After a good night of sleep, I was ready for a second day of amazing shows. With 13 not-to-miss bands on my schedule, I was almost praying that my feet would stand the run!
So we headed to Boca Fiesta not to miss Cold Wrecks and Nightmarathons. The venue was already packed when we got there and we had to use our media VIP pass to get in. By the way, big thanks to The Fest for giving VIP passes to media. It’s been very useful during the weekend and it helped us a lot to cover as many bands as we could. So yes, Boca Fiesta was crowded for the first shows of the day and it was great to see Cold Wrecks and Nightmarathons, two bands I really like, playing in front of a full venue. The sets were amazing and the singing crowd just added to the ecstatic mood.
After that, we headed to another venue to see Protagonist and The Jukebox Romantics, two bands I had never had the chance to see live. Protagonist is an old timer group from Florida and it was pretty cool to see the reaction of the members of the crowd who were smiling and singing along. You could tell that everybody was happy to have Protagonist playing The Fest and the band did a very energetic performance. I was super excited to finally see The Jukebox Romantics as I missed their last set at Pouzza Fest. They were as great as I thought they would be! And those guys are so funny on stage; they’re very fun to watch.
Then it was time to head to Bo Diddley Plaza again to see A Wilhelm Scream. I love that band and I’ve had the chance to see them many times. Usually, I stand in front of Brian who is my favorite bass player of all time and enjoy his insane bass grooves. But this time, I just sat away from the stage and listened to the show without really seeing the band. The set was great but I’m definitely not a fan of outdoor shows! At some point I just decided to go visit the merch booths and buy some souvenirs from The Fest.
With my bag full, I made my way to High Dive to see MakeWar. The band had just released an amazing new record and I was quite curious to see them live. I was definitely not prepared for what was coming! The show was so great that I had goosebumps listening to the crowd singing along. Even the mosh pit was amazing! MakeWar were definitely one of the highlights of my weekend in Gainesville. I just hope they’ll play Pouzza Fest in next May so I’ll have the chance to see them again. Fingers crossed!
People who know me well know that I always have one of those emotional moments during fests or shows. Yes, I’m a crying baby and definitely not ashamed of it! So I had that emotional moment during Little Teeth. The music and the voices were so beautiful that I felt like the band was singing directly through my heart. It’s a bit hard to describe, and no, I didn’t have too many cans of White Claw! And then the singer started talking about how he moved to Germany to be with the love of his life and how he lost a good friend from suicide in the last year and different things he’s been through. He was so happy to be back at The Fest and meet all his old friends; it was really touching. As I was already on the verge of tears, I just burst into tears. It sounds very sad, but it was a beautiful moment. Thank you Little Teeth!
After, we went to see Timeshares, Typesetter and Spanish Love Songs. For some reason, I always associate those three bands together so it was super cool to have the chance to see them one after an other. They all put on an amazing show and the crowd responded with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, as I don’t like being caught in a mosh pit, I was too far from the stage and I wasn’t able to appreciate the Spanish Love Songs set as much as I did last May at Pouzza Fest. But still, it was an amazing show and I’m glad I was there.
Next on my list were The Dopamines, Spraynard and The Lillingtons. But on my way to see The Dopamines, I came across the Lost Love guys. There’s nothing like a bunch of Quebecers talking shit and telling funny stories in a parking lot! So instead of going to the shows, we stayed there for more than an hour just talking about anything and everything and having fun. And even if I was a bit sad to miss The Dopamines again (I missed them at Pouzza Fest too), that moment in the parking lot is definitely one of the highlights of the weekend. Because festivals are not just about music; they’re also about all the people you meet, new friends and old friends.
I also had the chance to come across Poli from The Bombpops in that same parking lot. As she has type 1 diabetes too, we talk from time to time about our freaking disease. So when we realized we had the same fanny pack for our diabetes supplies, we started talking about diabetes and all kind of stuff. It’s always cool to meet a diabuddy, especially in a fest when you struggle among pizza, booze and insulin. A big hug and you don’t feel alone in that mess anymore!
So after all the pizza, the talking and the standing in the parking lot, we decided the night was over. We went back to the hotel using The Fest shuttle and it was probably the funniest ride ever. We met a couple from The Dopamines hometown who had all kinds of funny stories to tell. In fact, every ride in that mini bus was an opportunity to come across new people, hear new stories (mostly funny ones after midnight) and laugh a lot. I’m really glad The Fest offers that service because it’s free and funnier than Uber.
It was time to go to sleep before the last day, but not the least, at The Fest.
To be continued…