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Our Road Trip To Krazyfest

By aaroncynic in Arts & Entertainment on May 27, 2011 4:00PM

Plenty of great hardcore and punk bands will pass through Chicago this summer. Against Me! plays the Metro soon with Lemuria, The Bouncing Souls will perform four nights at Reggies, By The Grace of God will hit the Bottom Lounge stage as part of The Rumble in June and Lucero will roll through town as part of the Vans Warped Tour in July. While we hope to make it to some, if not all of those shows, we headed all the way to down Louisville to see all those bands and dozens more at Krazyfest.

Krazyfest originally ran from 1998 to 2003 and always featured an incredible lineup of punk, hardcore and indie bands. When we heard earlier this year Louisville legend Andy Tinsley, one time manager of Endpoint, Snapcase and Chicago's own Rise Against and Alkaline Trio, decided to resurrect the three-day festival, we couldn't wait to pack our bags and head to Bourbon country. This year featured an impressive lineup of bands we've been listening to for years and plenty of bands we'd never heard that were worth checking out. The entire event took place in the parking lot and empty airport hanger of a flea market called Expo 5. The setup was perfect, with two different stages running on Friday, three on Saturday and Sunday, making it easy to head from one performance to the next.

Unfortunately, traffic on the way down kept us from seeing the first few bands on Friday, but we managed to roll into Expo 5 right as Bane began playing. They burned through an incredible set, covering all the classics we've come to expect and a few newer songs we've learned to love. Following Bane were Tigers Jaw, Chamberlin and Small Brown Bike who were all entertaining, but the real highlight of the night came when By The Grace of God took the stage and completely blew everyone away. Unfortunately, due to their van breaking down, Strike Anywhere had to cancel their set. But Against Me! Closed out Friday night, handpicking a great set that covered almost their whole catalog. We were pleasantly surprised to hear even two tracks from the Leaving Axl Rose album.

Saturday featured an incredible lineup of non-stop amazing bands, but the first act to really stand out and hit us square in the jaw was Defeater. This melodic Massachusetts five piece opened up with vocalist Derek playing the acoustic beauty “I Don’t Mind,” leading straight into a half hour of chord shredding and sing alongs. Technical difficulties didn’t even slow them down, when the mic cut out briefly the crowd picked up the vocals instantly, screaming along to every word. Other highlights included sets from 7 Seconds, who always take us back to the beginnings of our youth and Hot Water Music, who completely blew us away with a set that we don’t think we’ll see for another 5 years. Cave In closed out the evening at Expo 5, but a handful of acts, including a band called Dane that sounded suspiciously like Bane played a tiny gentleman’s club called “Fantasy Island.” From our estimation, nearly 200 people violated more than one fire code to pack in like sardines to see shorts sets from them along with a few other bands from the fest. The after fest shows also featured Mikey Erg and Mix Tapes playing acoustic sets at a hotel pool.

Sunday had a bit of a calmer vibe as things wound down, with the exception of Coalesce, who put on probably the most brutal and energetic set of the weekend. Immediately following, we were beyond excited to see New Jersey’s Ensign again, who’ve never disappointed. The Bouncing Souls took the stage as the sun slowly began set on Louisville, playing a fun set with all the hits, including a cover of Hybrid Moments. Samiam and Lucero rounded out the evening, ending Krazyfest on a much needed relaxing vibe.