Saturday, September 10, 2011

Total Fest X: In Your Rear View Mirror, Brah.
This is a long time coming; it took a few weeks to shake out the cobwebs, say goodbyes, and find all the stray shoes, bags and drummers. Total Fest X already seems so far away. The eight months of planning flew by and the three days of music lingered in a haze that dissipated in the flash of a river drenched Sunday. In a way, Total Fest marks the end of the summer, but it's never a longing for days gone by; rather, the Sunday after Total Fest is more of a "let your hair grow long" type of celebration.

What can we say? We said that it was coming. We're sure that we raised that flag. Were you ready? It seems like you were. 3 sultry summer days of DIY music with handful upon handful of familiar and new friends do things to a person's face. It stretches the ends of the mouth until it meets the ears. Laugh lines cement deeply into your face coupled, maybe, with some black under your eyes. A delirious, sleepless exuberance establishes a foothold as the days mercifully bleed into one another. The entire weekend is well oiled chaos that's a delight to behold.

Ten years! It's difficult to live up to an anniversary. All the anticipation can sometimes lead to disappointment. This year was far from disappointing. I can't do justice to each band's set so I'll just throw out some well-worn yet polished adjectives that I hope can sum up each night. Thursday night's kick-off established a telling tone for the weekend. The envelope was slightly pushed open. We looked at the cat. We made it to the end of space and stuck out our arms. More

space! Truly inspired sets helped initiate the Top Hat as one of this year's new venues. Special thanks to the Top Hat for helping to make this year's first night a smashing victory. Friday had all the promise of another spectacular evening. Awesome summer temperatures, great food and one helluva early show at Zoocity Apparel (the second addition to Total Fest X). The space lived up to our expectations. People packed in and the bands delivered. Impassioned from the get go, Friday's opening showcase set the perfect table for the Badlander / Palace. I'm not sure exactly when the Palace turned into a swamp, but sometime around 10 PM you could swim in the air. Saturday was no different. From the moment the doors opened, the Badlander / Palace complex buzzed with anticipation. Hammerhead! It's hard not to be excited for one of your favorite bands of all time, but holy shit did they deliver. This isn't to take away from any other band that played Total Fest. Each band brought it and kicked serious ass. There were so many gems that it's hard to pin down those moments where everything seemed to come together. Bad Naked's controversial set? Vaz's close-out? Shellshag? Unstoppable Death Machine's swimming and drumming? Dead's ass-solo? Gull!?!?! The Men! Helms Alee's shreddage? Big Business sweat machine or White Shit holding up the ceiling? Seriously, there is so much that's missing from this post that it hurts to think that some people missed this year. But, Hammerhead placed the perfect bow on a memorable weekend. Finely tuned and blistering, the closing set left a full year in its wake. Somehow it seems fitting that the slate is wiped clean. We have big ideas, plans and changes coming up for next year. So stay tuned and keep your eyes and ears pegged to the pavement.

There are so many people to thank.

Totalizers: Josh Vanek, Niki Vanek, Kari Nicole Workman, Lou Beard, Wendy Maltonic, Travis Jack Morss, Paul Hansbarger, Marty Hill, Greg Ragan, Erin Lambert Sipe, Josh Harteis, Julie Tompkins, Bryan Ramirez and Johnny Fink

Volunteers: Alex Key, Monte Sipe, Jonathon Richter, Derek Andrews, Greg Twigg, Jesi Noe, June West, Marcie Erving, Sarah Poole, Robyn Hegland, Scotty Moore, Marshall (BBQ Mercenary), Tom (Peace Mouse - all BBQ), Matthew LaRubbio, Hellgate Rollergirls: Lucky,
Knuckle Slambitch, 60 Grit, Flo, Mess, KP, Kelly, Shannon P., Bows, Lora Weitzel, Sarah D., MK,
Grobel, Paige, Andrea K., Laci, Dawni, and Kristen Grimm

Sponsors: American Made Tattoo, Astarna Web Development, Betty's Divine, Big Dipper, Biga Pizza, Black Coffee Roasting Co., Boom Swagger, Ear Candy Music, Edge of the World, Garage Tees, Garden City Gondola, Good Food Store,, KBGA, Kent Bros, Kettle House, Le Petit Outre, Missoula Copy Center, Missoula Independent,, Nature Boy,, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Piece of Mind, Rockin' Rudy's, Selvedge Studio, Shakespeare & Co., Statriot Designs, the Badlander and Palace Lounge, The Green Light, The Top Hat, Zoo City Apparel

And of course: YOU. Thank you so much for your continued support!!