Hey ding dongs! It’s that time of year again, time for everyone to head to the swampy home of the Florida Man and enjoy three to five days of pure party with over 350 bands from all over the country and abroad. That’s right. It’s time for the mo’fuckin’ FEST! Now, with that many bands, there are bound to be a few you’ve never heard of. Well friends, I’m here to tell you all about 11 (or so) of the smaller bands you might not yet be privy to. Look, we all know you’ll be watching Against Me! play Reinventing Axl Rose front to back. Or for whatever reason, pretending The Movielife was ever relevant. I get it. My goal here is to get you to maybe leave Bo Diddley and go explore and discover your next favorite band so next year you can see them play at Bo Diddley. Without further ado, I present to you Kevin’s Eleven (or so) in no particular order:
I had the privilege of catching Boss’ Daughter at VLHS earlier this year with another band who may or may not but definitely will appear on this list a little later and was absolutely blown away. From looking like they should be toting around their instruments in bindles, to mixing horns with banjo with punk with beer with basically whatever the fuck they want, I was in awe of how awesome they are. Bonus fact: I heard they might have a connection to another Fest band, The Randy Savages.
Boss’ Daughter plays Fest at 12:10am on Sunday October 29th at Durty Nelly’s!
If you need a fix of dirty Rock and Roll, Freya Wilcox and the Howl has you covered. This might be the band I am most excited about seeing at Fest. I’m praying to Lemmy that we can make it from Ybor to Gainesville in time. Pro tip: the Howl section of Freya Wilcox are also in other bands that are playing Fest, Cold Wrecks and Binary Heart.
Freya Wilcox & the Howl plays Fest at 3:10pm on Friday October 27th at Mother’s Pub!
DFMK are the best. Straight up punk from Tijuana, Mexico. Everyone always talks about how great a front man Jorge is, and while these people are right, keep an eye on the drummer. He is a beast and beats the shit out of the drums like no one I’ve ever seen.
DFMK plays Fest at 3:10pm on Saturday October 28th at 8 Seconds!
Funny story, I used to think Decent Criminal was terrible. It stemmed from the fact that every time I’d try and listen to their album on my iPod, it was so unevenly recorded that I couldn’t fathom how the fuck they thought it was okay. But overtime I saw them live I loved them. It didn’t make sense. Turns out, my digital copy of the album was fucked and when I finally re-downloaded it, everything made sense. I was an idiot and this band rules.
Decent Criminal plays Fest at 8:00pm on Friday October 27th at Palomino!
If you like hardcore punk go see Sciatic Nerve. They just released their first album and it fucking rips. It also clocks in at 18 minutes, so it should be interesting to see them fill a 30 minute set.
Sciatic Nerve plays Fest at 10:30pm on Saturday October 28th at Durty Nelly’s!
6. Sic Waiting (No Use For A Name cover set)
Every year, a bunch of bands do cover sets at Fest. This year I am excited to see Sic Waiting take on No Use For A Name. Everything about that sentence just makes sense.
Sic Waiting plays their No Use For A Name cover set at 7:10pm on Saturday October 28th at Tall Paul’s and their regular set at 8:00pm on Sunday October 29th!
7. Dollar Signs
I recently caught these guys in Chicago, and god damn, they put on a fun show. Plus, they are all just really solid human beings and I love every single one of them. Come party with me to songs about puking and stuff.
Dollar Signs plays Fest at 12:40pm on Saturday October 28th at Boca Fiesta!
Sure, he only has eleven songs spread over two EPs, but it’s quality over quantity people. Listen to “Hell and You” and tell me you don’t want to skip Against Me! to see this dude smash a banjo.
Amigo the Devil plays Fest at 8:40pm on Saturday October 28th at Rockey’s Piano Bar!
You like The Holy Mess? You like Elway? Then come check out Steveo’s new project, Steveo and the Crippling Addictions. I don’t know if Tim Browne will be going him for the set, but hey! Let’s be surprised together.
Steve and the Crippling Addictions plays Fest at 6:10pm on Saturday October 28th at Civic Media Center!
These two bands may sound nothing alike, but they both start with Western and I love to cheat at this, so fuck it. Western Addiction is probably the most underrated band on Fat Wreck Chords roster and Western Settings is the band version of a gas station hot dog. Delicious.
Western Addiction plays Pre-Fest at 3:30pm on Thursday October 26th at The Crowbar and play Fest at 4:00pm on Saturday October 28th at High-Dive!
Western Settings plays Fest acoustic at 5:30pm on Saturday October 28th at Civic Media Center and as a full band Sunday October 29th at 9:50pm at Rockey’s Piano Bar!
11. Dead Bars
Every single year I make this list, I put Dead Bars on it. Go fucking see Dead Bars.
Dead Bars plays Pre-Fest at 4:10pm on Thursday October 26th at The Dirty Shame, a Guided by Voices cover set at Fest at 12:10am on Saturday October 28th at Tall Paul’s, and a regular set at 10:40pm on Sunday October 29th at Rockey’s Piano Bar!
11. Meat Wave
I was torn on if Meat Wave should be included in a ‘bands you don’t know’ type list. I mean, I saw them play a sold out show in Chicago, but also to like twelve people in San Diego. But it’s my list so fuck, it they made it. Also their latest album, The Incessant, fucking rules and will for sure be making my end of the year album list this year.
Meat Wave plays Pre-Fest at 7:10pm on Thursday October 26th at The Orpheum and play Fest at 9:40pm on Sunday October 29th at The Wooly!
11. The Dopamines
If I was torn about Meat Wave, The Dopamines should absolutely not be on here. But you know what? I’ve never seen them play. Literally every time I’ve had the chance, something came up and I fucking missed them. I guess I’m hoping by putting them on this list I’ll actually finally be able to see them play. Selfish, I know.
The Dopamines play Fest at 12:40am on BOTH Friday October 27th and Saturday October 28th at High Dive!
11. Banner Pilot
Aw finally, number 11. This list seems like it has taken forever. Whatever. Look, I love Banner Pilot. They scared me these last couple years with the whole Houdini act they pulled, but they are finally back playing shows (sort of) and in the process of writing a new album that supposedly sounds like “Jawbreaker mixed with Japandroids.” Neat.
Banner Pilot play Pre-Fest at 10:40pm on Thursday October 26th at Crowbar and play Fest at 9:50pm on Friday October 27th at 8 Seconds!
There you go. Eleven (or so) bands to check out if you like staying inside. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be at the Red City Radios and the Direct Hits and the Hot Water Musics too, but never forget the little guys! There is so much to do and see at Fest it bums me out when I see people who will only go to the Wooly and Bo Diddley. But in the end, you do you. Live your best life. Watch what you want to watch. I’ll see all of you in Ybor and Gainesville!