FROM BOSTON PHOENIX
2011 is the year of the Successful Boston Music Festivals. DIY Fest ruled. Starlab Fest ’11 was simply amazing. Boston is hungry for more.
The recording studio/venue showcased Boston’s finest and Ohio’s metalest at an all-day festival of friendship and good times, a sequel to the success of last year's festival. Many of our Phoenix favorites were there, whether they were playing or just hanging. People that were at Deep Heaven Now down the street even wandered over for a peek at what Starlab had going on. And what Starlab had going on was something really effing cool.
Most outdoor venues have the aesthetic of nails on a chalkboard, like they hired Quint from Jaws to run the mixing board. Thankfully, the folks at Starlab, being quality audio engineers, created one of the best sounding outdoor stages in all of the greater Boston area. The stage even had a giant tarp in case of rain, which created a remarkably fascinating visual in the wind, especially when the sun went down and the lights went on.
Aside from the music, there was an incredible array of yard sale-style items, educational zines and pamphlets, and records, which eventually turned into something like the Allston DIY Fest Free Market, with people grabbing as many books and DVDs as they could before the rain destroyed them. Also, because everyone is hungry, thirsty, and broke, Narragansett and The Middle East opened the floodgates of beer and hummus, respectively.
GIRLFRIENDS were far punchier and more danceable than their records will lead you to believe (and they’re already pretty dancey). It was a furious half hour of toe-tapping, hip-shaking madness. And they covered Gang Of Four. What else do you need?