|Photo by: Provided|
Although Saturday marks the last day of Blackoutfest at The Union, patrons can still expect a full throttle, high-energy performance from a diverse group of artists. The lineup includes headliners Psychedelic Horseshit, Wheels on Fire and Greg Ashley Band, as well as Athens' own Nurser and State Park.
"Everything about Blackoutfest is a blast," said State Park's Andrew Lampela. "It brings out a lot of people in the community that don't normally come to shows. You have to go every night so you're just as worn out and hungover as the bands on Saturday."
While State Park has only been around for a few months, Lampela and his fellow bandmates are longtime Blackoutfest veterans.
"I've been going since the first year. All of us have been playing [in Athens] for years and years, and we've all known each other forever through various circles. So, it all just kind of came together."
In addition to the chaos of Blackoutfest, State Park is trying to record more music and release an album by this summer. But until then, the band's real focus is on playing live.
"We just really like playing shows and having fun with people," said Lampela. "Blackoutfest is awesome, you can just go rock your ass off."
Lampela describes State Park's sound as "old guy indie rock"--think Superchunk with a more organic feel. But the genre will quickly change when Parkersburg's own Horseburner, a full-force metal project with a stoner-rock vibe, takes the stage afterward.
"It's one awesome band after another," said Lampela.
Unlike the guys of State Park, this year will be Horseburner's first Blackoutfest, which bassist Rob Howard is ecstatic about.
"We take pride in being the loudest band in the room," he said. "To me, the purpose of music is to always have fun. I don't care if you're playing a kazoo, as long as you're enjoying yourself, the audience will see that. That relationship is what drives me up there."
"We really try to bring in all the other things we listen to," said Howard. "Our drummer listens to folk, like The Avett Brothers, and I listen to punk rock. It's all over the board, so you get all those things blending together."
Keeping with the insanity of the fest, the audience can expect anything but a dull performance from these guys.
"We have a whole new pack of songs that we've been tinkering with, so we always try to put out a mix of new and old stuff," said Howard. "We're really just trying to make the best music that we can."
The festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. and last all night. Tickets for Saturday's show are $8, or $20 for all three nights.
And even if you're a little bit awkward or strange, the people of Blackoutfest will embrace you with open, drunken arms.
"It's one of the few community events that really lets the weirdos shine," said Lampela.
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