Rock the Clubs

Go-Go Garagefest

Scion event draws a crowd

By John Chandler October 19, 2009


An entire day devoted to fuzzed-out, three-chord 1960s-style bashing? Kind of. It became evident early on that Scion’s Garagefest was operating under a fairly spacious umbrella, from the Dirtbombs sweaty riff riot, to Goodnight Loving’s sweet, twangy trash, to Kid Congo’s Latin-fluenced sonic spook show.

Speaking of umbrellas, there was more than one occasion where a bumbershoot would have come in handy, as Saturday’s weather proved to be as unpredictable as the 40-odd bands playing at the four Burnside corridor venues. I got soaked waiting for the Dirtbombs, and re-soaked making a dash for a slice of pizza an hour or so later.

Honestly, I was a little leery of a corporate-sponsored fest. Besides hardcore punk and Scandinavian black metal, garage rock is probably the most snotty, anti-authoritarian musical idiom known to mankind. And I do have a complaint to register with Scion. The swag bags left a lot to be desired. Other than the earplugs, socks, and a little package of mints that I haven’t been able to open, everything else was car propaganda. On the plus side, the socks are quite comfy.

While the lines to get in to see big names like the Black Lips and Roky Erickson at Berbati’s Pan were ludicrously long, causing many to give up on the early side of Saturday night, the Satyricon and Someday Lounge were usually an easy fit, making the fest a golden opportunity to see some little-known acts, among whom were several pleasant surprises. Those Darlins, Goodnight Loving, and the Strange Boys all delivered memorable—and varied—sets.

Get a gander at our web-exclusive slideshow from Scion Garagefest and soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of a full day dedicated to no-frills, no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll. Sadly, we failed to get pictures of the matronly prostitute who asked me for a date or the drunk guy from Florida that tried to bite me while I was waiting for a late-night burrito. I guess you had to be there. Note: You may notice a drop in quality from the early photos, shot by ace photographer Cammie Toloui, and those that follow, captured by my Sony digital. Still, I firmly believed I was a triple threat, just like Peter Parker: fighting crime, reporting, and snapping the pics.

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