[Read Day One and Day Two]
After Boy Sets Fire the night before, I had a renewed vitality for Krazyfest. This meant that I made everyone get up extra early so we could be at Krazyfest *before* noon, allowing us to camp out at the front of the stage and catch every band that day. What a great idea, right? Too bad a few hundred other kids all had the same idea. Regardless, we still got pretty damn close [and managed to get right next to the stage by the end of the day]. The day kicked off with Fairweather. Now, I had never heard these guys before, but people always talked highly of them. Their set came and went, with none of it really sticking to me. It wasn't bad by any means, they're very good at their emo-rock/hardcore stuff, but I've seen it done better.
Review: Fairweather - If They Move... Kill Them
As soon as Fairweather finished up, Mark Brickey [singer of the Holy Angels and this year's emcee], came out with more stupid ways to entertain the crowd between bands. His first idea? Have a mustard eating contest. This quickly turned into squirting mustard all over the kids on stage. Gross.
Picture: When mustard attacks!
After that gooey madness, Further Seems Forever took the stage. I was surprised at how early FSF went on, I thought they were more popular than that, but someone has to go early. As most everyone knows, Chris Carrabba used to be the singer in Further Seems Forever. Then, once Dashboard Confessional took off, he left the band. Understandable. The only big problem was, their new CD had his voice on it. Understandable. He wrote the lyrics. The only problem is, how do you find someone else to take over the mic after Chris, who has a really amazing voice? Find a guy who looks just like him, and have him sing louder, and [honestly] better than Chris. I just feel kind of bad for the new singer, as it must just feel like he's doing karaoke with the band. To make matters worse, he really does look just like Chris, just bigger. Ironic. Regardless, the band was awesome. Liz knows the drummer, so she was really excited to see them. I was excited to see them because I knew Dashboard was playing later that day, so I deep down hoped maybe for a guest duet of some sort. To my pleasure, at the end of FSF's set, they announced that there was no bad blood between them and Chris, and Chris was going to a duet with them. Key word is "was." See, the Vagrant 18-wheeler and 2 tour buses [good god] were late getting there, so they couldn't do the duet. Maximum suckage.
Picture: Further Seems Forever
Review: Further Seems Forever - The Moon Is Down
Review: Further Seems Forever/Recess Theory - From The 27th State
After FSF cleared off, Mark Brickey came back on and looked to have a wet t-shirt contest with men. One guy took him up, and was promptly hosed down by 3 girls. Krazyfest was living up to it's name.
Picture: Man Boobs, oh my!
The White Octave came on next. The White Octave is the new band of ex-Cursive guitarist Steve. They've already put out 2 full lengths in one year, one on Deep Elm and the newer one on Initial. I had only heard snippets of songs, and really didn't care for them too much [which sucks, because I love Cursive]. I wasn't expecting much. I got much, much more than I paid for when they played. Live, they were awesome. Steve has a very unique voice, and it fits this type of heavier-emo music very well. The rhythm section was very tight, and Steve wields a mean axe, too. Be on the lookout for these guys.
Picture: The White Octave 1
Picture: The White Octave 2
The Jazz June was up next, and man, have they ever retooled their sound. I've been a fan of this band since 1999, and they've never stayed put in one genre. Their early stuff is very reminiscent of early Promise Ring, while their newer stuff went from more rock sounding, to more jazzy, to now just a big mish-mash. Their set had everything from 2 minute pop songs to 6-7 minute reggae-groove beats. They're also working in a keyboard into the band. They're getting very adventurous, unfortunately their set was somewhat lacking. I barely recognized any of their songs, so the crowd response wasn't exactly a big one. Oh well, there's always next year.
Picture: The Jazz June
This is where things got interesting. The Vagrant America tour showed up right before the Jazz June went on. They then took over the whole festival. They commandered the stage and soundboard, and everything around it, even going so far as to rope the whole area off. They also demanded that there be no goofy stuff going on between bands, to entertain the audience. They told the Krazyfest people [this is all according to Mark Brickey, who was one of the K-fest head honchos] that either they abide by the Vagrant rules, or Vagrant would leave. Talk about a dick move. So Initial caved, and the first of the Vagrant bands came on.
This is a personal message to Hey Mercedes. Dude, you guys suck. You were so much better as Braid. What were you thinking? End personal message. For those of you who don't know, Hey Mercedes is composed of 3/4th of one of the best bands Illinois has ever seen, Braid. Braid "broke up" in August of 1999, and within a year, Hey Mercedes had formed, with 3 of the same members. They basically kicked out their really good guitarist, Chris, and started writing bland emo-pop songs. Can they really enjoy doing this? I don't know why people like them, especially if they've ever heard Braid -- they're essentially a ripoff band. Anyways.
Picture: Hey Mercedes 1
Picture: Hey Mercedes 2
After the mediocrity ended, Hot Rod Circuit came and rocked, balls out. Their guitar player is insane, their songs are hard, punchy, and most assuredly catchy, and hell, every member has a HRC tattoo! That shows you how dedicated they are. My only complaint was they played nothing off their first EP, which really rocks. They definitely got the crowd going.
Picture: Hot Rod Circuit 1
Picture: Hot Rod Circuit 2
Following HRC, Elliott took the stage. I had never actually heard Elliott, even though their name constantly gets thrown around. I was in for one hell of a treat. I was completely riveted to the band for their entire set. Their guitar player had about 8 million effects on his guitar, their singer could wail like a banshee [in a good way, kind of like Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate], and their rhythm section was incredibly strong and powerful. This was straight up, highly emotional rock. How had I not heard of these guys earlier?
Picture: Elliott 1
Picture: Elliott 2
Now the pushing began. With the next three bands basically being Vagrant's A-List, the crowd started to swell. Once Dashboard Confessional came on, though, all of my animosity to the oncoming crowd went straight away. From start to finish, everyone -- and I seriously mean everyone -- sang, word for word, Dashboard's entire set. Being directly upfront and hearing more than 3000 people behind you singing at the top of their lungs... It was intense. I can only imagine what the band felt like.
Picture: Dashboard Confessional 1
Picture: Dashboard Confessional 2
Picture: Dashboard Confessional 3
Review: Dashboard Confessional - The Places You've Come To Fear The Most
Following the stunning set by Chris Carrabba and co., my [somewhat] hometown boys, the Alkaline Trio, took the stage. Dan looked fat. Matt looked sick. Pete, their fill in drummer, looked crazy. That's pretty much how the set turned out. Both Dan and Matt were off, vocally, on the majority of the songs. I was having a blast on the outside, but deep down, I knew I had seen these guys many times before, and they'd always been much much better. Blink really softened them up. Their set was very "Infirmary"-heavy, and they strayed away from any of the good songs on that album, save "Crawl." They only played 1 song off "Goddammit," too -- not cool at all. Pete did a fantastic job of drumming, though. I've seen all three of their drummers, and while Pete was not better than Glenn, he was solidly better than Mike. Go figure.
Picture: Alkaline Trio 1
Picture: Alkaline Trio 2
Picture: Alkaline Trio 3
Review: Alkaline Trio - From Here To Infirmary
Review: Alkaline Trio - Goddammit
After we all calmed down, Saves The Day got us ready to go again. STD has been a Krazyfest staple, performing since 1999. I have yet to see them live. After hearing the new album once, I wasn't looking forward to it, to be honest. Everyone was saying that they don't play any old stuff anymore, that they're boring live, yadda yadda yadda. Let me tell you: Saves The Day completely reaffirmed my belief that rock is still alive and well. They rocked Krazyfest like no one else had that day, playing a few songs off "Can't Slow Down," a bunch off of "Through Being Cool," some new tunes off "Stay What You Are," and they even reworked one of their songs off the acoustic EP, to favorable results. Saves The Day know exactly what they're doing: they're going to be the saviors of the new rock generation. Their live show was totally energetic, and I had a blast, even though I felt like I was the only person who didn't know all the words. To cap their show off, Chris Conley invited up Andy from Hot Rod Circuit to join him in "All I'm Losing Is Me." Sure, the new album sounds like none of their older stuff, but that's the whole thing: Saves The Day is dead; long live Saves The Day. I can't really think of a better band to have closed the festival. As the sun went down on the Ohio River, the rock pulsed through my weak veins once more. It felt good to be alive.
Picture: Saves The Day 1
Picture: Saves The Day 2
Picture: Saves The Day 3
Picture: Saves The Day 4
Picture: Saves The Day with Andy of Hot Rod Circuit
Review: Saves The Day - Stay What You Are
Review: Saves The Day - Through Being Cool
Review: Saves The Day - I'm Sorry, I'm Leaving
Review: Saves The Day - Can't Slow Down
As the people began to file out and the distros began to pack up, I assessed my weekend:
Best Band I had never heard of: [tie] Stretch Arm Strong/Elliott
Best Purchase: I won a copy of the Saves The Day acoustic 7" from the Immigrant Sun booth. That ruled.
Krazyest thing I saw: the naked guy mud wrestling on Saturday, no question.
Coolest person I met: Kevin, from Virginia [I think]. We actually met him that night at the local Waffle House by our hotel, and he was incredibly cool. We even had an impromptu Dashboard Confessional dance party in the parking lot [click here for proof].
And I have to thank my friends who risked life and limb to come with me: Liz, Carol, and Harrel all were a blast to hang out with.
Over 8800 people attended Krazyfest [Fri-2500, Sat-3200, Sun-3100]. If only one more of them besides me left feeling like they had been a part of something special, then I think the weekend was a success. Sure, there were bands I didn't care for; sure I blew *way* too much money on stuff I didn't need, sure, Vagrant acted like they owned the place and sure, it rained a little bit, but who cares? It was Krazyfest. Expect the unexpected. And you can expect me back next year.