14 Fest Vets to see at Fest 14!

As we've already established, there are lots of cool lesser appreciated bands playing FEST this year. But, you know what? Sometimes, you just want to see pros doing what the pros do: kick ass, fast and furious, well oiled, perfected sets. Well, as usual, FEST 14 has its fair share of returning heroes playing the festival for their second, third, fourth, or even fifth time.

So, to that end, we've put together a list of 14 (or so) Fest veterans that you should check out this year. By all means, put your top picks in the comments below!

Tim Barry

Tim Barry“You’re old-timey in a modern way.”

That’s the how the intro to Tim Barry’s officlal FEST website description begins. While he may have become known to the Punx as the frontman for southern hardcore legends Avail, he has more than made a name for himself with his homespun-southern acoustic output. Last year saw not only the release of a new studio album (the excellent, Lost & Rootless ), but also a live recording from his hometown appropriately titled Raising Hell & Living Cheap -- Live in Richmond . A cursory listen to the latter will have FEST-goers knowing what to expect. Barry will not only give you “the feels” (as the kids say these days), but he’ll also make your night feel more worthwhile and meaningful. -Mark Little

The Copyrights

The CopyrightsCarbondale IL’s finest are back. Not like they ever went anywhere. Once more, The Copyrights are bringing their infectious brand of pop-punk (they call it “buzz-pop”) back to Gainesville for another dose of self-doubt and angst to the catchiest melodies you’ve ever heard. If the Ramones hadn’t had a dedicated frontman not holding an instrument, the Copys would be a close approximation. They face stiff competitive billing going up against everyone’s favorite life coach, Andrew W.K., on Sunday, but those looking for melodic commiseration as opposed to life-affirmation should run, not walk, to Cowboys on Sunday the first at 8:30 PM to get their fix. -Mark Little

Mikey Erg

Mikey Erg If you're measuring one's status as a Fest veteran by the number of sets they've played, Mikey Erg is Fest's most senior veteran by a wide margin. This year alone he's scheduled to perform solo, as well as with Worriers, Hatrabbits, The Unlovables and Chris Gethard as part of a Smiths cover band. That's five sets, and I'm sure there are more from Mr. Erg, who has in the past hit double digits on occasion. Thankfully, that means you don't have to go out of your way to catch him somewhere, because at Fest, frankly, he's everywhere. -Adam Eisenberg

Chris Farren

Chris Farren Florida native and punk celebrity Chris Farren always seems to somehow be involved with Fest ever year whether its with Fake Problems, Antarctigo Vespucci, or his solo act. But it looks like Fake Problems is not set to play #Fesy this year, so probably the only way you’ll hear some of Fakey P’s jams is if you go see Farren’s solo performance this year. I would also check out Antarctigo Vespucci’s show this year because it also looks like a ton of fun especially if some songs from Leavin’ La Vida Loca are on the set list -- that album is fantastic. I’m sure both performances will be very impressive and have you exclaim, “Yes baby!” at some point. -Ricky Frankel

Kepi Ghoulie

Kepi GhoulieIs there a better Halloween party than one headlined by Kepi Ghoulie? Of course not, which is why catching his set at Fest is an absolute must. And if that's not enough, he'll be playing his usual solo acoustic set as well, which is just about the most fun a person can have in any situation that involves an acoustic guitar. Kepi's energy truly is infectious, and even the saddest emo kids can't help but smile. Catch Kepi's sets at Fest and he'll put a smile on your face, too. -Adam Eisenberg

Masked Intruder

Masked Intruder Hide ya kids, hide ya wife—Masked Intruder are returning to Fest 14 this year, bringing their melodic mash up of post-prison pop-punk do-wop that is sure to make you sway your hips and swear they’re innocent! Known best for their multi-colored masks and syrupy sweet (yet slightly psychotic) vocals, Intruder Blue sings the blues that come with just loving someone too much…and the legal consequences of breaking and entering. Fear not—trusty Officer Bradford, their parole officer, is ever-present to keep the boys in line, as well as bring the party during their fiercely energetic performance. If you’re still on the fence, consider this—though she may be young, any band with Darla Burkett’s< a> personal seal of approval is worth checking out in my book, so give the M.I. boys a chance to steal away your afternoon. -Stevie Allen

Mean Jeans

Mean Jeans Mean Jeans are, at their core, a party band, and Fest is, at its core, one really big party. The two truly pair perfectly together, like a lukewarm PBR and a slice of Leonardo's pizza during a 15-minute Fest dinner break. If you've always wanted to experience the musical equivalent of a healthy buzz and a stomach full of pizza, this is probably your best shot. -Adam Eisenberg

Modern Baseball

Modern Baseball No strangers to The Fest, Modern Baseball are back for their third year. After an awesome 6-way split for The Fest 12 that had such a great track; a surfy tune about not knowing much about politics called “Voting Early.” Between becoming a sensation over the last year and touring excessively, Modern Baseball is sure to bring their all to this year’s fest. The band is sure to go through all of their classics with an energetic set that will certainly make you a fan if you haven’t caught them before. If you’ve seen them previously at The Fest, then you know that their set is worthy of seeing again. -Jonathan Steinberg

Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug I usually prefer my music dark and angry, but once in a while I just want to listen to something fun. No band fits that bill better than Mustard Plug. For nearly 25 years, the Grand Rapids band has been spreading their good vibes and good times. These Fest veterans’ live shows never disappoint. Songs like “Beer Song” and “We’re Gunna Take on the World” are virtually guaranteed to make you smile. When you’re at Fest and you’ve had all the angst you can handle, put on your dancing shoes and check out Mustard Plug. -Tom Crandle


ImageThere aren’t too many bands that automatically inspire placing the superlative “The Mighty” in front of its name; Radon, however, more than fits that label. Starting in Gainesville in 1990, the band is considered to be one of the touchstones of No Idea records, and carries enough weight to have Travis Fristoe (Reactionary 3, Moonraker) and Aaron Cometbus collaborate on a 45 book on the band in 2013. To paraphrase Chris Doherty (from Gang Green) in Paul Rachman’s 2006 documentary American Hardcore, today’s FEST favorites are driving their bus (or van) down a road that Radon helped pave. On Sunday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 PM, you have nothing better to do than be at Cowboys to worship at the altar of The Mighty Radon. -Mark Little

Riverboat Gamblers

Riverboat Gamblers Austin, TX’s (by way of Denton) Riverboat Gamblers have carried the “you gotta see them live” mantle (however unfairly) for quite some time. The band’s live shows are legendary, with the band playing and singing tighter than a submarine on a six-month jaunt. Frontman Mike Wiebe (also doing a comedy set on the 31st at Rockey’s) positively commands an audience’s attention and participation, while practically challenging you to Not get involved. Think a TX-born Iggy Pop with considerably more clothing. At their show, you will Move. A lot. Sweat is compulsory. -Mark Little

Jason Guy Smiley

Image “I’m the pineapple guy. I play music, too.”

Jason Guy Smiley gives a pretty apt description of what to expect. After spending 12 years with Midget Fight Club, Jason Thompson let his alter-ego take over (Helloooooo Sesame Street fans!), and in the interim made FEST his own playground. If you’ve attended over the past few years, you’ve certainly been aware of JGS’ “drinking from fruit” events. The man walks it like he talks it, brandishing his own pineapple (wrapped in a stapled coozie – the band merch of the 21st century) by the mic as he soothes the masses with his punx singer-songwriting. Missing JGS is missing the social event of FEST. -Mark Little

Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket It is almost impossible to not have fun at a Teenage Bottlerocket show. Their songs are so full of energy that they get the crowd moshing and pogoing almost immediately. You can bet that they will put on a great performance at Fest 14 this year especially because Tales From Wyoming is the best material they have released so far in my opinion. I saw them in April and they put on an amazing show. The new songs sound awesome live. It’s no wonder they keep getting asked to play Fest every year. If you haven’t seen this band live yet and you’re going to Fest this year. Be sure to check them out. Even if you aren’t into the poppy-er side of punk rock, you’ll still be impressed with Teenage Bottlerocket’s show. -Ricky Frankel

Toys That Kill

Toys That Kill If you're not familiar with the oddball strut of Toys That Kill, you should be ashamed of yourself. But, then again, you should be excited at the same time. You can only revel in their manic stomp and clamor for the first time once. The band's live show is the ultimate way to enjoy their weirdo charm and they've brought it to The Fest many times (and no one's complaining). Anyone who has experienced their misfit energy live more than once can tell you without a doubt that it never gets old or loses its off kilter luster. -Keenan Novi

War on Women

War On Women In some ways, War On Women's trajectory sums up that of many bands who have played Fest a few times before. The first time they played, few people had a clue about the band. The second time around, a small number of Festers with their ears to the ground knew what was up, and now, this time around, the band is one of Fest's top draws, performing in support of a critically lauded debut LP that dropped on Bridge Nine earlier this year. If you've been dying to sing along to the new songs, here's your chance. -Adam Eisenberg