The fest was great - featured a lot more chaff than the first installment, but sociologically it was probably the pinnacle of the No Wayve of HCP. The afterparty above the James had multiple fire trucks and police show up, some of which walked up and asked “whose house is this?”, and some incredibly wasted kid immediately replied “I don’t fuckin know, man” and then threw up on the street. They got back in their vehicles and drove away.
Wasted Time’s (first?) two-guitarist set was the stuff of legend - about 3/4 of the way through, Scott from Double Negative turned to me and said, “Man, I saw Minor Threat a few times, and… [hand motion relating equivalence].” Career Suicide was stellar, of course (and here’s Nico from Life Trap/Useless Eaters balcony diving during that set) , but the true stars were Pittsburgh freaks BRAIN HANDLE.
I can’t remember if they sound checked or actually started playing a song, but the shorter-haired guitarist’s amp blew right away, yet still fed back, and Ed (who said he was on PCP) baited the crowd for a solid 10-15 minutes as they tried to figure out a solution. The whole show was backlining the same equipment, but it may have just seemed funnier to them to make everyone wait. Those minutes included probably 50 gallons of garbage being thrown at the band, while Ed said things like “I own a shotgun,” “Keebler elves are real,” “PCP is my aeroplane,” “Music is my aeroplane,” and the like, punctuated with the battlecry of “I can fast pitch softball, you assholes!” as he underhand-pitched all the bottles and cans he could find back at the crowd. The whole time high-pitched feedback was whining. Nobody walked away. Once they finally started (I think it was “Nervous Politics”, but this is probably incorrect), it was a titanium bat to the pi?ata of tension they’d bred with the dozen minutes of shit talking the crowd. They were devastating, and much more original than most of the lineup.
For Ed’s part, at least, it was like seeing a Germs set with a MENSA-president, Coast to Coast-listening Darby Crash. Ovens’s “I Estimated Your Worth Today” shirt sits close to the throne in my all-time favorite shirts list (to be disclosed in the near future).