This is the first of what will be several posts about Death To False Hope Fest II this week; some just photos, and hopefully if I manage to get it all transcribed, one full of short interviews with bands, videographers, wives, and punk fans. But this one, this one is just about my Saturday, and how great it was.
Death To False Hope Fest started last year as a party to celebrate five years of Scotty Sandwich’s DIY, digital only record label, Death To False Hope Records. Scotty does an amazing job of helping indie punk and hardcore bands release their music in a pay what you want scheme, and he deserved the hell out of an anniversary party. But if last year’s DTFH Fest was an anniversary party, this year’s felt more like a family reunion: a lineup full of bands that Scotty loves and is friends with, has released, bands that those bands have introduced him to, a whole network of broke punk bands on the road supporting each other in their quest to make music.
Unquestionably the musical highlight of the weekend for me was Arliss Nancy’s set; I have been waiting a long time to see them, since Ash introduced me to them via an EP released on, you guessed it, DTFH. I’ve missed them several times in the Triangle for various reasons, and I should have missed them this weekend, but a last minute cancellation led to them playing a beer and sunset fueled, sweaty and shouty set in the Garage, and I loved every. Single. Minute. of it. Arliss Nancy is one of the best up and coming cowpunk bands out there, sharp lyrics and great guitars and just enough twang, and I was thrilled to finally see them.
I dug every band I saw, I really did, and I am grateful to Scotty for introducing me to a whole bunch of bands I’d never heard of before, and probably wouldn’t have given a chance to otherwise. Every set I saw was fantastic, but after Arliss, the two bands that stood out most for me were Seattle’s Random Orbits, and New Jersey’s The Sky We Scrape, both of whom play melodically rattling punk with huge enthusiasm.
It was just one of those nights that felt lovely, sitting outside sweaty and eating quesadillas and ice cream, chugging water by the bottleful, making new friends, catching up with old ones, getting flashed by strangers and just laughing and laughing. Impromptu photoshoots in the parking lot. Comparing bruises with other photographers in the bathroom. Handing my card to an editor from Punk News. Flirting shamelessly with a bassist who looked just like Dustin Ackley. A great night.
So thank you, Scotty, for believing in your bands, and for throwing a great party, and for being a fucking fantastic human. I dig you hard.