Another year and another Underground Music Showcase in the books. The funnest weekend of the year for us once again had us scouring the streets of South Broadway taking in some of the best national and local acts in music today. Under the new ownership of Two Parts, the festival took on its own identity while keeping the traditional elements of the long standing institution. For us it was our eighth year in a row covering this festival and quite possibly the funnest. Each year brings new memories and discoveries, this year was no different. The festival switched from a four day format to a three day format this year and added a slew of bigger stages tucked away among the gritty yet majestic Baker neighborhood. (Scroll Down For More)
Gallery by Aly McClaran (All Rights Reserved)
With three main stages this year attendees had more opportunities to see more than just music. A beer-centric stage that combined Two Parts's successful Sesh Festival combined with a music stage adequately named the Sesh Stage gave us an opportunity to enjoy our favorite session beers all while listening to the likes of bands such as The Velveteers, Slow Caves, and Los Mocochetes.
Another crowd favorite was the Imagination Stage tucked inside Import Mechanics. The area was a delightful oasis with an array of activities, murals, and shaded lounges to enjoy. Modular music installations as well as a record shop on wheels were amongst the favorite attractions. An El Camino with a ball pit in the the bed made for some rather interesting moments all weekend as well.
After dusk the streets of Broadway turned into a music lovers paradise with venues such as Three Kings Tavern, The Hornet, Illegal Pete's, Gary Lee's Motor Club and The Skylark hosted a who's who of some of the most talented bands in our city and surrounding areas. Although crowded and sometimes impossible to get into, it was the sidewalks where conversations and yearly reunions took place all while the blaring sounds reached far beyond the the clubs and into the streets.
The buzz amongst festival attendees was pretty consistent as many enjoyed this year and had nothing but praise for the new direction the festival is headed into. As for us we cannot wait until next year to celebrate once again one of the best weekends our city has to offer.
Words - Robert Castro
1. Best Dressed Band: Tyto Alba (matching baseball tees), Wildermiss (dem gold jackets), iZCALLi (Karate Kid themed ensembles) The Corner Girls (prom dresses) Parallelephants (fringe on fleek) Yasi (denim queen) Madge (boxing outfits).
2. Best performances: Madge, Panther Martin, Nasty Nachos/Rumtum, Optycnerd, Tyto Alba, Hot 8 Brass Band, ALVVAYS, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Bison Bone, The Guestlist.
3. Best use of advertising: iZCALLi (wood screen printed signs, and numbered) Honorable Mention: The Trujillo Company, The Hollow (don't ask).
4. Best venue: Imagination Stage
5. Best place to grab a bite: Illegal Petes (a lifesaver every night)
6. Most common phrase: "Where are you?", "Is there a line?".