Here are the highlights, and a few lowlights as experienced by SPB at easily the best shows of the year: The Fest 6.
The first band to leave me agape was Planes Mistaken for Stars. Priming the audience for the rest of the evening, they burned every calorie of energy they had while giving a crushing performance. Officially broken up, this would be one of their last shows together so making it memorable was their prerogative. Never having listened to them before, I didn?t rage as hard as everyone else, yet the chaos ensued and they easily earned best performance of the day.
After they ended I rushed over to The Atlantic, five blocks away, to catch Young Livers. Having been compared to Thin Lizzy, I was anxious to see some riff-based rock and roll. I was a little disappointed though, expecting the riffs to be bigger, but the licks, oh the licks were tight and the solos were sweet. I?d compare them to earlier Hot Water Music, which is kind of a cliché these days, but being Gainesville natives I?m sure they get it all the time.
I thought about watching Naked Raygun simply for the sake of bragging about it later but everything I heard by them on record sounded too close to Big Black, a band I could never get into, so instead I went to check out Chinese Telephones. On my way down to Florida I befriended some Canadians who talked incessantly about this band during the entire ride down. I figured it was in my best interest to see what the hype was about. Sure enough my northern friends were there going off to every song, as was everyone else in attendance. At nearly one in the morning the entire club was pack with drunken punks stage diving off the banisters, circle pitting, and having a good time. The melodies were catchy, the riffs fast and the vocals somewhat nasally. Pop-punk perfection. And with their performance, day one ended.