Saturday's skies promised much clearer weather. Just after dusk, I caught a mostly unannounced set at American Apparel's "Grand Opening". Despite the new downtown light fixture (they have like 100 light bulbs on 24/7 in that store, I swear) being open for over a month, it was a good excuse to shove a band in a corner and play some free music. It was also a good place to for the Ceramic Cat's to test out their band with it's debut performance. With a backdrop of bright, sweatshop-free cotton, this fivesome (including Cory M. on laptop and Alex, singer from The Beat Buttons) played some really refreshing, though depressing, ambient folk. They even had a glockenspiel (I just like to say that word).
One of the venues I'm really glad The Fest has begun taking advantage of is Gainesville's large outside Downtown Plaza stage. More than a few people took the opportunity to stretch out on the grass and enjoy some filling Fivestar Pizza. The Ghost Mice performed to over hundred people with a quarter of them sitting indian style on stage, looking up at the Bloomington trio, singing along to every word. According to wikipedia the second time they ever played with mics and amps was this performance. They are usually 100% acoustic which certainly gives them the freedom to travel lightly. The Ghost Mice play some really enjoyable, sing-a-long folk-punk and if they ever needed a place to fit in, they would be right at home in Athens, Georgia with the Elephant Six collective.
Refueling commenced with some delicious hawaiin chicken, rice & beans (thanks Michael!) and we were back on the streets of Gainesville. Averqiou played a short set at Bar One. Lead singer Matt Brink, who's got the Weezer look going on, and the rest of the foursome looked like they were having a blast on stage. They may not have a website (or even myspace) but that doesn't stop this bunch from playing great indie-rock.
Over at The Atlantic, Planes Mistaken For Stars took the place over, and rocked out for half an hour as the festees (one who fests, of course) went nuts. With lead Gared and Matt on "backing screams" this Denver group can bring the hardcore while delivering stinging, textured melodies. Their myspace lists their influences as "Black Flag, Black Sabbath, Black (the color)" which seems pretty accurate though I might tack on Pirates to that list. All Gared was missing was an eye patch and he could've fooled me.
Jaunting over to Club Red, we caught Religious As Fuck, a side project of some members in Assholeparade. They deliver short, and I mean short, explosive songs that provide mora than enough of an excuse to crowd surf, thrash around and pour beer down your neighbors throat. And when I say crowd surf, I literally mean it. A guy had a boogie board. There was even one fan, at the feet of the lead singer, playing his leg like a guitar. It was intense (and hilarious). Music that I would never request, but might go see again just to witness the crowd involvement.
Cinemechanica, a Podbop favorite, delivered an intense set at Bar One. Unforunately their dueling drummer had to take a week off, but we think Mike delivered enough for the both of them. I don't think the set was as enjoyable as when we saw them at Athens Popfest, but I credit that entirely to the not so great sound at the venue. In such a wide & narrow space, the sound was too reflective. These guys are masters of their instruments and create heavy, complex songs that you can't help but enjoy if you don't go deaf first.
More Photos After The Jump!