Comfest 2010

This past weekend we celebrated the Columbus Community Festival (affectionately known as Comfest) once again.  3 days of music, food, merchandise, crafts & workshops and political/environmental discussion.  Plus the only time the statue of Lincoln Goodale, for whom the host park was named, sports a more ‘casual’ look (picture borrowed from ‘Chrisrockshard’ on Flickr is from 2009 but it was the same this year).

In addition to seeing tons of friends, volunteering my services in security (THAT’S a whole story unto itself) and just soaking up the vibe that is Comfest, I saw some tremendous talent – reminding me that despite what the rest of the world may think, Columbus truly is brimming with excellent bands from various styles of music.  I will review several of these in separate posts, but here’s a thumbnail overview;

Josh Krajcik – multi-talented vocalist/instrumentalist is one of the most natural performers you’ll ever see.  A voice that crosses Michael Bolton with Joe Cocker accompanied by guitar work reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  I can’t say enough about him or his band except that the record industry needs to wake up & promote this guy.

Dexter Wesley & The New Experience – One of the best Jimi Hendrix tribute bands I’ve ever seen (ok, I’ve only really seen like 3, but he was better than the other two).  Looked like Jimi, sounded like Jimi, played enough like Jimi to pass my muster.  Dexter hooked me up with a demo disc after-wards which I’ll review in it’s own post.  What an entertaining & talented band!

Locusta – The ONLY metal band this year but that’s ok – they represented!  Bludgeoning death metal, technically perfected and assaulting the senses like a rapid-fire sonic machine gun.  Yeah, their CD will be getting it’s own post here as well.  Paraphrasing the emcee who came onstage after the band was finished says it all – “I’ve seen Celtic Frost, I’ve seen Venom, I’ve seen Morbid Angel.  Ladies & Gentleman – what you just witnessed was right up there with those bands.  You’re privileged to have seen this one”.   Standing in the crowd, I can vouch that we were ALL blown away.  Truly Epic.

Willie Phoenix – Headlining Sunday night was legendary Columbus rocker (and someone of whom I’m a big fan) Willie Phoenix.  You’ve heard me rave about him before, but Willie KNOWS how to put on a show.  Mesmerizing the crowd with his soulful vocals, his blues-driven fretmanship and his totally off the wall stage antics.  No wonder one local paper ran an article a few weeks ago imploring the Comfest committee to return Willie to his former glory of headlining Saturday night’s main stage.  Hey, from what I saw – it might as well have been Saturday.

So many other acts I could rave about; Phantods, Lydia Loveless, The Floorwalkers, The Spikedrivers, Andy Shaw band, the list just goes on and on.  If you live near Columbus, please support these bands!  If you don’t, find them on Myspace, on Facebook, on Youtube WHEREVER.

Like Brigadoon, Comfest is just a vanished village now.  But as in every year, I’m glad I spent a hazy, crazy weekend in Goodale park – with the statue of the good doctor and 70,000 of his closest friends.