Well named bands at a well curated bash
|King Eye and the Stinks|
But their time was up and I wanted to get to the south end to that very Metal stage to see Conniption, a band that's been around for at least ten years. I've been trying to get out to see them and finally this was my chance. Bottom line: they're great. Entire set was varied originals, and they hit all the edges you expect from a good metal act: lead singer with operatic vocals and presence both on and off stage, guitar player who can seriously shred while headbanging a mane of hair across the stage, bass player who uses both hands all over the fretboard, and double-time drummer who holds it all together.
On the way back to the North end, buzz band Sugar Stems was just starting at the middle stage (which moved from its old spot on Logan south of KK, to Russell, just northeast of KK.) This was a perfectly well named band: very pop sugary, but rocking enough to not send you into a diabetic coma.
And then we move to the Demo Stage, for this year's WTF in the form of the Merkins, a four piece cover band of middle-aged guys fronted by this dude wearing a romantic blouson and, tight leather pants that at our age, I gotta give props for a) having the balls to wear out in public and b) wow, they still fit.
I arrived at the stage in time to hear him belt out "She Sells Sanctuary" followed by some Who tune that frankly, I forgot. I was too busy trying to decide if these guys were onto themselves or not. I slipped away to grab a forgettable sandwich and came back in time to see him take on Cheap Trick's "Surrender" and continue to flirt with the women in the crowd. All I could think of was how perfectly they'd fit in at Trash Fest. I finally decided they had to have their tongues firmly planted in cheek (among other places); after all this is a band called The Merkins for cryin' out loud.
Krol and his band took the stage wearing Tyvek jumpsuits from Home Depot, giving them this Devo vibe, but the band itself looked and sounded like Devo's tour van had crashed into the Pixies' practice space. The songs had that kind of urgent/storytelling melody line that Black Francis writes, (and the bassist very certainly went to the Kim Deal School Of Bass Playing). But the hazmat suits and the onstage demeanor of the band was all spudboys. Krol himself is an engaging, charismatic, and sometimes manic performer who augments his voice with a rack of effects boxes and his stage demeanor by often dropping into the audience and interacting with the crowd. Catchy AF songs, great interactive show, crowd involvement -- yeah, this guy was my favorite find in a day full of great finds.
lam guys with glitter eyeshadow but with countrified dress and demeanor to flat out punk players.
Here's photographic evidence of my whole survey of the day.