Fuzz Fest 3 saturated the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor with luscious rock music from 33 Michigan bands under the glow of a liquid light projector.
Fuzz Fest is an annual celebration of the rock and roll music with an emphasis on fuzzy guitars and a strong indie vein that screams with passion. The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor was once again the host for this awesome event which is curated by Chris Taylor (of Blue Snaggletooth and Jukebox Productions). The Overhead Army added to the festivities with their patented psychedelic liquid light show. Fuzz Fest ran for three nights from Thursday June 9th to Saturday June 11, 2016.
Many thanks to Chris, his wife Theresa, and a bunch of his cool friends such as Jeremy Wheeler, James Symons, and Jef Porkins for pouring their love of music and support for the scene into this festival. An event like this is a labor of love and it provides a showcase for new and established bands. What I enjoyed most was the discovery of new music and feeling the intense drive from each musician to expose their souls through their music.
Fuzz Fest 3 – Day 1
The first night of Fuzz Fest 3 got rolling with the lo-fi goodness of cig butts. This was garage music at its finest with members switching up instruments between songs and doing a unique cover of “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine.
Trigger is fuzz hard rock gold. They blew the doors off the Blind Pig with thick rhythmic grooves swimming in a sea of guitar feedback, flange and wondrous fuzz.
The music of King Under the Mountain makes me think of Big Elf. Thickly distorted low-end guitar with thumping drums and bass that are combined into sludgy instrumentals. I imagined this music as the soundtrack to Ralph Bakshi’s “Lord of the Rings” movie.
The Walking Beat was upbeat and fun. They rocked out with tone that reminded me of T. Rex and Badly Drawn Boy.
Heavy, grimy and trippy would all be good words to describe Super Thing. This band reveled in the essential oils of garage rock and formed it into a wild beast of beauty.
Voyag3r journeyed to the heart of the sun with a cosmic array of synths and keyboards backed up with compelling drums and tasty guitar. Conjure up the classic soundtracks of John Carpenter and you have escaped into the soundscape of Voyag3r.
I learned that MRSA is actually a staphylococcus infection that is resistant to treatment. MSRA were infectious and hard to shake like their namesake disease.
Backbreaking riffs with muscle and grit smothered in heavy rhythms and layered with some sweet vocals made Karmic Lava a hit. Tony Iommi and Geezer would be so proud of these masters of the jam.
Nina & The Buffalo Riders wasted little time in demonstrating that they are one of the finest rock bands in Michigan. They kicked out dazzling rock songs that highlight the group’s spectacular songwriting. Their strong performance was well received by the fans of Fuzz Fest 3.
Set up on the floor near the soundboard, S.N.A.F.U.raged with beautiful fury. Every time I see this band I am amazed at the sheer intensity they blast with every second of their performance. Standing still is not an option when the situation is normal: All Fucked UP.
The Beggars put a huge exclamation point on the first evening of FuzzFest 3. Reveling in polyester punk inspired rock, you cannot help but smile and get down with this outstanding band. Even though the crowd had dwindled by the time they went on, these guys put everything they into their set and it was dynamite.
Fuzz Fest 3 – Day 2
Day 2 of Fuzz Fest started out strong with the supernova rock band known as Wormhole. Listen to “Space Station #5” by Montrose and add in the cosmic power of “Animals” era Pink Floyd, and you will feel a bit of the power that is Wormhole.
Seritas dig deep and heavy roots into the soil of your mind while casting doomy shadows. This two-piece band takes an elemental approach with baritone guitars and primal drums to craft intriguing songs that hint at darkness.
Snapping like a howling wolf caught in a snare, The Jackpine Snag deliver vicious blues based rock that is jagged and angry. This band threw their backs into a performance that caught everyone’s attention at the Blind Pig.
Mounds use just keyboards/synth and drums to convey a primordial sound that invokes images of Gregorian chant. This music had the odd effect of sounding haunted and uplifting at the same time.
The Landmarks had elements of early Radio Head, the Artic Monkeys, and maybe a bit of Libertines. It was music that jangles around the edges with vocals that pick you up with vibrant energy.
Shrouded in fog dancing with sparkling lights of purple, pink, and blue, the Warhorses emerged from the darkness with thunder and lightning. They play dark and heavy rock music that sears your soul.
Lava Moth epitomizes the spirit of fuzz fest in layers of moog synths, fuzzy guitars, and a rhythm section that pounds the spirit of the lord into you with each beat. Dressed in tyvek jumpers, the guys in Lava Moth choose form over function as they cast a dank haze upon Fuzz Fest 3.
Disinformants distill rock music from the core creation space of a basement or garage. The delivery is raw and unfettered, yet saturated in the conviction that music will transform you. Regardless of any transmutations, this music is free and abrasive.
BoneHawk is a band from Kalamazoo that compels you with the power of rock music that is hewn from the masters such as Thin Lizzy, early Priest, and the Sword. They played an outstanding set featuring tunes from their last two albums and a delicious cover of “Don’t Believe a Word” by Thin Lizzy. There set was a standout moment at this year’s Fuzz Fest.
The crowd was almost on top of Human Skull as they started playing on the second stage at Fuzz Fest 3. One fan stood inches from the lead singer as the band got the crowd moving with distorted guitars and bouncing bass lines. Powered with the free spirit of punk, Human Skull was a hit at Fuzz Fest.
Against the Grain brought Friday night home with balls out rock fury that would make Lemmy smile. Against the Grain embody all that is great about rock and roll. They play hard, fast, and as intense as a hurricane. If you have not seen them live, then get to a show and witness the fierce and heavy rock of Against The Grain.
Fuzz Fest 3 – Day 3
Saturday was the final day of Fuzz Fest 3 and a diverse mix of rock started with the raw edge of Sex Police. This duo centers on vocals, bass, and kick drum performed by one person with a guitarist adding textures. They are like a frantic cry in the dark night.
Zen Banditos wailed with a dense and nearly doom sound. Fat grooves with a trippy flair were paired with some simmering solos that shouted with hard rock fervor. These guys jammed with force and conviction.
A strong foundation in the blues with rock hard 70’s strut put the Blue Black Hours in a class of their own. Smoking guitars and a wonderfully solid rhythm section made this a very enjoyable set of rock music.
Prude Boys splashed the crowd with a set of crashing rock-a-billy. They had energy to spare and had the audience in the palm of their hands.
I was impressed with JUNGLEFOWL at Fuzz Fest last year and they were even better this year. This dynamite duo slammed home blues influenced garage rock that pops with melodies. If you like music with a fuzzy edge that delivers a pant load of fun, you will dig this band.
Robots, sound effects, drums, guitars, and insanity describe the sonically surreal Carjack. This band was like an acid trip that featured Devo singing the praises of airplane glue in the great hall of Hunter S. Thompson.
The Highborn ruled with punishing drums and bruising riffs. This band defines the power and glory of hard rock straight from the heart of Detroit. Their performance at Fuzz Fest 3 was outstanding and a highlight of the event.
Pretty Ghouls were possessed by the power of their music. They gyrated and twitched with abandon kicking out lusty slabs of punk in big meaty chunks.
If the Doors and Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd started a band today, they would be called Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. The Sisters pulsed and glowed with a psychedelic aura that swam within the liquid lightshow of Fuzz Fest.
White Shag pulled out all the stops and busted into Fuzz Fest with a vigorous set of hard rock. The rhythm section delivered severe body blows and the wailing guitar added the coup de grace. See this band live for the ultimate in hot-blooded rock music.
Fuzz Fest 3 came to a climatic end with a mind blowing set of music by The Muggs. Danny, Tony, and Todd were out to burn the Blind Pig down as they unleashed one crushing song after another. They played with gusto and kicked some serious ass to close out this spectacular festival of Michigan music.
We’ve got more pictures of Fuzz Fest 3 in galleries for day 1, day 2, and day 3. We don’t mind if you download the pictures and share on your favorite social media sites, but please give Chuck or LifeInMichigan photo credit and don’t remove the watermark.
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