Awesome Fest 11 Thursday Night Pre-Fest @ Soda Bar, San Diego

It was a long year and a half wait since Awesome Fest 10, as the organizers wisely decided to move the DIY punk and pop punk extravaganza from its early September date to mid February. The more diverse line-up plus scheduling at a time when most of the country is blanketed in snow and suffering the cold meant more people were excited at the prospect of a long weekend in sunny warm San Diego. Because of this the festival sold out for the first time since Awesome Fest 7. As is tradition, a pre-Fest show happened the night before the official opening, with some of the touring acts getting in extra sets and providing an opportunity to showcase some local San Diego bands. This year’s pre-Fest included sets from Chicago’s Typesetter, San Antonio, Texas’ Signalman, and locals Maniac!, Slaughter Boys, Ninja Night Race, and Santa Ana Knights. Rounding out the evening was “super group” Shallow Cuts, whose members reside in San Diego and Minneapolis, so live sets from them are infrequent.

By Paul Silver