Lemuria – 8 Seconds, Gainesville

By Tom Aylott


Depending on the way (or time) that you ended the Friday night, Saturday can sometimes have a painful start at Fest, even for those who choose to remain sober for the weekend. Alas, knowing that the complimentary breakfast in the hotel ended at 10am I endeavoured to rise as early as I could. At previous Fests I had stayed out of town in the Paramount Plaza (one of the “official fest” hotels, that although nice, is quite low key), this year I was lucky enough to be staying in the Hampton Inn with a large group of friends and so breakfast was a good time for us all to be in one place to discuss our movements for the next 2 days.

The first band I had down to see was ARMALITE in 8 Seconds, a Fest regular and in some ways a Philadelphian “supergroup” (Dan Yemin of Paint it Black and Adam of Atom and his Package play bass and guitar respectively). Being an avid fan of Atom and His Package they always make my “to see list” and I was excited to see they have finally got round to releasing a new EP. They played a few songs off the new release as well as the stand out tracks of their previous album, though due to not being a “full time band” there was the odd occasion where their performance suffered and at one point they stopped and restarted a song. Still, if you were there to see Armalite you were more than likely “in on the joke” and aware of how little they play live.

Next up was PAUL BARIBEAU, also in 8 Seconds. Paul is a quiet, straight edge dude who is known for his stripped back, incredibly personal acoustic songs. At Fest he is always quite hard to see, normally being in one of the mid sized venues that fills up quickly. Last year I had missed his set so I was determined to see him this year. Walking quietly onto the stage with his guitar he started quickly with the song ‘Tablecloth’, banging out a beat on the side of his guitar to accompany his vocals. In general, his set was fairly upbeat compared when I had seen him previously and his choice of songs were the more emotionally cutting of his repertoire – this time he kept things anthemic and uplifting, choosing to finish on the crowd pleaser ‘Ten Things’.

The 17 year old part of my brain saw that A WILHELM SCREAM were playing ‘Mute Print’ in its entirety and thus marched me over to The Double Down Live, but not before stopping at 5 Star Pizza for a quick slice. I navigated the well packed venue to find a space with a good view and adequate room for thrusting my fist up in the air to sing along. As is to be expected from a band so consistently tight as A Wilhelm Scream, the set was awesome, though I was a little sad to hear how apparently equally awesome Iron Chic (right) had been (who had played at the same time across the road).

After a little breather I headed over to The Atlantic to see GREAT CYNICS play. I confess I had spent the last week touring down to Fest with Great Cynics so my review is slightly skewed, but from the amount of people singing along and stage diving I could tell everyone was having as good a time as I was. In a pang of national pride, it was nice to see a British band playing a good venue in a prime slot at Fest, and by all accounts they proved that they had earned it with their great set.

My final two bands of the day were GOOD LUCK and LEMURIA, both in 8 Seconds. Once again I felt the sound of the venue marred my opinion of the sets. Maybe I’m too short, maybe I was standing in the wrong place, maybe I’m deaf, but the fact is the vocals were still lost in the mix. That’s not to say the bands weren’t giving it their all – Good Luck played a few new ones from recent album ‘Without Hesitation’, a few of which remind me of the kind of songs I wished Pinkerton era Rivers Cuomo wrote more of, and I can see the new aterial really growing on me.

The previous times I have seen Lemuria, they have opted vocally for Sheena leading the set of songs, but for this set there was more of a mix of male and female led songs. Though I was excited to hear some of my favourite tracks for the first time with Alex singing, his voice was deep and softly spoken enough to get lost in the mix. It was a little frustrating but ultimately fun, and once you were up front with the rest of the crowd the gaps in the vocals were filled by singing along.

I ended the Saturday on the second floor of the Hampton Inn with a large contingency of other Brits – Four Loko was drank, lift parties were had, the police were called. Standard.


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