8 First Old Timers to watch at the Fest 11
by No Idea

Last week, we took you on a journey through some of the smaller, more unheralded acts playing for the Fest 11. This week, however, we're taking a look at bands that have been around forever but are only playing the Fest for the first time this year. Without being too presumptuous, it's a safe bet that you've heard of each one. But why see them at the Fest? That's what we're here to determine. You say the lineup is the same every year, to which we reply: Where do we put all these ska bands?

Fest 11 tickets are still available.


Anti-Flag HQ: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Check out: The General Strike (SideOneDummy)
Fest set time: Friday 12:30am - 1:00am at Florida Theater of Gainesville

The politically charged punk band known as Anti-Flag have been driving their pro peace / pro equality message for over two decades. Since their inception, Anti-Flag have released twelve albums and contributed many previously unreleased songs to tons of benefit-based compilations. They have worked with a large list labels both indie and major, but have never lost vision of their politics and dedication to the punk scene. They have also demonstrated at various political rallies including the Iowa Caucus and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Surprisingly, this is Anti-Flag’s first appearance at the Fest. Expect to hear a very wide range of songs spanning the band’s entire catalog. Also, expect a die hard crowd to turn the Florida Theater upside down as Anti-Flag’s relentless live show ignites a fire that will one day be marked in punk rock history books for years to come. —Justin Richter

Negative Approach

Negative Approach HQ: Detroit, Mi.
Check out: Total Recall (Touch & Go)
Fest set time: Saturday 9:30pm - 10:10pm at 8 Seconds

The Fest is often used as an orgcore SXSW in which fans check out all the hottest new bands. But, in recent years, it has also developed into a celebration of the forefathers. Unlike hip hop, punk unfortunately has a history of forgetting who made it what it is. Well, Negative Approach are playing this year and you need to learn your history, son. Oh, you like that band that does a breakdown in the middle of another breakdown? Negative Approach did it first. Oh, you like that band that charges forward with guitars that slam as hard as a propellor? Negative Approach did it first. Oh, you like that band that just annihilates the stage with aggressive, but thoughtful vocals? Negative Approach did it first. So, get your rear in gear and prepare your frail body to be torn apart by architects of modern hardcore, junior. —John Gentile


Propagandhi HQ: Winnipeg, Mb.
Check out: Failed States (Epitaph)
Fest set time: Sunday 11:20pm - 12:20am at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Canada's Propagandhi have been spreading their progressive message longer than some of you have been alive. The skatepunk-turned-thrash punks from the frozen north (I hear Winnipeg is actually pretty nice) have toned down the speechifying they became so known for; these days, there is far more rock than talk. And rock they do; the addition of second guitarist David "The Beaver" Guillas has expanded the band's sound, and breathed new life into their performances of classics like "And We Thought Nation-States Were a Bad Idea." Coming off a tour supporting their latest album, Failed States, the band will be in prime condition to melt faces in Gainesville. Expect these guys to make you bang your head, and hopefully use it a little more, too. —John Flynn

Streetlight Manifesto

Streetlight Manifesto HQ: New Brunswick, N.J.
Check out: The Hands That Thieve (Pentimento)
Fest set time: Saturday 5:10pm - 5:50pm at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Streetlight Manifesto are one of those bands you’ve been wanting to see for the past decade (yes, it’s really been a decade) but have been putting it off because of the crappy openers and/or the likelihood of the typically obnoxious aka fan wearing a fedora and kicking everyone in the shins. Face it, you really want to see them but are too cool to go to Warped Tour, we get it. But you're at Fest now, and so are they. None of that applies. You have no excuse to not pick up this set. It will, no doubt, be fast-paced; the crowds are always high-energy, so let’s sing along to the songs we love! Maybe Tomas Kalnoky and company will unveil a new song or two, as their new album The Hand(s) That Thieve is set for November 6 release! So, do you wanna miss a non-House of Blues Streetlight show? Of course not! —Ashley J. Williams


Braid HQ: Champaign, Ill.
Check out: Closer to Closed EP (Polyvinyl)
Fest set time: Saturday 8:00pm - 9:00pm at Stereo

The Fest 11 will be Braid’s only show in the southeastern U.S. this year (and maybe for a while). They’ve toured a little bit since reforming, primarily sticking to both coasts and their midwestern home turf; they’ve recently been performing their endlessly influential 1998 LP Frame & Canvas in its entirety, making it a safe bet that their Fest set will either be exactly that or close to it. In other words: Emo hits for days. Braid are working on a new album for a 2013 release, but without any way of predicting their touring schedule in support of it, this is your best (and possibly only) chance to see them in Florida for the foreseeable future. They may be a little older, but Bob Nanna, Chris Broach and company can still put on an entertaining show that any prehistoric emo would love. —Brendan McCaughan

The Dwarves

The Dwarves HQ: San Francisco, Calif.
Check out: The Dwarves Are Born Again (Music Video Dsitributors)
Fest set time: Friday 11:30pm - 12:10am at Stereo

The Dwarves are one of the greatest punk bands ever, but they always refer to themselves as "Rock Legends." You know why? It's because they frickin' ROCK. Seriously. In true old school Jerry Lee Lewis/Little Richard style, they get on stage and just tear the house down, kicking out two minute banger after two minute banger. No longwinded solos. No long intros about deep personal connection. No bullshit tuff guy breakdowns. They just slam out riff after riff after riff while lead singer Blag Dahlia belts out pop sounding refrains about fighting, fucking, feasting and more fighting. Seriously, this is one of the best rock shows there is. Plus, there is a chance that Nick Oliveri might be there, so you might be able to talk to a guy that fought a SWAT team… and won. —John Gentile


Lagwagon HQ: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Check out: Putting Music in its Place (Fat Wreck Chords)
Fest set time: Saturday 12:30am - 1:30am at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Joey Cape has been a staple of Fest for the past few years, playing both by himself and with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. This year, he decided to bring the rest of his band and take the party up a notch. Lagwagon have been a staple band in the genre for over 20 years and, for many of us, were one of the bands that helped introduce us to the scene we love so much. Their music is timeless and despite lineup changes, they’ve maintained an amazing work ethic. It’ll be great to finally get the opportunity to see them in this setting and go nuts to their music along with a few thousand of our best friends. —Patrick Dangermond

Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug HQ: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Check out: In Black and White (Hopeless)
Fest set time: Saturday 4:10pm - 4:50pm at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Michigan's Mustard Plug have been around a long time; the band celebrated 20 years together in 2011. That's a hell of a lifetime for a third-wave ska band, right? And it isn't just the undying passion of aging ska fans that keep the band alive; they've released seven albums of great, catchy ska-punk: whether it's the upstrokes on "Beer Song," or the punk riffing and whoa-oh's on "Go," there's a lot to love. Not only that, but they're a consistently energetic, engaging live band that manage to win over crowds and get people moving wherever they go. Opportunities to dust off your sweet skankin' moves—you've done it before, and you'll do it again—at Fest are few and far between. So head on down to the Plug's show and skank by numbers. —John Flynn