I didn’t really know a single one of the bands playing on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21, at PRFBBQ, but that alone intrigued me. As festivals go, this one seems under the radar, with some 50 bands altogether and little publicity. Amid all of the other things happening over the weekend (Green Music Fest, the opening of Moby Dick at Lookingglass, the Mikal Cronin show at Subterranean), I stopped each afternoon into PRFBBQ’s venue on Lawrence Avenue — “Borelli’s East,” an old nightclub space behind an unmarked door — and caught around a dozen bands altogether. Just a small sample of the whole festival.
Highlights for me included the the fierce post-punk bands Knife the Symphony and the Powder Room. Gay Name reminded of me PJ Harvey from the Rid of Me era, and Milwaukee’s Body Futures blended blatant pop music with British folk rock… I think. Out of the bands I saw, These Estates generated the most excitement in the room, with — well, I guess that’s the sort of bright pop-punk that gets labeled as emo, but I heard a touch of the Jam and Guided By Voices in the group’s live set.
Overall, it was a cool scene to discover. Check out the PRFBBQ website for links to the pages for all of those bands.