The names and places keep changing, as do the size and scope, but in a sense, Saturday’s inaugural 4th & 4th Fest at Seventh Son Brewing Co. is a continuation of a long series of Anti-ComFests.
The most obvious antecedent is the Here Comes Your Weekend Parking Lot Blowout, which ran from 2006-2011 in the Surly Girl parking lot. That was just a couple blocks away, and it catered to the same demographic of Ohio garage/punk/indie rockers, a lineage of the vinyl fanatics who’ve hung around Used Kids over the years. Parking Lot Blowout also was usually scheduled the week after ComFest, just like this one.
Also presaging this event in history is organizer Bobby Miller’s series of fests including Slum-B-Q, Pabst Blue Rendezvous and, most notably, Megacity Music Marathon, a seriously impressive but too-big-for-its-britches conglomeration of first-rate Ohio talent at Woodlands Tavern. That happened in 2011 and 2012 but also seems to be dead.
Maybe not explicitly, but all these events were attempts to program a more manageable, more consistently awesome alternative to ComFest. Although none of them have stuck, they also haven’t died out yet. That’s a great thing; much better to throw your own party than to complain about somebody else’s.
Saturday’s lineup is impressive. Death of Samantha, arguably the most influential Cleveland band of the ’80s, headlines. Also appealing, also from northeast Ohio: Dan Auerbach protégé Jessica Lea Mayfield and Columbus expat noise-punk luminary OBNOX.
Some of the greatest (and hardest-hitting) Columbus bands going dot the schedule too: basement anthem slingers Connections, prog-psych monstrosity EYE, nihilistic aggressors The Unholy Two, bizarro folk rockers Andrew Graham + Swarming Branch and scrappy garage-pop upstarts Sega Genocide among them.
Comedy, karaoke and an adult spelling bee also guarantee a good time. Be there!