Don’t Panic Fest
Friday and Saturday in Denver ended up being a bit more exciting than usual – it was the first of a new locally bred fest, called Don’t Panic Fest. Made up of mostly local bands, and a few out-of-town headliners, the festival took place between 3 venues over two days. Basically, almost everyone in town that checks these kinds of things out came down to South Broadway for the event.
The first night, Friday, featured 16 bands across the three venues: Flight Kamikaze, The Larimers, Muscle Beach, and Screwtape at Mutiny Information Cafe; The Swindlin Hearts, Jack’s Smirking Revenge, Erin Cookman, Kyle “GB” Oppold, Off With Their Heads Acoustic, and Ray Rocket at Hi-Dive; and The Blackeyed Saints, Cheap Perfume, Shiii Whaaa, Black Dots, Lawsuit Models, and PEGBOY at 3 Kings Tavern. As is natural with any fest of any kind, I was unable to catch each band’s set, but I certainly did my best to make my rounds. The only two acts that I had never seen before were The Swindlin Hearts and Erin Cookman, both of whom I enjoyed quite a lot. This was also The Larimer’s first show with their new bassist/singer, Austin, and the full shelves of books at Mutiny always make a comforting backdrop to a punk show. PEGBOY sold out the bar, and the crowd went wild the whole time. There was definitely a lot of engird during the show, and it seemed like everyone had a great time at the first night of Don’t Panic Fest.
Saturday night proved to be just as enjoyable as Friday (didn’t hurt that I got an awesome meal right before the festivities began). There were 17 bands playing Saturday: All Waffle Trick, The Sleights, The Windermeres, Line Brawl, and Allout Helter at Mutiny; Sophisticated Boom Boom, Pueblo Escobar, The Ghoulies, Poison Rites, Dirty Few, and Mean Jeans at Hi-Dive; and Cunnilingus, Major Sports, The Raging Nathans, Nobodys, Spells, and Off With Their Heads at 3 Kings Tavern. Once again I made the rounds and caught All Waffle Trick, The Sleights, and Spells, all of whom I had never heard, so that was pretty cool. Spells definitely was an awesome set; they played on the floor in front of the stage, so a lot of people (including yours truly) watched from the stage. I also appreciated that they wore matching outfits. Allout Helter at Mutiny was definitely an interesting experience, since I’ve seen them on so many different stages, and being in the back of a book/record/comic/coffee shop (yes, it is the best place on earth) was definitely a change for a band that usually “thrashes,” as the kids call it. Off With Their Heads closed out the festival with a great set – one of the best of the many, many OWTH sets I’ve seen – with tons of energy and crowd participation. It was also Kyle Manning’s first show drumming with the band, and he most certainly did not disappoint. His hair was also quite majestic.
I think that Don’t Panic Fest was certainly a great weekend and a fun experience. Everyone I talked to had a great time that weekend, and hopefully everyone checked out a band or two they’d never seen before!
Day 1 Galleries
*** Jackie Wilding ***
*** Patrick Houdek ***
Day 2 Galleries
**** Jackie Wilding ***
**** Patrick Houdek ***