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Clusterfest Rocks

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Image by Jeff Moses.

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The Underground Foundation Threw Their Third Annual Clusterfest On The Arizona State University Tempe Campus And Rocked The Hayden Lawn And Secret Garden


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

April 7, 2014 — Clusterfest could not be called anything but a success for ASU’s student club The Underground Foundation. The event took place on the Hayden Lawn from noon until 8 p.m. on April 6 and TUF attracted more than 20 of the most exciting bands in the Phoenix metro to entertain more than 800 ASU Students and local music fans.  

The lineup on the back of the shirt does not exactly match the lineup that ended up playing, but the absence of acts like Captain Squeegee and Wolvves did not kill the mood. In fact it allowed for Button Struggler to play a set, and if there's one band that deserves more shows it’s them.

Button Struggler’s set was exactly what should be expected of the legendary Matt Spastic. He showed up looking like a 42 year old hangover and proceeded to serenade the college audience with “love songs,” about “smoking polyurethane” and “unnecessary surgery.” Their three hour set was a jolt of energy to the beginning of the afternoon.

“Close enough for rock and roll,” said Spastic before the set as he tuned his guitar. Another notable early afternoon set was by Treasure MammaL. The incomparable Abe Gil performed solo at Clusterfest, but he didn’t lose an ounce of energy, or any of Treasure MammaL’s fanbase for that matter. Even though his set was at 2:30 p.m. there still seemed to be a crowd of about 50 surrounding the bearded weirdo.

While that was happening on the visible stages, the secret garden area was having its own party with acts like Captain Samaria, the Coral Chiefs, and Leonardo Dicapricorn among others. Both Samaria and Chiefs feature high school students who are pretty well talented. Samurai makes a garage rock sound reminiscent of Wolvves and Coral Chiefs are riding the current surf rock wave. Dicapricorn is three ASU students doing a nerd rock thing that sound pretty good.

The later afternoon sets began with a tremendously entertaining Drunk and Horny set where regular members Ryan Avery and Andrew Jemsek were joined by Ricky Smash of Bacchus and the Demon Sluts as well as stand-up comic Eli Kluger. The bands set included originals like “Masturbating Monster,” “Poopin Safari,” and “This Poop Keeps Coming Out Of me,” as well as a cover of Charles Bronson’s “I’m Sick of Feminists.”

Garage rock three piece The Thin Bloods were another impressive act. Their set included a raucous crowd of more than 50 people moshing and going crazy. Many of whom happened to be the day's acts. The Thin Bloods are definitely a band on the rise in the DIY punk scene.

Something Villainous went up next, and the alternative nerd rappers played a great set. Perhaps the members were invigorated by the positivity of the fest, especially considering two of the fest's main organizers, Richard Edward and Clipper, are members of the group.

They closed out the set with an unplugged acoustic guitar hip hop song that even Bacchus frontman Ricky Smash thought was touching before Bacchus got on next and killed it with the funk.

Bacchus and the Demon Sluts never take a show off, they always bring the crazy costumes, erratic behavior and high energy funk. For the on campus show Smash decided to perform in a see through rainbow colored shirt and his brother's Speedo swimsuit. The rest of the group was dressed equally as eccentric with headdresses and fruit hats and make up galore.

They were also joined by local alt rapper Dadadoh as their hypeman, which is something the emcee does so well that Firehouse Tempe picked him up to do it every Saturday night.

Andy Warpigs, Snake? Snake. Snakes!, Red Tank!, and Merry Christmas rounded out the day long event, before the festivities moved to the Parliament for the after party featuring Petty Things, Burning Palms, Blanche Beach, Bird Bones, and Numbats.

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at
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