A Wilhelm Scream
– As good as this band is on the record, which is pretty damn good considering they've yet to make a weak album, they’re even better live. They may not be playing Mute Print
in its entirety like they did during last year’s Fest (hell, maybe they’ll do it again, who really knows?), but they'll be sure to make their set a memorable one.
– Those who weren't sure about Banner Pilot's greatness were probably silenced in their doubts by 2011's excellent Heart Beats Pacific
. One of the best punk releases of the year, the album showed the Midwesterners' tendency to make superbly relatable songs that are easy as hell to sing along to. I missed Banner Pilot at last year's Fest despite the band playing multiple sets, so they're on my "can't-miss" list this year, and I suggest you put them on yours as well.
Bomb the Music Industry!
– It seems as though BTMI! will be taking a break
pretty soon, and no one's really sure how long that break will last, so you should probably make a point of seeing Jeff Rosenstock do his thing while you still can. There's no better place to do that than at The Fest.
– It's been a while since Good Views, Bad News
, which was one of the most overlooked pop-punk releases of the last few years, but Broadway Calls is getting back on the horse by releasing a split with Mixtapes via No Sleep Records. Their part of the split is incredible, reaffirming the style and talent we heard on Bad News
, and this is going to be a band you're going to want to pay close attention to over the next few years.
– Farm-boy punk-rock
, or whatever, right? Carpenter played my favorite set of Fest 9, and I'm happy to see them on the lineup for Fest 11. Rowdy, beer-infused and loud...this band was born to play the last weekend of October in Gainesville.
– Watching Gainesville-based bands at The Fest is truly a give-and-take when you actually live in Gainesville. Although I've seen Dikembe quite a few times, I won't dare miss them if I can see them. They're associated with these twinkly bands, but honestly the group just plays a highly interactive brand of emo-punk, or something, and the final word is that you really should listen to the Chicago Bowls
EP and Broad Shoulders
if you haven't yet. You might be missing out on one of 2012's very best breakout bands.
– If you don't already follow Derek Perry on Twitter
, go ahead and do so before you keep reading. The Fake Problems bassist brings the laughs online, but on stage, the band is a force to be reckoned with. I've only seen them once, when they opened for The Gaslight Anthem a couple years ago, but I plan on changing that this Fest.
– The Fest 9 was the first full Fest I ever experienced, and I was lucky enough to watch Frank Turner close out the weekend. After playing his hour-long set, Turner led the crowd to the 8 Seconds parking lot to play some older tunes and Blink-182 covers until police officers broke up the scene. He's playing last on Sunday again, and really I can't imagine there's a better act to close out the best weekend of the year.
The Front Bottoms
– Watching The Front Bottoms open for Brand New at the Stone Pony in New Jersey earlier this year really transformed my liking of this band's debut EP into a minor infatuation. The melodies are insanely catchy, there's an unlimited amount of replay value, and it's really easy to yell out the lyrics when you watch them live.
– The band's new LP, Just Married
, is definitely the best release from this whole twinkle movement in 2012. Considering Glocca Morra's songs sound raw and intense on the album, I can only imagine what we're in store for when we watch this band perform live.
Into It. Over It.
/ Stay Ahead of The Weather
– Evan Thomas Weiss picked a great time to answer the calls for a full-band Into It. Over It. tour, by leading it down to Fest. The 50-minute IIOI set is only more anticipated because of the half-hour Stay Ahead of The Weather set that directly precedes it. That's a lot to handle on the first night of the weekend.
– Half of the punk bands we love stem directly from Latterman, so it's a no-brainer to catch these guys live when they close the Stereo on Sunday night. If you're not at Frank Turner, you better be here.
Make Do and Mend
– I can't say enough about this band - and that's because I've already said a lot about them. They managed to top End Measured Mile
with Everything You Ever Loved
, something I didn't think could even be a possibility. I've seen them live probably almost a dozen times now, and their set leaves an impression each time. I wouldn't miss them.
– On The Impossible Past remains a strong contender for my album of the year, and again, this is just one of those bands that you have
to watch at The Fest. Gainesville treated them well when they played here earlier this year, but that's nothing compared to how the Fest crowd will go off for them.
– The best part of The Fest is watching bands you don't know play in between the bands you do know. In case you haven't noticed, the lineup is killer, so it's safe to assume that most every band on the bill is worth your while. Borrowed Time
is one of the catchiest punk rock records to come out in 2011, so it'll be easy for Nothington to turn the heads of those passersby who randomly see them.
– It's too late to call Pentimento a breakout group in 2012, but their debut self-titled LP is sure to bring in some hype. So I'll just go ahead and make the call that Pentimento will be one of 2013's breakout bands, which means you better get on the bandwagon and see them now before they explode.
– As if there weren't enough can't-miss bands this year, Tony Weinbender went out and got Propagandhi on the bill. It's almost a public service to have a band like this play The Fest. Already stacked with an incredible lineup all weekend, this is a group that just puts the icing on the cake. The only people who won't be watching them are the ones who won't be able to get into the sure-to-be-packed Florida Theater.
Red City Radio
– Essentially my favorite punk band at the moment, and one of the best bands I've had the opportunity to work with, Red City Radio is going to find a way to make sure you don't forget their set. And if you're not there, the Oklahomans are going to find a way to make you regret that. Last year, I watched a couple get engaged on the stage during their set. This year's big bang remains to be seen.
– While Ups and Downsizing
remains one of my favorite pop-punk releases of the last five years or so, The Swellers have really struck gold on their new EP, Running Out of Places To Go
. The five-song release is the perfect middle ground between Ups and Downsizing
and the group's slightly more disappointing follow-up, Good For Me, with the bottom line being that this band is getting better and better. They won't be out of sight for a while.
– I mean, fuck yes. I've been waiting a long time to see these New Jerseyans finally play live, so just leave it to Tony Weinbender to bring them right to Gainesville for The Fest. The Monitor
is one of the best albums to come out since the turn of the decade, and with another new album dropping later this year, now's as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with Titus Andronicus if you've been procrastinating.
You Blew It!
– Another one of the stronger twinkly bands to rise out of the crop, You Blew It! turned me into a believer when I saw them first rock a Gainesville house show then rock a big stage opening for Less Than Jake in Orlando. While they're definitely more accustomed to playing on living room floors, this band will have to start learning the ins and outs of bigger venues as they continue to gain popularity.