I brought my camera and took no pictures. I had my notebook, but barely wrote any notes. I did catch eight out of the ten Cleveland and Columbus bands on the bill for Festival 71. Number 11 never materialized, and I have it on good authority (and by good authority I mean the loud dude at the bar) that of the two bands I missed, Sun God f’n ruled.

Other observations from Festival 71:

*Pink Reason = Rad. The highlight of their set had to be the slo-mo, drunk on robo, folk cover of Agent Orange’s punk classic “Bloodstains.”

*Times New Viking = Radder.

*Sword Heaven = The sound my 86 Plymouth Voyager made as it was dying on I-75 midway between Bowling Green and Toledo. That’s a compliment, btw.

*The Cleveland artist who most deserves a do-over: Brian Straw. Unfortunately for Straw, his set was plagued by a misbehaving sound system intent on cutting out his acoustic guitar.

*Two Columbus bands I’d like to see play longer sets: Unholy Two and Black Swans.

*Two Cleveland bands who shredded through their 20 minute sets: The Deathers and The Homostupids.

*Two Cleveland bands who shredded through their 20 minute sets who I’d rather see shred live than listen to on disc: The Deathers and The Homostupids. The Deathers played technically strong set of unironic hardcore, the type of which you listened to when you were 18. Yet, they’re not 18. They’re older dudes have a blast ripping through old style tunes. The Homostupids, meanwhile, were loud, and their mega levels of feedback and reverb were really harsh. The crowd went absolutely apesh*t for these dudes, and hell, I’d pay to see them again, but I can’t see myself sitting down with The Homostupids after a tough day of work. I’ve got enough stress in my life.