lots of heads. I noticed a lot more bald spots this time. I guess Fest isn’t purely a young man’s game.
Criminal Culture – Loosey’s – 9:40
Hometown Tampa heroes, Criminal Culture are easily one of the best bands in the Bay. Their Fest 10 set was full of energy, sing-a-longs and intricate guitar lines. Crim Cult never disappoints. A number of people even chose to skip Kid Dynamite to make sure they caught this band’s set. They played crowd favorites as well as a number of new songs, all met with excitement. If going to an event like Fest is meant to introduce people to new bands they’ve not heard, this show was what Fest is all about.
Touché Amore – Double Down – 10:07
I was blown away by Touchè Amore last year when I saw them for the first time. I downloaded their albums and quite honestly was unimpressed. I was curious to see if perhaps I’d overestimated my impression of last years show. This year Touchè played Double Down which is twice as big as the Atlantic (where they played Fest 9). They filled the joint with fans that sang and screamed along to the band’s energetic set. They absolutely killed it! Bummer I can’t get that into Touché Amore’s recorded stuff. For many people I spoke to Friday, This show was the highlight of Fest Day 1.
Sleepytime Trio – Double Down – 10:40
A number of people vacated Double Down not knowing who Sleepytime Trio were, or possibly to start standing in the MASSIVE line forming to see Hot Water Music. Who knows? Originally listed on the schedule as “Mystery band”, it appeared the secret had gotten out in time for a lot of people to be excited to see them play their fugazi-esque style of post-hardcore. I had never heard of the Sleepytime Trio when they were an active band, but am damn glad I got to see this reunion.
PS Elliot - Final Florida show – The Atlantic
PS Eliot are a female fronted indie rock/pop band who recently moved from Alabama to NYC and soon announced they are calling it quits. This show was to be their last in Florida, and The Atlantic was packed with people there to get their fill. The band’s performance was fun and very energetic. The lighthearted songs were a refreshing change from everything seen so far but the execution fell short on a number of songs. Sloppy set, good time.
Hot Water Music - Florida Theater – 11:20
I officially hate this venue. Unless you arrived an hour before the band you wanted to see went on, you had no chance of seeing the band play. At one point I managed to see a drumstick. That was exciting. Hot Water Music sounded great as always though. I would say more about the show but I gave up on Florida Theater at this point to head to Coliseum at Double Down.
Coliseum - Double Down – 11:40
While not as widely popular as HWM, Coliseum is a pretty well known band. A thinned crowd at DD due to the Hot Water Show didn’t stop the band from giving one of the best, most intense performances of the day. Coliseum are an insanely talented, great punk band, not metal, as described by their singer who made sure to explain the difference. If you were at the HWM show and happy, good for you. You missed a hell of a show right around the corner.
PJ Bond - Civic Media Center – 12:25
Holy humid Batman! Civic Media Center in probably Fest’s most intimate venue, and perhaps its hottest. Air Conditioning doesn’t come cheap and it’s overrated anyway. Last year PJ Bond played to a decently sized audience at a local pizza joint. Obviously, his appeal carried to this year as a good amount of people, many who are friends of the singer, filed into Civic Media. PJ brought his younger brother along this go-around to play lap steel and do backup vocals. The extra member really filled out PJ’ acoustic folk/country sound. You can really tell that the Bond brothers love what they do. PJ stamped his feet hard on the stage, broke strings and screamed lyrics all while wearing a huge grim. His music is heartfelt and fun, and if you haven’t seen him play before, then you are truly missing an event.
City of Ships - The Atlantic – 1:06am
Look, I’ll be honest. By 1 a.m. and after seeing 13 bands in about 7 hours, my brain is officially feeling pretty mushy. I managed to see City of Ships play at The Atlantic to a dwindling crowd, but my grasp of reality was quickly fading, let alone my ability to communicate. That said, City of Ships are a great hard rock band that obviously knows what they are doing. There is no shortage of talent in this band! I wish they played earlier so I could have appreciated them, as I should have. I promise to catch them again ASAP.
Sleep Came quickly, but morning will come quicker. Now to pass out and get ready to do all this and more tomorrow. G’night!