Hi, I’m Jamie and I just spent 11 days on the road with a bunch of SideOneDummy friends and family, ASK ME ANYTHING!
JK – you don’t have to ask because guess what? Yep. Road blog time. I’m going to walk you guys through all the cool stuff our bands were up to over the past couple weeks and it’s going to be great. We’re all gonna have a heck of a time and you’re gonna wish you were there. Maybe this will even convince you to go check out some of our bands next time they play your hometown. That would be so cool!
THE FEST – October 31 to November 2
The way I think about The Fest is the way some people probably feel about seeing their long distance boyfriend/girlfriend after spending months apart. It’s like one giant, weekend-long running jump hug. Not only do you get the chance to see basically every band you’ve ever liked and ever will like BUT you get to see loads of friends. Friends are cool, right? Right.
This year, S1D was blessed to have not one… not two… not three… (yes I’ll keep this going)… not four… BUT FIVE! Five bands playing The Fest this year. Woo! It was a whirlwind but I’m gonna walk you through each and every miraculous set from our bands.
First up was PUP and man, did they set the bar HIGH! First off, it was Halloween so obviously our little pranksters came out dressed as hot dogs and ketchup and other adorable condiments. They ripped through their first song and then surprise! They removed their costumes to reveal they were all dressed up at Starbucks employees under the condiment costumes. SO CREATIVE, I CAN’T HANDLE IT. Apparently they stole the uniforms a few days earlier so that’s cool too. Such rebels.
ANYWAY – they played a great set and believe it or not, it was their first time at Fest. I think we’ve all (S1D + fans alike) been hyping PUP up on what Fest is like but they had no idea until they actually played. It’s safe to say that PUP will probably be coming back to Fest in the future *THANK GOD* !
The morning after the first night at Fest is always something… special. Once we ate enough greasy pizza to feed an army, it was time for more bands. We saw a lot of cool new stuff but what we were REALLY looking forward to was our boy Chuck Ragan and The Camaraderie later that night.
BUT WAIT – before we could get our Americana hearts beating, we were all treated to aSECRET SET from Fest champions PUP! They played to a packed High Dive sometime early Saturday and if it’s even possible, they were even better than they were the night before. Ku-dos, PUP. Kudos.
(photo by Kara Smarsh)
Alright, back on track. Undoubtedly, Chuck and the gang completely packed out The Wooly for their late night set on Saturday. Even we had trouble getting into the venue!! Great problem to have, right? Anyway, we eventually got inside and as always, had our hearts ripped out of our chests to Chuck’s flawless set. It was a pleasure to watch him play songs off his new album Till Midnight to a room of fans singing along!
Sunday morning. Okay. Let’s do this.
Got some bad news that our Aussie brothers The Smith Street Band wouldn’t be able to perform that night due to a personal emergency. Our hearts broke right alongside all Fest attendees but luckily we got to hang with a bunch of the guys throughout the weekend and that certainly helped.
So then Sunday belonged to Restorations and our newest family member, Jeff Rosenstock! Not a bad combo if you ask us.
Restorations played to an overpacked 8 Seconds, one of the bigger venues at Fest. Sure, the light guy wouldn’t stop flashing strobes in Jon Loudon’s face after he repeatedly asked them to stop but it didn’t matter – Restorations freaking ruled that night. It was amazing to see kids standing all the way in the back of the room singing along to tracks from their new album LP3 and just as cool to see kids freaking out in front, too. The album really comes to live in front of a crowd and we’re so stoked people are getting into it.
(photo by Kara Smarsh)
Later that night, it was Jeff Rosenstock‘s turn. He had the enormous task of closing out Fest for us at S1D and don’t worry – he delivered! Jeff’s live shows always feel like more of a party than an actual performance and this set was no different. It was rad to see people singing along to his newest single “Hey Allison!” – in fact, we had to get a little rad and dance around to that one, too!
(photo by Kara Smarsh)
One really touching moment during Jeff’s set happened when the remaining members of The Smith Street Band jumped onstage and performed “Young Drunk” with Jeff and Craig from The Bennies doing guest vocals. Since TSSB couldn’t play Fest, it was really special to hear them do one of their more popular songs and see kids who were there to see Jeff singing along with all of their hearts. I was right up front and thought I was gonna pass out from excitement!
(photo by Kara Smarsh)
And just like that, Fest was over as fast as it began. The wait for Fest weekend is always the longest and most grueling thing ever but once it gets here, you remember what it is you’ve been waiting all year for. The friendships, the fun, the music… it’s seriously the best weekend all year and we’re so stoked we got to spend that weekend with some of our bands. Awwww. Mushy.
HEY JAMIE, HERE’S A BRILLIANT IDEA.
WHY DON’T YOU GO TO NYC RIGHT AFTER THE FEST?
Because I like to suffer, I went straight from Fest to NYC for a week of meetings and hanging in the city. As rough as it was to recover from such a loaded weekend with our bands, it was really cool to be in NYC because I still got to see tons of friends and work buddies that I don’t get to see that often.
Our co-owner Joe Sib also joined me in NYC and he ended up doing a bunch of comedy gigs throughout the week. I saw him on Tuesday with Todd Barry (!!) and then again on Thursday for his NATIONAL TELEVISION DEBUT on AXS Comedy Live! We’ll have a clip from that to share with you guys very soon…
Here’s a pic from the show taken by Mitchell Wojcik:
Friday November 7 – Storytellers + PUP
Last Friday, we hosted the FIRST EVER SideOneDummy Storytellers show in NYC! We’ve been doing the show here in LA since January so it was really exciting to bring it to a new city with great acts like Kyle Kinane, Greg Behrendt, Jesse Malin and Janeane Garofalo! Wait… did I mention that the show was SOLD OUT?!?!??! 🙂 🙂
(photos by The Laugh Button)
After Storytellers, we hustled over to Mercury Lounge where PUP was playing later that night. Man, what a whirlwind year this band has had. The first time I saw them, they played in a gross church basement that smelled like fertilizer (which smells like… nvm) to about 30 people. It was rad, don’t get me wrong, but it was nothing compared to theirFIRST EVER SOLD OUT SHOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!! Yep, that’s right, NYC. You did it. We did it. PUP sold out Mercury Lounge on Friday, marking their first sold out show in the states. Such a rad night…
(photo credit: Jess “Jeff” Flynn)
Saturday November 8 – Restorations and Joe Sib
Since The Smith Street Band had to head back to AUS, they weren’t able to hit the road with Restorations after Fest. In what might’ve been the biggest stroke of genius anyone has ever had, Restorations invited our co-owner, Joe Sib, to do a comedy set before they played at Mercury Lounge. No opening bands – just a funny guy with a microphone. And you know what? It worked!! Joe had the crowd cracking up from beginning to end with a roar of applause after almost every joke.
(photo by Punknews)
After Joe finished up, no surprise but Restorations took the stage and ripped it apart. Heads were banging left and right while the dudes played a killer 40+ minute set filled with new and old material. Again, LP3 is a great record but it really comes to life when you see it live. It was amazing to see a nearly sold out room at Mercury Lounge screaming along to “Separate Songs” with Jon… imagine that focus in real life! imagine going outside! imagine not waiting for something to come along!
(photo by Mitchell Wojcik)
And just like that, my whirlwind week was over. It was long and exhausting and I felt like I was gone for 15 years but you know what? I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I had an absolute blast getting to watch our bands tear it up on multiple stages in different states and see my boss bring people to tears with his comedy sets. Meeting fans, making new friends, catching up with old ones, singing along with strangers… is there anything better?
The answer is no.