As the second day of the third annual Dumb Fest went underway, we all knew what we were getting into: a sweaty, muddy, and humid day full of waves of great music. The rain and high temperature was only a mere inconvenience for all those who attended the fest at The Black Sheep Cafe and Skank Skates in Springfield, Ill. And when the rains did come, the mood of the festival-goers didn’t dampen in the least. We endured all of those complications and had a hell of a 10-hour day occupied by bands from all over the country.
The day started off with a bang, as Springfield’s own Diaper Rash brought its fury down upon the crowd. The group’s frontman Brandon Carnes led the baby-faced band (the rest of the band literally wears baby face masks) through the set list clad in only an adult diaper, a pair of cowboy boots, and a bunch of mud that he smeared on himself beforehand. The band’s chaotic, hardcore set concluded when they shifted gears and played a cover of Slayer’s “Angel of Death,” which turned out to be my second favorite cover of the day.
Nectar was the second band to play Day Two, and Kamila Glowacki’s sugary-sweet bubblegum twee songs enthralled the crowd. The Champaign band – comprised of Ghost Track’s Sean Neumann, Aaron Shults, and Jake Mott of Kowabunga! Kid and a ton of other CU bands – played songs off of Nectar’s self-titled debut tape as well as songs from a newly released 7” record. It was Shults’ first show as the band’s second guitarist and it paid off nicely, filling out Nectar’s already full sound. Also worth noting, the new song Glowacki said they finished a few days before Dumb Fest was fantastic, closing out the set.
St. Louis band Animal Teeth played a couple hours later in the day, and their Dead Kennedy’s-esque style really felt like a nice change-of-pace to the largely hardcore punk lineup. Their “Punk 101” cover of “Creatures” by Adolescents was awesome despite it being a tad sloppy.
Just like they had done days before at a show at Thee Deathtower in Champaign, Bugg played a killer set full of their grungy-punk songs soaked with droney vocals. The trio from Bloomington, Ind. played their fuzzed-out set about halfway through the day, right when the rain started to come down on Springfield. Despite some amp trouble that their guitarist had at the end of one of their songs (which accidentally sounded like a very minimalist guitar solo in a neat way), the set sounded flawless.
The Bug thrives in chaos, which is exactly what their set was like. Don’t believe me? Just watch the video below. Caution though, the audio is loud and somewhat unintelligible, but you get the point.
Cal & the Calories
Cal & the Calories is always a joy to watch, thanks in large part to the charisma of their front man, Cal (a.k.a. Martin Meyer). Cracking jokes throughout the set, Meyer actually played with a foot injury, but that didn’t stop him from putting on a fun performance full of the band’s goofy punk rock songs (emphasis on the rock more than anything in that phrase).
Benny the Jet Rodriguez
Switching gears from the mostly frantic sets that we had witnessed up to that point, Benny the Jet Rodriguez clamed us down a little with their set full of modestly-paced indie punk songs. The crowd really got a-swaying with their cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun,” which closed out the set.
The Kansas City trio Nubiles displayed a great deal of diversity during their set, as they threw together a mix of Husker Dü influenced riffs with their weirdo brand of punk. Their set almost came to an abrupt end when the bassist’s amp head fell off of his speaker cabinet, but luckily the amp survived the fall and allowed them to successfully finish out the show.
Big Zit played a truly insane and intense set that was full of stage dives and saw maybe the biggest, rowdiest pit of the entire day. Their amped-up, fast punk sent the fest into a craze.
Tenement is just one of those bands that seem to effortlessly put out hit after hit with some of the catchiest riffs that can be written in pop punk. The band played a number of songs off of their new album Predatory Headlights, which was released earlier this month and has already been reviewed by an impressive amount of outlets across the country. The always energetic set Tenement is known for really helped tie in the events of the day together as the fest neared its conclusion.
For the last three years, Dumb Fest has been a fantastic display of DIY ethics that generates into a successful and enjoyable music experience for all of those who attend it. And there’s no rest for the people at Black Sheep, either. Just two days after Dumb Fest 3D concluded, they announced the lineup for their eighth annual Black Sheep Fest happening on Saturday, July 25.