Live From Fest 11: Day Two

Gainesville, Florida – October 25, 26, 27, 28

Published on

Lagwagon, pic by Daniel Cribb



Those who took full advantage of $2 tallboys the previous night needed to ease their way into a second day of non-stop, energetic punk rock. Smoke Or Fire’s Joe McMahon rattled off a few acoustic numbers at Loosey’s, and labeled his 1pm timeslot the “break of dawn”. Being serenaded by McMahon was obviously on quite a few schedules as a line hugged the venue most of his set, many missing out. Luckily, those with VIP weekend passes (including myself), walked straight in. You don’t have to be anyone important to get a VIP Fest ticket, you just have to be smart enough to click the upgrade button when purchasing. Worth every penny. The VIP pass came in handy again when Iron Chic, featuring members of Latterman, opened up 8 Second. Their line was ridiculously huge as well and a quick glance at the chaos inside would have anything thinking they were headlining.

Just up the road, Mixtapes had a similar response for their acoustic set at Civic Media Center. They were billed as playing acoustic, but still played as a full band, drums and all, just with acoustic guitars. Right next door to the CMC was an art show featuring photos, painting, sketches and more of all things Fest related. The highlight of the gallery was David Liebe Hart’s (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) paintings of classic punk and hardcore albums, from Bad Brains to Gorilla Biscuits, Liebe Hart did a good job at creating confusingly interesting artworks.

Over at The Florida Theatre, ska was the name of the game. We Are The UnionMustard Plugand Streetlight Manifesto opened up the theatre with skanking style. Mustard Plug’s reception was far better than that of their Pre-Fest headlining gig, and Bomb The Music Industry’s Jeff Rosenstock casually stood up as trumpet player, backing vocalist and, at one point, guitarist for the night.

The Fat Wreck Chords tour (featuring Lagwagon, The Flatliners, Dead To Me and Useless ID) collided with Fest and its parts ricocheted into various venues across town. The Flatliners occupied the theatre, while Useless ID took over 1982 at the same time. With The Flatliners playing a second set on Sunday, Useless ID took precedence – apparently this wasn’t the case for most Festers. But, watching Useless ID in a small, intimate venue (one that doesn’t allow smoking) with only a small crowd was pretty damn awesome.

A ten-minute walk back to the theatre and Dead To Me were rounding things out. Vocalist/bassist Chicken tossed his bass guitar aside and dove into the crowd with a microphone. Having played Fest quite a bit in the past, they know how to get the crowd moving.

Side-stage was packed with band members when Lagwagon strolled out, frontman Joey Cape dancing his way through the cheers. Island Of Shame was first on the menu and fans weren’t leaving leftovers. Beer cans were flying all over the place and there were few moments when there wasn’t at least one crowd surfer flailing around. During Violins it became clear that Cape was losing his voice slightly. Breaks in his vocals and more yelling than usually matched his torn Dead Kennedy’s tee and off-blue hair. Much like the previous night’s headliners, Anti-Flag, Lagwagon were only playing their earlier material – songs off their first five records to promote a new(ish) boxset of remasters. Angry Day, the first song they recorded together, got an airing before Cape tried has hand(s) at sign language. “Less talk, more anal,” was what he came up with. “We’ll see you in two minutes, Gainesville,” he said. As promised he returned, with an acoustic guitar. At the end of July, No Use For A Name’s Tony Sly played his last ever show in Gainesville at the High Dive with Joey Cape, a few days later he passed away. In tribute, Cape, joined by The Flatliners Chris Cresswell, played a cover of International You Day. To lighten the mood, the rest of Lagwagon resurfaced and smashed out Alien 8 and May 16th before retreating backstage to no doubt drown themselves in alcohol. Sleep, wake, eat, drink, and repeat. One more day of Fest!


Live From Fest 11: Day One

Gainesville, Florida – October 25, 26, 27, 28

Published on

Bomb The Music Industry, pic by Daniel Cribb



Ever been to a pool party? How about one on a rooftop? Enter: Fest Day 1. The rooftop of The Holiday Inn University was transformed into an alcohol-fuelled afternoon punk rock pool party.Bomb The Music Industry screamed their way through a set that had the roof shaking as fans jumped in perfect unison – it was slightly alarming. A crappy PA and overbearing keyboard just added to the chaotic awesomeness that was BTMI playing in such a unique environment. Meanwhile, inside the registration center, market stalls had been set up and there was more merch than anyone could handle.

Later in the afternoon, venue doors began opening and with 12 venues alive with music, filled with sweaty people and selling $2 tallboys, Fest 11 was in full throttle and the #fest11 posts went into overdrive. Over at Florida Theatre, one of the ‘main’ venues hosting a lot of the headlining acts, The Swellers played a set of fan-favourites, as voted by punters on their Facebook/Twitter. They’d been back in the US for only two days after their Australian tour but there was no signs of jetlag or lack of energy. Running Out Of Places To Go is the name of their new EP, and with a healthy mix of tunes of that release and older songs, they set the pace for the rest of the night. “It’s shows like this that remind us to keep the punk in front of the pop,” said vocalist Nick Diener, and there was plenty of punk to follow with No Trigger dishing out a punchy, catchy blend of punk rock/hardcore. There was no need for smoke machines as lighting up in venues across Florida is A-Okay. If you weren’t smoking, the constant smell of cigarettes and breathing in secondhand smoke all night was enough to make you sick. No worries, Polar Bear Club have a way of drawing your complete attention, and once they get a hold of it, it’s hard to break free.

Pic By Daniel Cribb

Fans were treated to a performance of The Redder, The Better in its entirety before a huge banner was raised above the stage for Anti-Flag. Latterman’s reunion and Anti-Flag’s headline set was the first major Fest clash, and those who stuck around at Florida Theatre for AF helped celebrate the band’s twentieth birthday. Although they don’t officially turn 20 until next year, their gift to fans was putting together a setlist that was compiled only of material from their first four records. They admitted there might be some mistakes during the older, less rehearsed songs, but you would have struggled to pick any from their hour-long performance that ended with the stage covered in fans and bassist Chris number two leaping off the PA. As mentioned yesterday, Gainesville is quite a small little town, so much so that Anti-Flag vocalist/guitarist Justin Sane was in the hotel room next to ours. A friendly chat with the frontman before some much-earned rest was the perfect way to round out the night. Bring on day two!

Live From Fest 11: Pre-Fest

Gainesville, Florida – October 25, 26, 27, 28

Published on

The Smith Street Band, pic by Lauren Dixon



Just a two-hour drive from Orlando, the small town of Gainesville is quite a little town… well, for 361 days of the year it is. The other four days, Fest takes control. For three nights – four if you take into account Pre-Fest shows – Gainesville is overrun by punk rock fans from every corner of the globe. The weekend hosts more than 300 bands over 12 venues, art galleries, comedy shows, flea markets, rooftop pool parties, secret shows and hotel after hotel overflowing with alcohol-fuelled punk rockers. A slew of Pre-Fest shows, official and unofficial, flood the small town and its surroundings on the Thursday before Fest officially kicks off.

There’s an indescribable atmosphere attached to so many fans and bands being in the one place at the same time. For those lucky enough to snatch up tickets to the sold out Pre-Fest shows at 1982 and High Dive, the weekend kicked off in ultimate party mode. After lining up at Fest HQ (The Holiday Inn University) to obtain pre-purchased weekend passes, a quick stop over at 1982 was in order. Doing a mighty fine job of representing Australia, Melbourne’s The Smith Street Band crammed onto the venue’s small stage and unleashed to a more than welcoming crowd. They may have been on the other side of the planet, but half the venue was singing along and bouncing off the walls. It’ll be surprising if they actually come back to Australia.

The problem with so many awesome bands playing on one weekend is there is bound to be some clashes. Now, in its 11th year, Fest organises have assembled Pre-Fest shows that aid in eliminating as many possible heartbreaking clashes as possible. The line-up at High Dive did a mighty fine job of easing some pain. A long line meant that most Cobra Skulls fans caught the tail end of their set, but everyone was well and truly inside for Shook Ones’ burst of energy that turned the venue into a hotbox. If you aren’t won over by The Dopamines recordings, a Fest performance will surely convince you they are worthy of a place on your iPod. By the time Dear Landlord and Off With Their Heads took to the stage, it was looking to be a huge night, but it seemed most were there for those two and it meant that the room was less than full forBroadway Calls. Their audience mightn’t have been packed in wall-to-wall, but they played with more intensity than those before them. Things picked up slightly for Teenage Bottlerocket, who also put on a killer show to get the weekend in motion, but ska headliners Mustard Plug ended up playing to only a handful of fans. Considering a Pre-Fest experience tops most Australian shows, the three days to follow will no doubt deliver a weekend of epic proportions. Livers, get ready.

CD Review: Green Day

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 25.10.12 | Issue # 311



23 October, 2012

One fucking minute. That’s all it takes when pressing play on Green Day’s ninth studio album,¡UNO!, to figure out they’ve somewhat returned to their former glory. 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown was a write-off, and while 2004’s American Idiot was a pretty decent album, the transformation the band embarked on because of it tainted their catchy hooks. ¡UNO!, the first record in a trilogy, takes off where 2000’s Warning ended, and is a sound for sore ears.

Shortly after the album’s release, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was admitted to a rehab facility after an on-stage breakdown at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas. If substance abuse gave birth to this awesome album, maybe Armstrong should keep on livin’ that rockstar lifestyle. That may be a selfish point of view, but 21st Century Breakdown was beyond awful. Maybe he was celebrating the band’s first decent album in ten years.

The closest thing to 21st Century Breakdown on ¡UNO! is Kill The DJ, the first single taken from record. It doesn’t do any justice to the 11 tunes that it sits alongside. A more fitting lead single would have been Stay The Night; it encompasses the right blend of the band’s old sound without coming across like a boring, re-done knock off. Many fans had given up hope on these guys, but ¡UNO! is the light at the end of the Green Day rock opera tunnel. With any luck ¡DOS!and ¡TRE! will continue this trend and see the years between Warning and 21st Century Breakdown fade into a distant memory.

Daniel Cribb

Show Review: Everclear 14.10.12

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 18.10.12 | Issue # 310



Openers Jake & The Cowboys secured the support slot for the last show of Everclear’s Australian tour via a Facebook vote-off, but had they been judged on the merit of their live show, the outcome would have no doubt been the same. “Jacked up on Everclear”, Emperors displayed a band in their element as they returned home from opening the East Coast leg of the tour. As he belted out the bridge of Hey Dolly with nail-biting intensity, vocalist Adam Livingston (complete with Legoland pullover) proved he has some of the strongest lungs in the country.

Everclear’s trip down memory lane – one that’s taken them 14 years to deliver Australian fans – took shelter in the intimate confines of Capitol. Well, intimate considering the band. Already surfacing during the night, and retreating after being swamped by a sea of fans, frontman and only original member Art Alexakis looked like he’d been plucked directly out of his ‘90 heyday.

Kicking off with So Much For The Afterglow, Alexakis’ mic was off for the first half of the song. Luckily, being a crowd favourite, there was no lack of vocal presence. Father Of Mine saw a sea of fists bopping up and down to the groove of drummer Sean Winchester, and the tightly knit collection of fans on the dancefloor set up a festival-esque atmosphere. Fans were treated toWonderful, acoustic number Stawberry (feat. crowd lighters) Everything To Everyone and new tune Be Careful What You Ask For – all corners of their back catalogue were covered.

Technical issues struck again during White Men In Black Suits with a mid-song guitar change and keyboard cutting out, but they powered through unfazed. They had little time to dwell, and even less for between-song banter.

“Thanks for coming on stage, and thanks for not being a pussy and jumping like you’re supposed to,” Alexakis commended a punter for rocking out ‘90s style, before they bid farewell with Santa Monica, a medley of classic rock songs and I Will Buy You A New Life. Whether it’s because they’re dripping in nostalgia or they’ve had two decades to refine their live show, Everclear have an unmatched and infectious energy.

Written by Daniel Cribb

Show Review: Tim & Eric 02.10.12

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 11.10.12 | Issue # 309


Some people love DJs, others hate them, but DJ Dougg Pound is a DJ that everyone can enjoy. Splicing awkward puns with dubstep and excerpts from Kelly Clarkson songs, his take on musical comedy is refreshing. “Diarrhoea!” sung Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim as they danced and sung their way onto stage dressed in attire that featured oversized genitals and large, hairy nipples. Anyone unfamiliar with Tim & Eric would have been left in a state of shock. The show consisted of numerous segments, each featuring different characters from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. To compensate for the five minutes it took for them to get in and out of costumes and makeup, the audience were treated to clips featuring show favourites Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly), Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte, David Liebe Hart and more. At the show’s climax, hotdogs were pelted into the audience before Heidecker projected a mouth full of oats onto the front few rows. Amongst Casey and his brother, Spaghett, their Kid Break personas and more, the only notable characters missing were the Beaver Boys and Jan & Wayne Skylar, the married news team. With that said, it’s surprising they managed to squeeze in as much as they did. These guys take comedy to the next (weird) level. Great Job!

Daniel Cribb