We're no longer hip enough to booze from 6:00 pm - 2:00 am, but we held our own during a three-hour block of LFK's first annual Lawrence Field Day Fest last night at the Bottleneck. While the venue was never as packed as it should have been, a respectable number of scenesters showed up for the first night to kick around beach balls, get their souls caricatured by Astrokitty's Joel, and--primarily--to listen to a bunch of bands.
First we caught a set of Radar Defender's nerd-rock. The band provided one of the evening's most adorable moments as they exhorted the crowd to hold hands during "a song about buddies." (the crowd did not hold hands).
Panda Circus, winner of the most recent Farmer's Ball, played a fun set that oscillated between twee keyboard-centered tunes about videogames and guitar-centric rockers, including an "epic" reading of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" as the set- closer.
Panda Circus (with panda):
And the ACBs played a set of shimmering, summer-friendly pop songs with falsetto vocals so lovely that even the chattering scenesters (mostly) shut up and listened. Go to their Bandcamp page and listen to "Italian Girls" and then play it over and over in your car while driving around in this fucking heat wave today.
Round 2 of the Field Day Fest kicks off today at 4:00 with Sextapes (read our interview with Sextapes' Rob over here).
Other likely highlights today: the hijinks of Robocopter (7:20), the doo-wop party of Dean Monkey and the Dropouts (8:00-8:30), newcomers to the scene Doubleplus (10:00, get the scoop from I Heart Local Music), the dangerously loud but probably awesome Major Games (11:35), and the sure-to-be-amazing festival-closing set by Approach (12:30).
And we also asked our Twitter-buddies in Black on Black to send us a fun blurb about why our readers should arrive early and check out their 4:40 set this afternoon. They sent us this terrific little assessment of the Festival and the local scene. Thanks, Black on Black!
"In our opinion, the "Lawrence Field Day Fest" might as well be called the "Anti-Apathy Fest". A story about the LFDF was posted on the local website Lawrence.com and within minutes someone had posted that the fest looked boring because it was featuring a bunch of bands that will go nowhere unless they get out of Lawrence. That sentiment--that fucking negative, apathetic, lazy bullshit--is the reason why our scene struggles right now. What if you don't want to "make it"? What if your goals as a band are #1 Fun, #2 Sweat, #3 Booze? What if all you want to do is make memories with your friends and celebrate being alive? The people who are at the back of the club tweeting out hate should understand that we aren't playing for you. We're writing the soundtrack to the death of apathy and we want everyone to tip their fucking bartenders and sing along. #LFK "
Chip: "I'd rank 'booze' higher than 'fun,' and I don't care for the smell of scenester-sweat, but otherwise I think their assessment is spot-on."