Stockage 2003 Starlight Lounge, Fort Collins CO - June 27 to 29, 2003

Stockage 2003 Starlight Lounge, Fort Collins CO - June 27 to 29, 2003
With several summer festivals like Bonnaroo North, Field Day and even the mother of all alterna-rock festivals, Lollapalooza, experiencing cancellations and less than enthusiastic responses, it was a tiny three-day punk fest in the sleepy college mountain town of Fort Collins, CO that may have been the lone success. Sponsored by and acting as a showcase for O&O Records, the label that was started by the dudes in Descendents/All, this was the second year for the fest and ideally not the last. Like pilgrims flocking to a punk rock Mecca, hundreds of fans of melodic aggressive punk travelled from as far away as England and Japan to be part of the event as fans or participants in what was three full days and nights of music, merriment and punk rock karaoke, with the musical component of All, the band that headlined all three nights, playing a different set on each — that's more than 100 songs from their extensive 25-year history. The third night ended with Good Riddance's Russ Rankin joining the band for a 30-minute set of Descendents material, filling in admirably for AWOL original vocalist Milo Aukerman, who was allegedly at home in Wisconsin trying to engineer a better potato. Other sets of note included Armstrong, Hagfish and original west coast punkers the Last. On the last night, Someday I pummelled with their brand of complicated melodic dirge-core, while Wretch Like Me were the hands down showstoppers. The original five-piece line-up reunited just to perform one last show. For 60 minutes the band blasted through material from their first two records and left us all with a sense of sadness that this was their last show, but what a way to go. So while bigger, higher profile events were missing the mark, something about this fest allowed it to score a direct hit. Perhaps it was the intimacy of the venue — a sticky-floored, buck-a-beer watering hole that showcases everything from local metal bands to national indie acts — or maybe the one-ness of the audience with the "all-ular" philosophy of the weekend's hosts. No matter, these guys no how to throw a party like all the bands that participated know how to rock: hard!