Saturday, September 30, 2017

Gonerfest 14: Friday

Posted By on Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 2:24 PM

Gonerfest Friday went all day and night.

Thunderroads take the Gonerfest leap.
  • Thunderroads take the Gonerfest leap.
For a second day, the weather gods smiled on the afternoon show. This one, at Memphis Made Brewery, featured a truly international cast, with Magic Factory from New Zealand being the farthest afield.

The Memphis band Model Zero made something of a debut with a groovy, hybrid drum machine and live drummer setup.
click to enlarge Model Zero
  • Model Zero
The atmosphere was friendly, with some kids running around and old friends reconnecting. Allison Green, a New Orleans photographer, has been covering Gonerfest for four years. “It’s my friend’s bachelorette party, so I’m taking it a little easy. I love shooting candids at the day shows more than anything.”

She says Gonerfest has been one of her favorite events to photograph. “Visually, Ty Segall’s set he did a couple of years ago was brilliant. He knows how to put on a show.” she recalled. "Hank Wood and the Hammerheads blew me away. They had two different drummers, and it was the best I’ve ever seen that done. There were tribal undertones, with traditional drums on top, and it was amazing."

The highlight of her Gonerfest so far was Thursday night's Sweet Knives performance. "I love Alicja Trout. I was a huge fan of the Lost Sounds. My buddy Rob and I were working in the darkroom—we went to college together—and he said, ‘You need to come to this show with me!’ That was my introduction to the Memphis scene in Chicago. It was 2004, probably? That’s when I saw the Lost Sounds. Alicja’s just the nicest human being in the world. I adore her. It’s very nostalgic for me.”

click to enlarge Kyle Johnson and Alyssa Moore keep Gonerfest sounding good.
  • Kyle Johnson and Alyssa Moore keep Gonerfest sounding good.

Memphis bassist Jeremy Scott said it's important to pace yourself during these long day/night show combos. “I love the outdoor shows at Murphy’s. Blood Bags, out of New Zealand, played last night, but they first played last year, and I saw people in the room with their jaws dropped. They were just that freakin’ good. Heavy, no bullshit, straightforward rock.”

He has played Gonerfest four times, but last year's Reigning Sound reunion was his favorite. I don’t think we knew we were going to do it ever again, so to have that go off as well as it did was a lot of fun.”

click to enlarge I didn't get pictures of anyone I talked to, so here are a couple of random guys.
  • I didn't get pictures of anyone I talked to, so here are a couple of random guys.

Thunderroads, a Japanese band, closed out the after with a spectacularly athletic set that ended with  Masahuru, brother of Seiji from Gonerfest favorites Guitar Wolf, leaping from the landscaping.

click to enlarge Masahuru of Thunderroads
  • Masahuru of Thunderroads
Friday night at the Hi Tone started off with Frantic Stuffs from Osaka, Japan playing a charming, English-challenged set. Outside, Goner Records founder Eric Friedl was happy with the way things were going. “The first band is killing it, and it’s as full as it was last night already.”

Finding bands to fill out the weekend is a year-round job, he says. "There are a range of bands you would like to get. Then some people approach us and say, we’ll build a tour to get there, or we’re going to be on tour, it would be great if we could play. Then other people we ask. It’s kind of a random mix. We don’t have enough money to say, ‘We want you. We’re going to fly you in and put you up.’ So it has to be a collaboration between the bands and us. That’s why it works, I think. People really want to be here. People like Mudhoney, Cosmic Psychos—these bands could make more money other places, but they want to be here.”

In the crowded Hi Tone, San Fransciso's Peacers delivered noisy power pop seeped in Big Star harmonies and Husker Du noise meltdowns.

Foster Care from New York City blew the roof off with rude, old school hardcore. When the crowd started to throw beer cans onto the stage (a sign that things are going well at Gonerfest) Foster Care's bassist upped the ante by emptying out the contents of a trash can onto the audience, then wearing the trash can while he played.

click to enlarge Foster Care, with trash can.
  • Foster Care, with trash can.

The set ended with a punk puppy pile.

click to enlarge Foster Care gets intimate with the fans.
  • Foster Care gets intimate with the fans.
Lindsey, a Memphian attending her fourth Gonerfest, was there for one band. "Nots are my favorite!"

Nots had their coming out party at Gonerfest a few years ago, and now they're a staple of the festival. This year, fresh off the road, they did not disappoint, putting forward some new, synthesizer heavy songs, mixed with guitar-led screamers.

Tyvek, another veteran Gonerfest band, rose to the challenge the Nots laid down. pushed and swayed.

click to enlarge Tyvek
  • Tyvek
Sydney, Australia punks feedtime's drummer was rejected for his visa, so the band played their headlining set with Anthony from San Francisco's Leather Uppers sitting in. At that point, the Hi Tone main room was so packed I couldn't make it in the door. I paused for a moment to talk to Elise from Salt Lake City, Utah. “I’ve been to Memphis, but this is my first Gonerfest," she said. "It’s fucking awesome. I like everything about Memphis—the culture, the people, the music.”

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