Four shows, three days and 23 bands will form this year’s Lobsterfest, in what may be the “most varied” in recent memory.
Lobsterfest, ACRN’s largest and final show of the year, will bring an eclectic, varied group of performers from across the country including headliners Deerhoof and Black Dice — all for free.
This year’s Lobsterfest is held Thursday through Saturday, spanning from Casa Nueva, 6 W. State St, to the Smiling Skull, 108 W. Union St.
Kicking off the festival will be Athens pop-punks Ghost Stories with headliner Boston’s Kal Marks, at Casa Nueva. Experimental electronic group Black Dice will headline Friday’s block, with other bands including Horse Lords of Maryland and Moltar of West Virginia at the Union Bar & Grill, 18 W. Union St.
The big day comes Saturday with performances at Central Venue, 29 E. Carpenter St., and an after show at The Skull. The first has music spanning from early afternoon to late at night where Deerhoof, originally from San Francisco, will headline. The Aftershow will feature New England Patriots.
Zack Baker, editorial director of ACRN, said this year’s event was the “most varied” in years, thanks to ACRN’s promotions director, Shane Riley.
Deerhoof, whose first album came out in 1997, have had different approaches to all their music, some with twitchy electronics, while some has heavier guitar work.
“I used to feel that we never evolved, we never got better, we just changed from one shape to the next sort of randomly,” said Greg Saunier, drummer of Deerhoof. “About a year ago something clicked and I think we started getting good. We're wilder on stage and we don't get on each other's nerves in the car so much anymore.”
Black Dice evolved from being a hardcore band to a group that no longer uses normal rock instruments; instead they’ve replaced a lot of their instruments with mixing boards, synthesizers pedals and samplers to create its experimental electronic music, said member Aaron Warren.
“We were just opening ourselves up to stuff that was coming out at the time,” Warren said on Black Dice’s evolution. “There was a lot of computer music and laptop bands (in the early 2000’s), and we just started listening to other types of music.”
Carl Shane, lead singer of Kal Marks said his band evolved from a singer-songwriter solo act to a heavier rock group after becoming interested in Boston’s strong rock scene. The band’s latest album,
Life is Murder
, is an inward looking album about depression, and the music can be described as cinematic and big.
“I’ve always liked dynamics, songs that build up and have tension and release,” Shane said. “I mean, that’s in every kind of music, but in post rock, that’s heightened more, and I just thought having it be really heavy isn’t just meant to be badass, it just sounds good.”
These sorts of differences are what make Lobsterfest a fun event to put on, Baker said.
“It’s a lot of really different bands,” he said. “People who go to a Ghost Stories show might not (normally) be stoked on Kal Marks, but through the course of the night the goal is to have all the bands working together to making it make sense.”