My list of bands that I still really want to see has dwindled to, well, not many, to be honest. There are still tons of bands that I will go see every time I get a chance, but bands I’d travel to see? Maybe a dozen or so.
Camped out at the top of that list was the Melvins. Somehow during 25 years of seeing punk, hardcore, grunge, and heavy rock in general, I’d never crossed paths with the sludge icons. Now I can add them to the list of bands that I’ve seen, but would happily cover a pretty good distance to see again. Fantastic.
As a bonus, I got to see some amazing sets by Whores. (possibly my current favorite band), Coliseum, United Nations (who played Sweet Melissa’s basement after last FEST!!!), Circle Takes the Square and Iron Chic.
Here are some random Fest thoughts before I wrap it up:
Logistics were amazing. I saw about 30 sets and only 1 started a bit late. I drank countless beers and I swear only 1 was not super cold. Outstanding.
Fest branding and merch was both really cool and really consistent across the whole event, from banners to beer tickets to tee shirts. Banners from years past were cool to see.
Fest was reasonably affordable, $120 for a 3 day pass and $3 PBR tallboys all weekend.
Next time our hotel will be walking distance, cab rides ran about $25 a pop, which would be nice to avoid.
Venues were all decent, interesting, and fairly close to each other. Apparently some of the smaller venues got super smoky late in the night, which is uncomfortable.
FEST has a really active Facebook group of fans, “FEST Nerds”, which was really friendly and helpful, without much snark and negativity. Because of this, I took Airborne all weekend to try to avoid contracting “FEST Nile Virus” or “FESTbola” or the ever classy “FESTaids”. Thanks for the heads up.