Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor 3 (10/28/15-10/29/15, Ybor FL)Fuck Christmas, Fest really is the most wonderful time of the year. Friends past, present, and future gather in an unassuming Florida college town and rage non-stop for 3 days. My first Fest was last year, and while I had a lot of fun, I knew I could do better. That's why this year I decided to head to Tampa early and see what Pre-Fest was all about.
The following is an account of those first 2 days.
Kaylin, the sweetheart, was nice enough to get me to the airport at 5am so I could fly off and have fun without her, god bless her. So after traveling all day on an airplane and a quick cab ride to the hotel, I was checked in, registered and ready to party. I figured out where New World Brewery and hustled down the street to meet up with my party partner for the weekend Kendra, Denver friend Nik, and their crew of Australians who were already there. Guerilla Poubelle, a french band. were already playing. I was handed my first PBR and the weekend officially began. We watched a little of The Priceduifkes before heading across the street to a little bar that had these vodka cherry drinks that the Australians with us described as tasting like "Play-Doh." After a few of those we strolled on down to Tequila's for some food and more music. There I caught Too Many Daves, Hospital Job, Crusades, and eventually Mean Jeans while somewhere in between eating the grossest burrito I have ever had. It was a standard chicken burrito, but I didn't understand my decision when the lady asked me if I wanted Verde sauce or cheese on top. Apparently Tampa cheese has the consistency of marshmallow fluff and comes in a can. At some point I wandered down to The Orpheum to catch some of The Menzingers and buy their album On The Impossible Past on vinyl, but was called back to Tequila's because the homies Bad Cop/Bad Cop were there hanging out. After catching up with those lovely ladies and having a few hard ciders, it was back to the hotel for rest. I was lulled off to sleep by the sound of Nat Geo's investigation into transgendered people and Kendra reading me Kimberly Strubell Facebook statuses. #status
Look, I didn't take a lot of pictures the first day
I woke up semi-well rested and tangled up in my "sheep feather" blanket. I took the weirdest shit of my life, and headed down to the hotel lobby to see if they had a continental breakfast, I was craving a waffle. They did, but you needed some card they gave you which I didn't have. The lady was nice enough to let me make a waffle anyway, so I walked over to the waffle batter and immediately broke everything. Waffle goo started getting everywhere like a terrible sitcom until I shoved the plug thing back in. The nice lady came over, heavily sighed, told me to go wash my hands, and she would make me a waffle.
After eating my waffle of shame, Kendra and I headed out to go get freezy drinks at a local bar since we had a few hours to kill before the first band we wanted to see. The freezy drink bar is one of those places that has different drinks in what looks like an Icee machine that the bartender then adds more booze too. Well, me being the human garbage I am, decided on a "Suicide," or as they called it, a "tour bus," or as I called it, a "trash juice." It was surprisingly good! The flavors didn't melt into a mish-mash of indiscernible grossness, that or the 151 shot did its job. Whatever. We told each other tales of Pete Gainesville and his boss Bob Tampa until it was time to head back to Tequila's.
Back at Tequila's Kepi Ghoulie and Chris Farren played acoustic sets while I carried around a pumpkin we dubbed "Gourdey." I also finally got to do one of the "Why I Fest" pictures that I am looking forward to seeing. After that we made our way to an arcade bar we saw earlier to get in a few games of Skeeball since Kendra is a "professional Skeeballer" and needed to make sure she didn't get rusty. We won enough tickets to get a couple of kick-ass skull rings and some temporary tattoos and then it was back to watching music.
We once again made our way back to Tequila's to catch Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band, who was followed by the mighty PEARS. We left PEARS a little early to head back across town to New World Brewery to see Dead Bars, then I dipped back to The Orpheum for Banner Pilot. I was a little drunk at this point and bummed when I showed up at The Orpheum and saw a line, of course one of the bands I was dying to see would have a long ass line. Then I realized the doors didn't open until 6, and it was only 5:50. Idiot. The place was surprisingly empty when I got in, but filled up pretty decently by the time Banner Pilot started playing. I caught a couple of songs from Off With Their Heads before I headed back to the freezy bar to meet up with Kendra and get some food. I really wanted french fries, and when I saw they had bacon cheese fries, I started salivating. Unfortunately that gross ass marshmallow cheese reared its ugly fucking head again, and I was served this soggy mess that I still ended up eating most of, because garbage. Also, this guy started playing acoustic bar music, and took Kendra's request to play Matchbox 20's "3 A.M." He ruled.
That One Guy
Once I was filled up on mushy potatoes and canned cheese, it was time to once again head back to Tequila's and watch the awesome Canadian band The Creeps. I was pretty tired of criss-crossing the entire city of Ybor at this point, but I forced myself to do it one last time to head back to New World to watch Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I dilly dallied after their set because I was supposed to go and try to give Beach Slang a chance to win me over, but I really didn't want to, so I stayed at New World at watched Gatorface and Sharkanoid instead. Bad Cop was heading out to go get some pizza, so I went with them to redeem myself for that bullshit I ate earlier. Linh and A.J. wanted to go watch Lagwagon, which is always a good idea, so I followed them down to The Orpheum for the last band of Pre-Fest. At first Linh and I went up to the second floor to watch them, but A.J. walked backstage and got us back there, so I got to watch one of my favorite bands ever from the side stage. I also fixed the toilet in the green room because I'm a fucking nerd. After the show, we shot the shit in the parking lot for a little bit, and I got to fanboy out and ask Joey Cape for a picture. It was the perfect way to end Pre-Fest. Eventually I made my way back to the hotel to get some rest as the next day I had a 2 and a half hour bus ride to Gainesville, and 3 days left to be as much of a piece of shit as possible.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Tun in next time as I finish off the weekend at the greatest party known to man, The Fest 14.