Our first objective after we all woke up on Saturday was to get ramen. But by the time we made it to Crane Ramen, the wait was already an hour. Fuck that. Kaylin and I ended up settling for Flaco’s (oh no, anything but delicious Flaco’s!). We put down our burritos AND two tacos and it was time to begin probably the fourth or so reason we were in Florida – the music!
Sure, I might have been sick of watching bands play. But DFMK was starting the day. I don’t care how much you think you’d rather be at home in your nice comfy bed sleeping. Trust me, you’d rather be watching DFMK. The Tijuana rockers got my blood pumping and ripped me out of the morning funk so well that I hustled to the next venue to split time between Western Addiction AND The Eradicator. I’ve never seen The Eradicator before, and as much as I fucking despise gimmick acts (seriously, are you fucking kidding me with Masked Intruder? Children’s pop music mask-erading as a punk band. Hey-oh! Got to keep the sass light sometimes), this was entertaining.
Running between venues reminded me exactly why I stopped doing that in the first place, it was fucking exhausting. So I took a break at the secret bar and actually ran into who I was planning to go see next, Ricky Schmidt from Western Settings. We all had a quiet moment to catch up, drink a beer, and shit in the secret bar’s awesome bathrooms before we had to mosey on down to Civic Media Center for the god damned music thing that was going on. The good news was not only was almost every single homie at Fest in attendance, but I also got to chill out there for the following act, SteveO and the Crippling Addictions.
I took Tony Shrum and Adam Kissell to the secret bar afterwards, promising them a nice quiet place to kind of get away from the Fest-ivities. Instead, we got a loud ass band playing right outside the door that Adam kept saying sounded like The Menzingers even though they in no way whatsoever sounded anything like The Menzingers. I also made the mistake of trying Tony’s nachos, and only when I almost threw up and died from how fucking spicy they were, did I ask what was in it. “Oh, I got the habanero cheese in there.”
The next stop on our Fest journey was Tall Paul’s to see Sic Waiting do a No Use For A Name cover set. I made it about three songs in before I had to leave; the venue was a little too crowded and the rowdy crowd was not something I was currently in the mood for. I could feel the panic start to set in and decided it was time to go. Luckily, at almost the exact same time as I walked out the door, I got a text from Kendra saying she found a tiki bar, so I high tailed it over there to meet her and Kaylin. First of all, it wasn’t a tiki bar. It was one of those hipster ass bars where the bartenders are mixologists which just so happened to be selling over-priced tiki/Halloween themed drinks over the weekend. But god damn they were still boozy and delicious. Bonus, mine came with those cheap, bright white vampire teeth and that somehow made it all worthwhile to me.
Feeling a little drunk finally, I made my way down the street trying to decide if I should go see the Against Me! Reinventing Axl Rose set, or stick to the plan and go check out Amigo the Devil. The choice was made for me as I could hear Against Me! playing one of the shittier songs off their latest album, so I made my way to Rockey’s Piano Bar. I was caught off guard by exactly how fucking good Amigo the Devil‘s set was. From the already awesome songs to the acoustic metal medley to forcing us all to take a field trip over to the bar so he could climb on top and play his last song, it was amazing. I purchased the only merch I bought all weekend – a vinyl copy of his album – and a shirt I am 100% sure will be too small after I wash it.
I needed to put my new stuff in the car, so I met up with Kendra, Kaylin, and Jess who were all having some quality girl time over at a fancy bar underneath the Hampton. [Editor’s Note: we were drinking boozy martini-esque cocktails and taking bright pink colored shots… so kind of]. After finally getting the three drunk mice to the car, I remembered that we had Jameson in there. I triumphantly brought back the chip bag Dr. Jameo to desperately try and push away the soberness that was creeping in. Not only did it not work, but I also got one upped in the street drinking game by Kaylin who dumped an entire tube of Pringles into a plastic grocery bag so she could use the empty tube as a tall can of PBR koozie. Fucking scumbags.
We pounded our on-the-go drinks and made our way to Durty Nelly’s for Sciatic Nerve, a band I haven’t been able to shut the fuck up about since they released their debut self titled LP a few weeks prior. They played a fast,tight set and pulled a “Garrett Dale” by playing the same song (the opening track to their LP entitled “Sciatic Nerve”) three different times. The loud and fast set gave us enough time to once again head to secret bar where we once again ran into Ricky Schmidt and Jacque Mendez. A drink later and we all parted ways, planning to head home.
Except we still has one last stop to make. We redirected back to Tall Paul’s to try and catch part of Dead Bars‘ Guided by Voices cover set. I was finishing a cigarette as Kendra went inside and immediately came back out. “That’s not Dead Bars. Who the fuck is playing right now?” I checked my schedule and it said Dead Bars was supposed to be playing, so I went in to double check her double vision. It definitely wasn’t Dead Bars onstage. I saw resident Dead Bars historian Tom House and fiancé (congrats) Colleen Leah and found out that it was actually Dead Bars playing. But the singer was on drums and they had some fill-ins specifically for the cover set. So instead of staying and watching them, or even going to see The Dopamines for the last set, we just went back to the hotel. These brilliant decisions are brought to you by drunkenness and exhaustion™.
Back at the hotel, we ventured to the pool for a nightcap with a small group of people who also had ventured back early. As more and more people filed in, we were treated to stories of pet raccoons and way off brand light beer. The dudes in Boss’ Daughter brought a keg, but after being told a beautiful and rhyming bedtime story by Josh Knibb, we retired for the evening in actual beds before the pool side lounge chairs became our resting place.
We still had one more day to struggle through.
** all below images by Kendra Sheetz
** all below images by Zack Jacob
** all below images by Eden Kittiver