total fest-related thoughts and recap sorta

August 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

***First: Quick announcement that Drag the River is one of the best country-punk bands ever who rarely tours through Montana, and they play Monk’s tonight, and people who like metal can probably do that and then go to the metal show at the VFW.***

Hey everybody. Coming down from the wild, sweaty, beer-choogling section of space and time that is Total Fest.

I’m barely coherent at this point (just ask my roommate, who made the mistake of knocking on my door a couple hours ago, to which I answered, “I’M FUCKING NAPPING”) so here’s some bulleted points for your easily digestible pleasure. There were many other astoundingly hilarious events, too many to catalog. Here’s some that come to mind.

  • It was immensely cool to be part of the Total Fest committee. So cool that I was daunted to be part of it, agreed to do way more than I actually had time for, felt really guilty all the time, and probably made a lot of terrible awkward jokes because I don’t know how to not be awkward. Also, it is nearly a year-round goddamn job for a lot of people to put on Total Fest. I spent plenty of time on it, but it’s a drop in a sweaty ocean compared to how much work the head honchos like Josh and Kari put in. Someone was telling me yesterday that Red Ants Pants, a nonprofit Americana festival, has three paid employees. Total Fest is pulled off with, uh, zero paid employees.
  • So if I ever, theoretically, had whined a wee bit about volunteering, somebody should have mentioned that I would get a free T-shirt and be allowed to boss around punk bands. Instantly made it all totally (ha!) worth it.
  • Vile Blue Shades were excellent, though the crowd for that wasn’t very big, since young’uns these days do not know of the wonder and glory that is VBS. More bands need gogo dancers, dammit.
  • Some very cute, polite young guys showed up on Friday while I was working the door. I very briefly assumed they were local high school students. Then they said they were Media Blitz, the insanely rad OC hardcore band, and I got really excited. They played an ferocious set, all Los Crudos-speed hardcore with occasional bursts of insane metal soloing, and then got off stage and resumed being polite. Seeing them again six hours later at the warehouse afterparty was also delightful, though I do not very distinctly remember that set.
  • On Saturday night, I bought PBRs for the Helms Alee gals, and yell-talked about how they’re an inspiration and I love seeing women play awesome metal, right before I jumped in front for Red Fang and rawked out arm-in-arm with a bunch of rad chicks and dudes. It was so sweaty. It was like moshing in a sweat slip-in-slide with eels. Eels with some sharp elbows.
  • Also by Saturday, I was really starting to flag, despite my best attempts at hydrating and caffeinating. Sure, I could’ve gone to bed, but dammit, everything just gets more fun the later it happens in the evening. The trick is to stay moving, stay dancing and keep drinking. Every time I started to get tired, I would crack another beer. And that, friends, is how I wound up thrashing around to Hundred Visions at the Hammer Haus afterparty. And it was kind of a blessing that the cops showed up at 4 AM, because I was at the point where I couldn’t stop until somebody made me.

It’s funny ’cause, as I get older, I find myself getting too tired for punk rock shenanigans. I got surgery on my deaf ear in February, and had to actually deal with my physical limits for the first time in my life when I tried to watch Fucked Up at Endofthon but was too exhausted and sick and realized I should not be headbanging with a brand-new prosthesis in my ear.

Since then, I’ve noticed that I’ve had to take it easy at shows, which is really goddamn depressing. Chugging beer, jumping into a crazy pit and shaking my butt around is basically my favorite thing ever; but I can’t do it as much these days without waking up feeling like a pile of garbage.

But for this, the twelfth annual Total Fest, I raged it up and danced hard and stayed out til 4 AM three nights in a row, and I am goddamn happy about it. I’m getting older! But I’m going to enjoy the hell out of stuff as much as I can! Thanks for being awesome, Missoula. This town is still so magical to me.

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