Since I had only heard of 3 of the bands in this 18-piece lineup, I was excited to discover some new great local bands. I figured most of the bands would be in the punk rock style, but man this show was punk af!
I arrived to quite a scene upstairs at the Echo, just as noisy indie-rock outfit Super Lunch were playing to rowdy crowd. It grew clear that I was in for a noisy and rowdy night. I went downstairs to catch So Many Wizards, which was one of my favorite sets of the day. They danced along to their catchy indie-rock tunes, and shared some new songs from their upcoming sophomore album, Heavy Vision.
The Lovely Bad Things took the Echoplex stage next and really made a statement with raucous garage rock as the first of many female-fronted acts I would be blown away by that night. I stuck around the Echoplex stage for dream-pop band, Winter, and reveled in the musicality and softness that came through.
I slipped upstairs for some French Vanilla and stood captivated for a moment with the garage-pop plus saxophone trio then headed back downstairs to catch Meat Market, who half-attempted to don their own sign up on the Echoplex stage. They played garage rock with a fury, to the point that the guitarist broke his strings. They were imperfect, but real and raw.
Meanwhile upstairs, Jurassic Shark drummed up the most boisterous crowd I would witness that night. In thissmall space, people shoved each other, crowd surfed constantly, and maybe even got kicked in the face. The band, who describes themselves on Facebook as “post-Voldemort,” seemed to have quite a following, as many audience members knew the lyrics of their post-punk surf-rock tunes.
I opted to get some food during Guantanamo Baywatch‘s set, figuring I’d gather some sustenance before grooving to their surf-punk sounds. They were quite a spectacle of age and colorful outfits, as most the bands appeared to be on the younger side.
It was at this time that I would bounce back and forth from the stages more frequently, catching parts of death metal group, Death Hymn Number 9, Wild Wing, and punk group No Parents, but I stuck around for Walter‘s intimate show and was glad that I did. This group features members from Ducktails, Meatbodies, and SadGirl. Lead guitarist and singer Patrick gave us a sense of his humor with statements like, “we’re the kind of crowd that likes to be in bed by 11:00 watching Frasier on Apple TV alone,” referring to the early end-time of the show. And my favorite, “downstairs there’s No Parents and upstairs it’s just dads,” referring to No Parents’ simultaneous performance at the Echoplex Stage. He closed with “I hope you like guitar…” and proceeded to shred for about 10 minutes while everyone stood open-mouthed.
I rubbed my ears a bit, pretty sure that they would not function the same ever again, and prepared myself for the last couple bands of the night, Mike Watt and the Missing Men, and Cherry Glazerr.
Mike Watt and the Missing Men brought a visual artist on stage with them, and she painted darkly to the sounds she was experiencing. These legendary punk rockers gained much admiration and respect from the crowd.
Cherry Glazerr closed the night, playing her more popular tracks like “Trick-or-treat Dance floor” but also displayed her powerhouse of an act as the front woman for this lo-fi garage rock group. Front woman Clementine Creevy looks delicate, but her voice and ability to shred on the guitar will quickly change your mind. Their set ran the gamut from delicate to raging, and even included a Nirvana cover. It was an enlivening performance to end the evening, making them a great choice to headline a local festival like this.
All in all, Dirty Penni Fest was one rowdy success and an immense value as local acts were placed into the forefront and given their time to shine bright like a (dirty) penni.