Gainesville, Florida – October 25, 26, 27, 28
Published on TheMusic.com.au
LIVE FROM FEST 11
DANIEL CRIBB: FEST 11 DAY TWO
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 Union, Mustard 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!