Review: Super Mega Slam Fest at Indy Hostel 

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click to enlarge You Blew It! kicked off the festival on Friday. - SUBMITTED PHOTO

Super Mega Slam Fest
Indy Hostel
Sunday, July 15

When one thinks of the Indy Hostel at 49th and Winthrop, three things come to mind: 1) Absolutely nothing, 2) A great, cheap place to stay in Indianapolis or 3) A place for quiet, mature, acoustic concerts. After this weekend, however, we can all add a fourth mental association for the mid-town venue: an off-kilter spot for emo, punk and hardcore shows.

While the outdoor event attracted scored of cut-off-wearing, flannel-clad, tattooed emo/punks, it also attracted many middle-aged, respectable midtowners who were attracted by the heavenly melodies wofting through the summer air. And while they may have seemed a bit out of place, they certainly seemed to have had a good time.

After a more indie-rocking opening night, with bands like Vacation Club and Pessoa, and a more hardcore and metal themed Saturday, Sunday ended up being a bit more emo-centric. Despite a less than exceptional turn-out, the bands played through the July heat with passion and power. Gritty, emo/pop-punks Like Bats got the evening really rolling with a boisterous set of angsty punks jams.

Seemingly unknown Ohio act, The Ground Is Lava, blew the crowd away with fantastic guitar noodling that channeled emo demigods American Football as well as modern heroes, Algernon Cadwallader.

Dowsing, from Chicago, brought more of a pop sound to the emo feel of the day. Their style brought to mind the big bands of the late 90's, like The Get Up Kids or The Promise Ring.

Despite all the out-of-town talent on Sunday, the show was stolen by local screamo nuts, Caelume. Playing with a violent passion not seen since the glory days of At The Drive-In, the band thrashed enthusiastically around in the dust of the Hostel yard. Frontman Tyler Anderson stripped down to boxer briefs and rolled his sweaty body into a bed of dirt, creating a camouflage pattern on his milky body for the rest of the set.

When all the dust had settled (literally), all who attended could attest to having a good time. Let's hope that Jake Amrhein and Modern Bronze continue to book great shows in Indianapolis and that the Hostel continues to develop as an alternative venue.

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Nick Selm

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