As August looms, we are forced to face the reality of the end of summer and its good times. In the last stretch before the dreaded season of fall (for me at least), AS220 has given us a reason to get off of the coach and into Providence for their 20th annual celebration of the acclaimed block-party, Foo Fest.
Originally starting out as Fools Ball in 1995, AS220 has evolved this behemoth into a day-long block-party, spanning the entirety of Empire St. This year will be one for the Foo Fest history books with over 12 hours of live music, visual art performances, family activities and DIY technologies.
Known for boasting the best in local RI music including Ravi Shavi, Deer Tick, Container and many more, Foo Fest has upped the ante with this year’s lineup, tapping Deerhoof as the headliner. Deerhoof is an avant-garde indie rock band from San Francisco whose music has influenced the likes of St. Vincent and even Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. Whether you’ve been a fan since The Man, The King, The Girl or just a casual bystander noticing noise coming from down the street, take the walk down to see Deerhoof in all their glory.
This year, Foo Fest also will include local headliners to spice up the lineup even further, allowing your musical tastebuds to explode in an uncontrollable vigor. The Low Anthem and Death Vessel, both of Providence origin, will fill the air with their traditional folk stylings that exemplify what the sound of RI truly embodies. While I hate to take sides, I recommend Death Vessel between the two due to their supremely enigmatic performance at last year’s Newport Folk Festival.
With the headliners out of the way, allow me to present to you the underscore bands that deserve your attention as you make your way down Empire St with a clam cake in one hand and a Del’s in the other.
Beta Motel, in my opinion, is the best name on that underscore. Based out of Providence, this hybrid indie-electro trio is armed to the gills with vicious beats, especially “Temptation Error” off their EP, demo//demo//demo. Also notable is Bored With Four, a pro-pop trio (love the irony of their name), whose performance at Foo Fest will be one of few due to their hectic personal lives.
Other bands scheduled to play at the festival are Way Out, Gymshorts, Spocka Summa w/ Lex Effects, SIRE, Vio/Mire, Fucking Invincible, Finished, V-Sect, Roses, Good Lord, Bloodpheasant, Moor Mother Goddess, Suicide Magnets, Omnivore, Providence Poetry Slam and the AS220 Youth Zukrewe.
While I know many of you wouldn’t be crazy enough to listen to 12 straight hours of live music, I also know there is an army of you musical lunatics out there who wait all year for Foo Fest. I advise you great readers and scholars to rise from your couches and run to Empire St on August 8 for the best damn festival that Providence has to offer. You’d be a FOOl not to.