My photos from the nighttime show at the Hi Tone on Sept. 30, 2016, the second day of Gonerfest in Memphis, featuring Opposite Sex, Aquarian Blood, Power, Buck Biloxi and the Fucks, the Blind Shake and Black Lips.
For the last three years, the Empty Bottle has hosted an outdoor winter concert called “Music Frozen Dancing.” It’s a somewhat ridiculous idea, but the free event has drawn fairly big crowds even when the weather is inhospitable. It feels like one of those things where people want to be able to brag about doing something outrageous — “I stood outside in freezing temperatures and saw a punk-rock show on a street in February.” The event returned on Saturday, Feb. 28, but for better or worse, it was unseasonably warm, with temps in the 50s. That made it more tolerable for me, and I caught three of the four bands: Meat Wave, the Spits and the Black Lips. A mosh pit raged at a few points during the afternoon, but as night fell and temperatures dropped, it felt like most audience members were ready to go back inside.
Last Saturday (July7) at West Fest, Man or Astroman? donned space suits and shiny orange outfits, reeled off one blazing surf rock guitar riff after another, and then set a Theremin on fire. It was a blast.
And then came the evening’s headliners, the Black Lips, who stomped their way through one Nuggets-style garage rock tune after another, many of them outfitted with catchy choruses, which had the crowd singing along to some of the familiar songs. The people near the stage did more than sing along — they moshed and pumped their fists into the air, and a few of them managed to get on top of their fellow audience members for some crowd-surfing. Many rolls of toilet paper were tossed back and forth.