10 First Old Timers To Watch At The Fest 12

Almost every year, there are a group of bands gearing up to play the Fest for the first time. While the majority of them are smaller and lesser-known or perhaps "on the verge" of breaking out, some of them are veterans of our scene, with vast catalogues and solid fanbases. Then some of them are reunited, performing not just at the Fest for the first time, but often for the first time in several years, period.

Punknews.org is of course proud to be working with the Fest once again this year and to help get you stoked, we've compiled another list of veterans -- but not Fest veterans -- to catch later this month. We call them First Old Timers.

The Fest 12 happens in Gainesville, FL Oct. 31-Nov. 3, with the pre-Fest taking place in Ybor City (just outside Tampa) on Oct. 29-30. Tickets are still available.

Boy Sets Fire

Boy Sets Fire

HQ: Newark, DE
Check out: While A Nation Sleeps (Bridge Nine)
Fest set time: Saturday 4:00 - 4:50pm at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Boysetsfire announced their retirement from music in 2006 to a devastated fan base. The Newark, DE band had been making music since 1994 and captured the love of many with their post-hardcore sound and the energy cultivated within it. As of 2010, the band started playing shows again and if you are on the European side of the Atlantic, you may have had an opportunity to catch one of the rare occurrences. But since a lot of us aren't, the best time to see them will be the Saturday of Fest at 4:00 p.m. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the energy, and together let's get stoked on the new material the band are releasing. –Britt Reiser The Last

The Last

HQ: Los Angeles, CA
Check out: Danger (End Sounds)
Fest set time: Sunday 6:30pm - 7:10pm at Durty Nelly's

What?! You've NEVER heard of the Last?!!!! That's cool, baby. They were always kind of under the radar and not a whole lot of people in the punk scene know about them. But, now's your chance to learn about this legendary band. The Last originally formed in Los Angeles in the mid-70s and were one of the first to blend the energy of punk with '60s power pop, bubble gum, glam and garage rock. All the modern hip garage rock bands–Ty Segall, Summer Twins, Peach Kelli Pop, Black Lips, take your pick–can be traced back to The Last. PLUS, Keith Morris, Greg Ginn, and the rest of the early SST crew were big fans. SUPER PLUS, Descendents Karl Alvarez and Bill Stevenson are in the band now, on bass and drums! This is a once in a lifetime gig–not to be missed! –John Gentile I Am the Avalanche

I Am The Avalanche

HQ: Brooklyn, NY
Check out: Avalanche United (I Surrender)
Fest set time: Friday 12:50am - 1:30am at 8 Seconds

For their first Fest appearance, I Am The Avalanche is going big: headlining Friday night at 8 Seconds. Having seen these dudes play their hearts out in rooms from 100 to 1000 over the years, I can say for sure they're not to be missed. Vinnie Caruana is a perfect frontman, and the band have a knack for putting together flawless set lists. They never miss the hits, pull out really cool deep cuts, and if you ask very nicely, they might just cover Lifetime.

With their new album recently finished, it's safe to say Fest is gonna be your best shot at hearing new material before it even comes out. For anybody in attendance, do me a favor and stage dive during "Brooklyn Dodgers" and buy 'em a round of Jameson for me. I'm good for it. –David Frenson Big D and the Kids Table

Big D and the Kids Table

HQ: Boston, MA
Check Out: Stomp / Stroll (Strictly Rude)
Fest set time: Thursday 8:50pm - 9:30pm at 8 Seconds

After 10 records and several EPs, Boston's Big D and the Kids Table are finally bringing their eclectic brand of ska-punk to the Gainesville Fest-ivities. The fact that it's taken them so long to play the Fest is kind of surprising, given that part of their career they shared a label with fest alumni like the Suicide Machines, Fake Problems and the Gaslight Anthem. Regardless, they're here now and with them playing that brings the total count of ska bands at the Fest to three!

Big D have experimented heavily in the last few years with their sound, but the one thing that has always remained consistent is their killer live show. If you plan on checking them out be sure to skank up a storm! It’s like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it just like you’ll never forget that regrettable ska phase you went through in high school. –Armando Olivas Tim Kasher

Tim Kasher

HQ: Omaha, NE
Check out: Adult Film (Saddle Creek)
Fest set time: Thursday 12:40am - 1:30am at Rockey's

Cut from the purest cloth of artistic genius, Tim Kasher is best known for his work with Cursive and the Good Life, which helped spearhead the independent movement at the turn of the 21st century that made Saddle Creek Records a hipster-household-name and launched the careers of Bright Eyes, the Faint, Rilo Kiley and more. Although an indie rock forbearer, his philosophical nature, tour history, and dedication to the art put him well on the punx aesthetic spectrum–undoubtedly directly influencing many, if not all of the FEST Class of 2013. Tim Kasher utilizes varying musical endeavors in order to seek a creative catharsis that yields an extraordinary ability to connect with audiences. While under a self-titled moniker, expect the absence of Kasher’s other bands’ greatest hits; however, anticipate the same impassioned, metaphysical and alcohol-infused stylings that that forever changed the landscape of conceptual art and music. –Derek Perry Knapsack


HQ: Los Angeles, CA
Check out: This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now (Alias)
Fest set time: Sunday 10:30pm - 11:30pm at 8 Seconds

Think back to the moment when you first heard Knapsack. Maybe it was at one of their shows alongside like-minded indie titans such as Pavement, Jawbox or Drive Like Jehu. Maybe it was after you discovered the Jealous Sound and dug into vocalist/guitarist Blair Sheehan's musical past. Either way, you probably never thought you'd get a chance to see them live… until now. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the band's renowned LP, This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now, the band will be playing a select handful of reunion shows including their highly-anticipated Florida debut at this year's Fest. In what will likely be several fans' only chance to see them live, Blair and original drummer Colby Mancasola will be joined onstage by former Thrice bassist Ed Breckenridge,and guitarist Sergie Loobkoff of Samiam. File this one under: DO NOT MISS! –Jamie Coletta Image

Cross My Heart

HQ: Baltimore, MD
Check out: Temporary Contemporary (Deep Elm)
Fest set time: Sunday 6:40pm - 7:20pm at 8 Seconds

If you’re going to Fest and '90s emo is your subgenre of choice, do you really need to be convinced to catch a Cross My Heart reunion set? I didn’t think so, but just in case you needed to be reminded, a quick listen to the band’s sole full-length Temporary Contemporary should be enough to push your "maybe" into "yes" territory. While Cross My Heart exist as an oft-overlooked outfit from emo’s yesteryear, they embody the best parts of the genre and will certainly be a valuable addition to the already feelings-heavy Knapsack showcase at 8 Seconds. The band’s mix of clean, emotive vocals and shimmering guitars will certainly have you digging out your Emo Diaries compilation CDs. –Justin Lutz Image

J. Robbins

HQ: Baltimore, MD
Fest set time: Saturday 12:30am - 1:20am at The Wooly

I blame J. Robbins for "orgcore." That term, a reference to this very website, might not exist had it not been for the indelible­ mark left on music over the past twenty years by Robbins (currently the singer/guitarist of Office of Future Plans). Apparently it wasn’t enough for the dude to be a member of Government Issue; he just had to form two influential bands in the '90s–Jawbox and Burning Airlines. He also produced, engineered/ or mixed such Punknews favorites as Jawbreaker’s Dear You, Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American and Paint It Black’s New Lexicon. Much like his post-Airlines work in Channels and Office of Future Plans, Robbins’ best-of acoustic set on Saturday night promises to make for a familiar, yet exciting new experience, one that will leave even the most jaded Fest veteran or fickle, Girls-quoting Millennial rendered incapable of asking "What have you done for orgcore lately?" –Greg Voda The Night Marchers

The Night Marchers

HQ: San Diego, CA
Check out: Allez Allez (Swami)
Fest set time: Saturday 6:20pm - 7:10pm at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Hailing from San Diego, CA but spawned in the depths of a rock 'n roll tar pit, the Night Marchers have been playing catchy, riff-heavy punk that you can dance your brains out to since 2007. The guys used to be in bands like Hot Snakes, Rocket From the Crypt, CPC Gangbangs, Drive Like Jehu, blah, blah, blah. Thats not the point here though, the point here is that the Night Marchers fucking rule! They should be the ONLY band you care about seeing at the Fest. They make every other band this weekend look like a joke of a joke of a parody. The boys just released their second LP Allez Allez earlier this year, and its a great expansion of where we found them on their debut See You In Magic. If you’re familiar with the cast of characters and what they have done in their past, take all of that, put it in a blender, add butt sweat, motor oil, hair grease, Crime records, Bo Diddley records, excellent guitar tone, Spanish moss, and snake eyes and you're somewhere close to the greatness that is the Night Marchers. –John Massel ALL


HQ: Fort Collins, CO / Tulsa, OK / Parts Unknown
Check out: Breaking Things (Cruz)
Fest set time: Sunday 11:20 - 12:20pm at Florida Theater of Gainesville

Judging by the reaction here at Punknews, on the Fest message board and other bastions of high-quality Internet discourse, there's not much I need to do to convince you to catch ALL at Fest 12. And why should there be? If you're not familiar, ALL formed in the mid-'80s when Milo literally went to college and the remaining members of Descendents chose to carry on without him. After shuffling through a few singers, Chad Price grabbed the mic, although they still perform with Scott Reynolds from time to time. The band last released a record in 2000 and averages less than a show a year, so if you think you'll get another chance to catch ALL anytime soon, think again. –Adam Eisenberg