• Festivals

Fest 10: A High School Reunion

written by: on November 11, 2011


The third and final day of Fest 10 started early for those attending No Idea Records annual yard sale. Here, Fest-goers can nab new releases as well as special Fest pressings of albums. The 10 a.m. start time would be enough for some to balk at the idea of rising, but some people showed up an hour before the sale was set to begin. While it lacked the live music of past years, it certainly built camaraderie between fans and those working at No Idea. Other reasons to rise early included Anthem Tattoo Parlor’s $50 Fest tattoo deal.

Later, Lansing, Mich.’s Cheap Girls took the stage at 8 Seconds and the pop-rock trio wasted no time, opening with “Her and Cigarettes” from 2009’s My Roaring 20’s. The group treated fans to key selections from its two full-length records, but proudly offered tracks from the album it just finished recording days earlier. The new songs boast hooks as catchy as anything on the Cheap Girls’s earlier albums. If anything, Cheap Girls merely teased its audience with some fantastic tracks that they won’t be able to put on repeat until its Rise Records debut drops in the spring.

Amidst Fest’ celebratory atmosphere, the The Measure [SA]’s show Sunday night was bittersweet as it would be the group’s last. The New Jersey pop-punk quartet ripped through some of its best songs. As the set passed, the tone became somber as the Measure played modern pop-punk classics “The Revisionist” and “Unwritten” for the last time. The crowd emphatically screamed, “Punk rock never stop!” during set closer, “Hello Bastards,” which proved to be a rather ironic eulogy. After the band took off its instruments, a tearful hug was shared between members as the audience continued to applaud and cheer for the Measure even after they began tearing down equipment. Saying goodbye is never easy, but with Lauren Measure already releasing with Worriers, there is still much to look forward to.

Even after a tearful farewell to one of pop-punk’s best, there was more music to be enjoyed. Another group of Gainesville natives took the stage at the Florida Theater that night, but unfortunately Less Than Jake’s brand of ska-punk didn’t quite do the trick. The set list mixed in songs from the group’s heralded early releases as well as the poorly received In With The Out Crowd. Because of this, the group seemed to be playing for themselves more than the crowd. There’s no disputing that Less Than Jake was having fun, but it fell on deaf ears for those hoping for some material that was above mediocre.

With only a half hour left of Fest 10, a crowd built inside the Atlantic for Ampere. Fest is known for booking groups from different subgenres, and often setting up clubs to handle a certain style each day. The Atlantic handled many harder-edged bands on Sunday, and Ampere’s vivacious bursts of screamo were a great way to close out the weekend. Although the group was scheduled to play for half an hour, Ampere played 20-minutes worth of intense, jagged screamo and the crowd ate it up. With songs that barely hit the one-minute mark Ampere pummeled the crowd in its concise way, playing songs spanning its career while putting a focus on its recently released album Like Shadows. The group was called back for an encore which, again, only lasted about a minute, but length isn’t what was important. Ampere offered up genuine screamo and proved why it’s been able to maintain its aggression after all these years.

Fest 10 was a celebration of all things punk rock. It may have been centered around No Idea Records, but bands from various labels, genres, and continents made the trek to take part. Punk often gets lumped in with the nihilistic, “no future” mentality that was offered up by the Sex Pistols, but at the Fest it becomes incredibly clear that punk has a great future ahead of it. With classic acts still achieving greatness, and up-and-comers making music every bit as urgent as their elders, the genre isn’t going anywhere.