Fest 11 – Part 2

The continuation of the Fest 11 saga, in which our heroes finally, actually discuss a band or two that played during fest.

FRIDAY

Like I said in an earlier post, we mostly stuck to the same one-block area of Gainesville to maximize the amount of awesome music we could hear.  Friday was spent exclusively at the High Dive, 8 Seconds and The Florida Theater of Gainesville.  After check in and dinner, our first stop the High Dive to check out Hostage Calm and Dikembe. Hostage Calm was easily one of the top five performances of the weekend.  The venue was just the right size, and it was packed out with people singing and crowdsurfing along. It really was a fun time.

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Hostage Calm. First set we saw, tough act to follow.

The next venue we hit was the Florida Theater, which is (I think?) the largest venue for the Fest.  This was the only venue that seemed to have a full security team, and the bartenders definitely didn’t seem like they were used to our kind of crowd.  There we saw The Swellers, Make Do and Mend and Polar Bear Club play back-to-back. This venue had plenty of levels, so you were basically assured a good view of the stage, which was awesome.  The sound, however, left something to be desired. I was super disappointed that the mix during Make Do and Mend wasn’t great, they were one of my most anticipated bands.

To end the night, we went over to 8 Seconds during F.Y.P’s set and to get a good spot for Latterman.  F.Y.P. were great, and that night’s headliner Latterman were amazing! I didn’t get to see them at their New York reunion shows last year, so this was the first time I’d seen them in like 5 years. That old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” could not be more true for this band, because as soon as they started playing the whole place went NUTS. I’m sure there’s Nothing like a few thousand fans singing along to welcome you back. Latterman was tight and loud and played every song I could ask for. It was a great end to the first night at Fest.

SATURDAY

After grabbing some food, we headed over to 8 Seconds to catch Iron Chic and RVIVR, but were greeted to something of a line. This particular line was about two blocks long for a venue that absolutely could not hold half of these people. Our plan B was to head over to the Atlantic for Little League, then to The Laboratory for Pentimento. Both great, low-key sets. We took a break after that to try to figure out how the hell we were getting home with Hurricane Sandy coming.  The rest of the evening was spent watching Captain We’re Sinking just absolutely kill it, Red City Radio blow the doors off of High Dive, and a small, intimate set from Nightmares for a Week.

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Red City Radio. No, I have no idea why people throw beer. Even cheap beer.

SUNDAY

On Sunday, we started the day out at the Florida Theater. Joyce Manor was pretty good, but the Menzingers were crazy good. I was surprised at how well the crowd responded to songs off the new album to boot. After those bands, we got a call back from Delta and found out we’d be stuck in Florida no matter what we did because of Sandy up North. Well, we took that as a sign so we headed over to 8 Seconds, pulled up a couple of bar stools and got daytime drunk listening to Cheap Girls, Paul Baribeau and Andrew Jackson Jihad play. The last set of the night was Frank Turner, who was absolutely brilliant.  It’s crazy how one guy with a guitar can sound so huge when everyone sings along.

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Frank Turner.

Fest 11 was a trip. After talking about it for so long, I couldn’t be happier that I was able to attend this year.  I can honestly say that Fest lived up to the hype, and I had one of the best weekends of my whole year. Monday morning was a different story, as we got stuck in Florida for a few days. You can read more about that in this post.

-mayt

cmon everybody sing along, we’re to blame..

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