Here it is: the grand finale. Awesome Fest Day 3. We were all just ramping up for the day since today was going to be a frantic ping pong match between venues. Everyone was already bummed out that we would miss our buddies in Squarecrow; they were scheduled to play during our set. But they’re playing the Bay in March, so we will see them then!
We got up early and started our day with burritos to fuel our running around (and our drinking). Red Brontosaurus was having another acoustic show and we caught a bit of Nato Coles and Evil Livin’ (This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb). Pre-gaming was necessary. This is HAMMERBOMBS I’m talking about, so there is no way we would not pre-game on the day we were playing! We headed over to a brewery around the corner and enjoyed a little drinky poo with Jan and The Shell Corporation.
This is where the fancy footwork started. It hit 2:00, so we ran first to The Office to watch our friends The Dodges. Then holy shit! Our buddies in Robot (Re)Pair were at Bar Pink. Crap! The Drowns were about to start, so let’s go back to The Office! Oh my god! We were about to miss Fuck You, Idiot so we ran back to Bar Pink! I missed Maniac cause I ordered a drink, but I was able to catch The Plurals! Playboy Manbaby? What the fuck did I just watch? This is amazing! City Mouse was setting up – can’t miss that ’cause it’s the best! Then back to The Office to catch Turkish Techno! Every single one of the bands I got to see was the absolute best. I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite if you asked me. There was so much talent and great songwriting smashed into one day. My ears were exhausted but my heart was so full.
The whole day had turned into a wild race, leaving my feet feeling numb when I got trapped inside The Office for Iron Chic. I had no idea who anyone in the crowd was and was feeling a bit overwhelmed screaming the words to some of my favorite songs. I started to wish I had gone to see Tiltwheel instead. Not because I don’t love Iron Chic, because I do. They are one of my favorite bands to currently listen to and to watch. But I was among complete strangers all of a sudden. It was only after I received a text from my bandmates and when I had made my way out of the crowd, I saw a few familiar faces. It was time to drive over to the night venues and get ready to… er…”do the thing.”
The night started off with Ash Williams at Space and the lucky stragglers that stuck around were in for a treat. Their brand of spastic metal prog punk just destroys and I feel bad for anyone that missed their set. Sneaky Snake – an adorable stuffed punk show ssssselebrity from Las Vegas – made an appearance onstage while guitarist Scout shredded on guitar with the puppet serpent on their pick hand.
I love The Stupid Daikini, but I missed them because I got caught up collecting my gear; Patrick from Ash Williams had needed to borrow some of it. Matt and Rob were able to catch The Stupid Daikini though, and apparently they were fantastic as always. However, I did catch a cute cover of “Wooly Bully” by The Chill Dawgz as I was running around. Somewhere, somehow between then and when we had to set up, I managed to drink a few beers. Our set was fun but, I really hate talking about my own bands. So I have asked Eden to say take over for a second:
The Hammerbombs were a blast! This was my first time ever seeing them and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to do so! Everyone in the crowd was dancing and singing along to the super rad, party-punk, four-piece. Near the end of their set, Marty Ploy hopped on stage and danced around. These guys are so cool live because you can tell they all really love what they’re doing up on stage. Jen shared some beautiful words about the *power of punk* and how important it is to be a part of such a wonderful music scene amongst friends, then ended the set with a couple bangers and hugged a bunch of rad friends!
Thank you Eden!
The night was still young and there were many more bands still to play. However after our set, things became a bit fuzzy. Our friends in Lysolgang got low with their crowd pleasing cover of “Get Low” and had us all pointing at two walls, since Space was lacking windows by the stage. Tracy Soto was amazing too. This was only the third time I’ve seen the band play and I love them more every time. Matt Caskitt and the Breaks was next, combining a handful of seasoned San Diego musicians into one band and creating quite the showcase of talent and creativity. Rob Hammerbombs is a huge fan of Odd Robot, and although I missed the set, he said they were really great.
Closing out the night and the weekend experience was Dead Bars, who (in my eyes) is favored over Samiam. I hadn’t seen the band since their tour with Big Eyes YEARS ago, and was more than happy to see them rock once again. They started out by setting up amps with colored lamps on top of their cabs, putting cardboard boxes over them to light up the words: “Dreams are free motherfucker.” It set the mood as we all danced the night away. It was the perfect ending to this year’s Awesome Fest.
Epilogue: With hangover heads bowed, Rob put on his “angry” hat and we dragged our feet to the infamous Luigi’s Pizzaria the next morning to meet up with our friends to eat and give our last goodbye hugs before we started on our journey home. After coffee, we sped up to Pomona to play one last time with our beloved friends in The Plurals and City Mouse. We were all exhausted but wow, what a weekend. Thanks Awesome Fest. See you next year!