Fuzzstival 2017: A Review

Boston’s 5th annual Fuzzstival was, all things considered, a musical success. Despite some setbacks, including festival organizer Jason Trefts breaking his leg the day before the event started, Saturday’s performances having to be relocated to the Cambridge Elk’s Lodge from the Somerville ARTFarm due to rain and the resulting time crunch – the lineup of bands was incredible. 


Thursday night, a crowd of 20 to 30-somethings wearing flannels, high-waisted/high-water pants, jean jackets and bangs shuffled down the concrete stairs leading to the side door of the Elk’s lodge. 

The Central Square Elk’s lodge is not everyone’s absolute favorite spot, probably due to the dank basement vibes, but that didn’t stop the event from being totally worth going to. After grabbing our $3 Miller Lites and High Lifes (from the super chill and nice bartenders), we rounded the corner to the back room where two stages somehow fit side by side. They were low, approachable stages and Dazey and the Scouts had just started playing. They started the show off with a grungy, cymbal-smashing set. They finished on a warm, but emotional note, as they invited all queer folks to the stage and said “this song’s for you.”

It was already less colorful and bright than last year’s Fuzzstival in the Middle East Downstairs, but there was a coziness to it. The two stages allowed for a quick transition between bands and a quick flow to the night.

Blau Blau was on second. They are a newer band on the Boston music bill, but not made up of newer faces. Originating from Mini Dresses, a couple of the members went on to create Blau Blau. My friend described their sound as “modern day Blondie” and I don’t disagree.

Fuzzstival was primarily but not ALL rock n’ roll-based bands. For instance, La Neve performed electronic pop music with unforgiving lyrics that have a direct and impactful, political message. Headed by Joey La Neve Defrancesco of Downtown Boys, La Neve dressed in drag, danced up on a raised portion of the floor, and at one point put on a pink rancher’s hat. This was an added spark to the night.

It was a pretty great set of bands, but those were definitely my favorites. The other bands that played were halfsour, Germ house, Gravel, Kal Marks and set headliners Dent.

I wasn’t able to stick around for Dent, which was a bummer. I’ve loved their performances in the past and also enjoy the usually more serious and creepy element they bring to the stage. It’s been three years now since Eyeballs came out and still very much worth a listen.

The night was cold and perfect for small breaks between sets to chat with bands and other Fuzzstival-goers over cigarettes. There was small-talk about which bands we had seen before and where we had all collectively bumped into each other.

All in all, it felt like that first night was an appropriate warm up to the three days of Fuzzstival. Complete with buzzing vibes of a few nervous bands and some social awkwardness amongst attendees. Ultimately, we all appreciated the greatness of the bands that are a part of our community.