The Fest 13 (Day 3) - Live in Gainesville (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Fest 13 (Day 3)

Live in Gainesville (2014)

live show

It’s my third day in Gainesville (and sadly, the final day of Fest) and who do I run into downstairs in my hotel lobby grabbing breakfast but an (un)Masked Intruder! After finishing my eggs, grabbing some coffee, and making sure that my wallet hadn’t been swiped, I headed out for my third and final day of Fest. Postings on a facebook group for “Fest Nerds” had mentioned that there would be “drinking from fruit” at Durty Nelly’s around noon. Clearly, I was In.

Combining pineapple with alcohol, Jason Guy Smiley brought the very early afternoon smiles with his 12:30 set. As I took it all in with about 100 other people clutching large pineapples full of their booze of choice, who do I bump into but dear friend and punk celebrity Chris Farren! He had played the first of three Fest sets the previous night (with Antarctigo Vespucci) with two more on tap (with Fake Problems, and a solo set later) later that same day. When I expressed concern at the number of people that were there the night before, considering their set time was the same as Descendents, Farren admitted to having been worried as well, but that the show had been packed and ranked among one of the best he had ever played at Fest. Over at Loosey’s, I caught the last half of the set by Anchors out of Melbourne, Australia. My first time seeing the band, I was instantly hooked. They transformed the early afternoon crowd at Loosey’s into a sweaty mess making several new fans, including myself, in the process.

Needing a bit of a break and with some time to spare, I set out for a bite to eat and a glance at the tattoos that come with Fest. Local tattoo shops were offering special rates and designs, with variations of the No Idea stressface being the flash that was most on offer. Shops were doing a brisk business, prospective clients waiting an hour or longer and one particular location shutting down late in the weekend due to the overflow (Special thanks to Addiction tattoo for accommodating my Milo stressface!).

Heading back up the street to 8 Seconds, I walked inside as Fake Problems was setting up for their mid-afternoon set. To this point, I had only seen the band opening for others, and it was the first time I had seen them play to, essentially, their own crowd. Reaching back to 2007’s How Far Our Bodies Go for “Born and Raised,” the fans up front went particularly crazy, their voices at times threatening to drown out Farren’s.
The most excited I had ever seen a crowd for the Fakey P's.

The line outside High Dive after 4pm was long in anticipation of seeing Dave Hause. The former Loved One hit stage promptly at 4:30, thanking the crowd “for not seeing Mikey Erg or the Marked Men. That’s were I’d be.” Jumping into “Time Will Tell” followed by "Same Disease,” Hause had the High Dive in the palm of his hand. “Autism Vaccine Blues” got the crowd singing their “whoas” back to him, who then asked if there were any requests. Clearly a mistake, as almost every song title in his catalog was shouted back at him, he launched into “Jane,” leaving the end of the song for the crowded venue to sing. He asked the crowd if they had caught Ma Jolie’s earlier set, covering The Loved Ones, saying it was an honor and thanking them so he “didn’t have to play them,” before finishing out with “C’mon, Kid.”

The Civic Media Center is a few blocks outside of the main Fest area, and that’s where I walked over for individual sets from Franz Nicolay and Chris Farren. Both had played several times over the weekend, and CMC would be their final shows of the weekend. Nicolay paused and told stories between songs, at one point declaring his love for Fest and lamenting the “fetishization of PBR.” A personal highlight after, was talking to Nicolay and hearing a World/Inferno story or three, both agreeing that Red-Eyed Soul was a great entry for anyone interested in the band).

Walking back to Bo Diddley Plaza, I settled in for what would become my final bands of the weekend. I arrived in the middle of Lifetime’s set, just in time for “Haircuts and T-shirts” and “Hey Catrine,” before they finished up with “25 Cent Giraffes.” The plaza had a lower energy than the previous nights, possibly the effects of a long weekend coming to an end. By the time Hot Water Music came on (about 15 minutes late), the electricity was back in the air, however. Noting that it was the 20th anniversary of the hometown heroes, guitarist/vocalist Chuck Ragan announced they would start it with “the first song we ever wrote together," tearing into “Us and Chuck” from their 1995 debut EP, Push for Coin and leading into “Mainline” from their most recent studio release, 2012’s Exister. Dave Hause made an appearance, joining the band on “Trusty Chords.” Just after 9 PM, after “Turnstile” and “Manual,” they thanked the crowd and left. Strange, as the listed set time was until 930; a bit disappointing, if only for the truncated set.

Weighing my options, I decided to grab a beer with a new friend and declare my Fest weekend to be at an end. Wondering aloud why I hadn’t gone before (while simultaneously being chided good-naturedly), I decided not to make the same mistake again. After so many years of hearing the stories about what has been termed an annual “family reunion” of sorts, I finally understand why it is looked forward to so obsessively each year.

See you next year.

Pictures from Fest 13 can be found on the Punknews instragram under the #FEST13 hashtag