WAX FANG heat things up at Gonzofest ’16

First and foremost, how about this ridiculously beautiful weather? I mean, I saw the forecast but never anticipated anything this fulfilling! Damn! Maybe it was a tad bit hotter at times, but whatever, I want more of this, Mother Nature! Without a doubt, the folks behind Gonzofest were fucking stoked, as were the hordes of people that made it out to this year’s rendition of the annual festival. The sun was out, the beer was flowing like wine, and quality music was-a-plenty. But before I delve into Gonzofest ’16, I have to talk about Record Store Day.

My special lady and I spent the better part of an hour and a half waiting in line at Guestroom Records, passing the time by drinking free coffee and a game where we name as many Simpsons characters as we can without using any frame of reference. We were able to come up with 63 Springfield residents, in case you were wondering. When we were finally allowed into the shop, I was excited to find a few records I was looking for, a bit disappointed I missed out on a couple I was really anticipating (John Frusciante’s EP, Star Wars picture disc). Nevertheless, my RSD experience was fulfilling as I picked up a nice bounty of most excellent records. It’s also worth mentioning that we were served free mimosas while waiting in line to buy our records. Now that’s service, my friends. I wanted to venture to other shops in town, but admittedly I’m not rich, and unfortunately blew my budget at one spot.  Oh well.  Check out my RSD haul below:

Now, on to Gonzofest ’16. As mentioned before, the weather was fucking perfect, and the turnout was huge, making this year’s mega-event an obvious success. I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t more beer and food options, but whatever. The music was the main attraction, and just like last year, every performance was spectacular making my Gonzofest experience a satisfying one. Four bands/artists/acts/whatever were the main selling point for me personally: Quiet Hollers, Chrome Pony, Wax Fang, and Dr. Dundiff & Friends. Read on as I pretend to know what I’m talking about while briefly describing each performance with words and videos.

WORTH MENTIONING: Yes, I’m aware that there were a million other shows and events happening on Saturday, but due to time, money and sleep I could only choose one.  Naturally, I chose the one that started and ended the earliest because I like to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

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First up was Quiet Hollers, a band I’d only seen late at night, indoors in the midst of swarms of anxious spectators making me feel a bit claustrophobic. Naturally, for my lame, old ass it was a welcome change to see them perform outside on such a gorgeous day, while standing on manicured grass while drinking a fresh beer. Despite some issues with the people who were running sound (the stage monitors weren’t turned on until halfway through their set), everything went pretty well and they put on a good show, as they normally do.

Watch Quiet Hollers perform their song “Cote d’Azur” at Gonzofest ’16 below:

Next up was Nashville’s garage rock experts Chrome Pony, a band I’m not overly familiar with, but after watching them play I gotta say they’ve got my attention.  I especially like their song “Eugene” from their recent Past Lives record, in case you were looking for new noise to check out on Spotify or something.  They were fun to watch, no doubt, and I hope to see more of them in Louisville soon.

Watch Chrome Pony perform live at Gonzofest ’16 below:

I haven’t seen Wax Fang in quite a long time, so I was naturally stoked to watch them, especially after recently experiencing their latest single “Exit Strategy.” Scott Carney and crew went on to acrobatically shred through a rocking set that at one point included an impressive use of a theremin. I hadn’t seen a band use a theremin like that since watching Andy Schanie abuse one while singing for Bodyhammer back in the day.

Watch Wax Fang perform their song “Hearts Are Made For Beating” at Gonzofest ’16 below:

I feel like I don’t need to explain how or why Dr. Dundiff & Friends were amazing, because you probably already assumed this. And yeah, your preconceived notion of excellence rings true here, as they put on a display of hip hop and funk that in my opinion easily outdid their performance at Forecastle last year. Just as he did before, Dundiff brought out a barrage of Louisville’s finest emcees including RMLLW2LZ, 1200, Kogan Dumb, Touch AC and Jack Harlow, not to mention up and coming R&B singer Otis Junior. The set was spirited and never boring in its entirety, as the band stayed tight and each vocal artist brought their A-game. We shot a bunch of video of the performance, and snipped together a quick highlight package of Dundiff’s set.  If you want to see more lengthy videos, go to the Never Nervous YouTube page.

Watch Dr. Dundiff & Friends perform live at Gonzofest ’16 below:

My evening was concluded with delivery Chinese food, more beer, and a viewing of Wes Anderson’s classic Bottle Rocket. Afterward, I slept like a fucking baby, and it was awesome. Hope your night was as good as mine!