No Idea Presents the Fest 6 Gainesville, FL October 26 to 28

Promising more bands, more venues and more beards than any previous year, the sixth annual edition of the Fest in Gainesville, FL had many expectations to live up to. With six venues playing host to over 180 bands, it didn’t take long to discover that scheduling conflicts were bound to occur. Friday night’s show at 1982 was packed from the start. First band, the Measure, were quick to pay homage to the late Lance Hahn of J Church, who were scheduled to play until medical complications sent him to the hospital where he eventually died. The Measure continued to rip through their 20-minute set with a ferocity fed by an eager crowd. Michigan’s the Swellers played a buzz-worthy set of melodic punk after, while Mike Hale’s (Gunmoll) new band, In the Red were a little disappointing, much like We Versus the Shark, who broke up incredible sets from O Pioneers!!! and Bomb the Music Industry. Meanwhile at the Venue, Nothington got the ball rolling for an evening that featured Naked Raygun, Youth Brigade and the Methadones. However, the most exciting event of the first night was an apartment show featuring the Shook Ones and about ten minutes of Paint it Black, whose Dan Yemin surfed overtop a seated crowd. With ten venues in full swing on Saturday, it was impossible to catch every act on the must-see list. The Market Street Pub was an ideal location as the Riot Before kicked things off with a set reminiscent of early Against Me!; Bridge and Tunnel and Lemuria led into a fantastic back-to-back line-up of Gaslight Anthem — who played the best set of the weekend — and Fake Problems. Meanwhile, the Venue was packed to capacity for the Fat Wreck Chords showcase featuring Dead to Me, Smoke or Fire, American Steel, the Lawrence Arms, Avail and Dillinger Four, whose set was half stand-up comedy as the band dealt with a blown amp. Despite a solid line-up on Sunday, the day’s buzz seemed to circle entirely around Small Brown Bike, who played an incredible one-hour farewell set with support from the Draft. Also on that bill were Less Than Jake, who performed Losing Streak in its entirety, clearly playing to the crowd. Earlier in the day the Second Street Bakery hosted an acoustic show with standout performances from Paul Baribeau, Sundowner, Ghost Mice, Defiance, Ohio and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb. The best thing about the Fest is that many of the bands playing would only draw so many people in any given city, however, for a weekend in Gainesville it was as if every fan of every band showed up. It remains to be seen whether the Fest will be able to keep up with itself as it grows, however, this year’s edition was nothing short of spectacular.