Dear Diary: FEST Day 3. The situation has grown dire. Feet hurt. Ear ringing constantly. Everything is sore. I’m not sure if I can drink any more PBR. Nah, just kidding (Well, not really kidding about the feet and ears.). Basically, more of the same for Day 3, and that’s a good thing.
We took our time getting downtown and caught Crusades and Radon at Cowboys. Some mid-day Sunday crowd surfing. Impressive.
Back at Lot 10, PUP sure generated a lot of energy, both themselves and the crowd, for a daytime set on the big stage. GIANT singalongs. Seems like it’s time for a new album, no?
We then set up camp at The Atlantic, where Ex Breathers ran through a good bit of their excellent new album Past Tense. Really, really digging Ex Breathers.
I didn’t have anything pressing on the schedule so we stuck around for La Armada, and, boy, am I glad we did. Ripping Dominican (via Chicago) hardcore that the crowd ate up and spit back at them. Hell yeah.
We had seats so we stayed at The Atlantic (Seriously, seating was at a premium all freaking weekend) and saw Coma Club and one of my favorite surprises of the weekend, Night Witch. Great, great, great. I wouldn’t hesitate to see them again.
Then it was time to party, and we partied hard (well, reasonably hard for our ages and the fact that it was late ish on Day 3 of a festival. Seriously, it seemed like a reasonable amount of party given the circumstances). If I’m being honest, Andrew WK seemed kind of formulaic and choreographed, and the songs were exactly what I expected…..and it was pretty awesome.
The plan was to then to hit The Wooly for Chumped, but an educated look at the line changed that. So, to High Dive it was for the last couple songs of Astpai‘s Tegan and Sara cover set, leading into The Pauses killer Breeders covers. I. LOVE. THE. BREEDERS.
Okay, at this point I have to decide whether I was in on the joke that was Christian from The Hotelier‘s “supergroup”, The Bottles, or if I got punked. Not “punked” in the good way that I had been all weekend, but “punked” in the Aston Kutcher “ha, ha” manner. After a weirdly long set up, a rotating cast of players from the weekend proceeded to start to play “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in speedy, sloppy, punk style. And then they continued to play “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in speedy, sloppy, punk style for the rest of the set. Yes, all fucking 99 bottles were taken down, passed around, and, well, you know the rest. Okay, there were a couple teasing detours, and maybe a miscount or two, but, yeah, 99 Bottles, in it’s entirety. So there was that.
In a nutshell, FEST is amazingly well run, given what must be the insane logistics of a 400+ band, 3 day festival. Police and security were, once again, reasonable and out of sight, for the most part. The communal vibe of the festival is hard to overstate, with random high fiving, group sing alongs and just general good vibes everywhere. I go to a lot of festivals and the positive energy at The FEST is unusual. Maybe it’s like that at jammy, hippy festivals, too, but I wouldn’t know. It seemed a little less crowded than last year, but the Descendents didn’t play this year, and with Bo Diddley Plaza closed, a smaller crowd may have been part of the plan. Anyway, whatever the plan is for next year, I’ll be there.