I got to check out the Project Pabst Festival in East Atlanta on Saturday, October 7th. This was the second time the festival was held in this location in Atlanta- the festival started out in Portland back in 2014. Last year I got to play at the festival with my band Midnight Larks, and it was a great experience, so I was eager to return to the 2017 festival this time as a spectator. I always enjoy playing shows, but it was nice to not have to worry about setting up and playing and to just soak in all the vibes of the festival.
This year’s festival was slightly smaller than the previous year with three stages instead of four- two outdoor stages and one indoor stage at the Earl. For me, I found this easier to navigate and get to see all the bands without having to walk for miles like you would at some of the larger festivals and end up missing half the bands. The location and vibe were that of a street festival more than a corporate event and it really felt like you were part of a community being there.
I arrived just in time to catch one of Atlanta’s local favorite natives The Coathangers. All dressed in matching onesies graffitied by Dr. Dax, they got the crowd going with their catchy pop garage punk tunes. I also caught post-punk locals Glare, and A Drug Called Tradition with their shoegaze, psych rock drones. Atlanta was well repped by some talented women. I was most excited to see Peaches for the first time; not for the faint-hearted, this woman knows how to put on a show with her wacky costumes and dancers and downright naughty electro-pop tunes.
Though the ladies ruled, the night was topped off by two Godfathers, the Godfathers of Grunge Dinosaur Junior and the Godfather of punk Iggy Pop. J Mascis had the tones guitarists kill for and Iggy was just, well, Iggy. At 70 years old, he ruled like no other, showing up people less than half his age. Inspirational for sure!
All in all, this was an amazing experience and I’m not sure how they are going to top it next year!
All photos by Will Goicochea