Saturday Oct. 3rd, the Greater Dayton GLSEN and Musicians for Unity joined forces to bring downtown Dayton the first all-day Gemfest festival presented at the Old Yellow Cab Building. The event raised awareness and support for the bullying and harassment of LGBT area youth. The day began with a youth rising event giving troubled youth an outlet to speak their mind and tell their stories with featured speakers lending voices of support. A wide assortment of acoustic acts opened the day ending with Thundertaker closing out the early afternoon show.
DJ Wolf started spinning at four, signifying the beginning of the adult portion of the show.
The evening was a wide variety of musical talent and tastes, each taking one side of the stage while the next band setup. Kind of like a huge wall decorated with street art, starting with one artist, changing every set, eardrums getting a wide helping of sound flavors all day. Acoustic, rock, metal, techno, industrial, hip hop, punk, rap and a little bit of just plain weird stuff was played all day, all for a great cause.
Silent auction vendors included Sound City Music, Thai 9, Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery, Roost Modern Italian, Brim, Gem City Tattoo, The Neon and Franco’s Italian Restaurant with artistry by Sherree Jane, Jamie Hale and Ashley Linden. The Wright State University of LGBTQA was also present.
Kyleen Downes and Paige Beller opened the early evening with separate sets of empowered female acoustica.
The condensed Evil Eye Gypsy with Cat Shift on drums started with “Down” with the husky guitar attitude of “All I had to Say.” The seven minute trippy musical inducement into the deserts dreams “Mojave” accompanied the left handed gypsy wizard leaving his mark on the evening with “Purple Haze.”
“Warm Rechargeable Lovers” was a subtle tale about love and regeneration. “Bitter Comedy” got melancholy and moody. “Victim of Circumstances” went bluesy, back to the 50’s era with greasy haired groove and swing. They ended with the Sabs stamp on the 70s war scene, oh lord yeah.
Far From Eden came up delivering a second helping of rock Dayton Music Connection style. Kimberly Weiss let the vocals soar and shout all over the set. “Still Alive” brought subtle darkness on the intricate notes and strings. Mother-nature was the sh- on the deep notes of “Katherine.” They reminisced about the blues on “Lost Days” and burned one up “Like Fire” as “Not that Train” finished with an R&B edged Joplin like 60s jam groove.
McGuff and the Dumpster Fires brought the punk, funk, blues, rock and uh… other stuff. They’re a unique combination of surf rock, comedy/horror punk accompanied by the background groovy wales and lungs of the fairer McGuff. They brought the “Ghost Town,” the “Night Watchmen” and the “Skywalker” all in one night. It was storm troopin’ pulp fiction on the Imperial beach. They played danceable jigs about smoke screens by “Ecigs.” There were ten numbers to do the pogo to and rattle up the old “Bone Cage.”
Death by Fetish continued taking the punk rock fusion into more serious, dense and torturous territory with a 60s induced influence. Pain and pleasure was the credo of their day with a few doses of female fantasied voices. Dissolving on the tongue like artificial euphoria. They went mid-night “Crusin’”looking for some new fans, victims or friends, bound in “Phantom Chains” like a “Bitch,” if they caught you. The “Pied Piper” danced to the new symphony. They finished the trip on a cocktail of powder and party enhancements.
Duderus brought a unique performance with rock and metal. The set had a split personality with a last minute band shakeup. As special guest vocalist DJ Dumptruck from Dipspit and Blues Traveler fame took over mic duties with the usual Lucha Libre masked vocalist MC Dustbunny sitting behind the kit. The zoo of stage oddities was enhanced by the lovely inked up half-monkey half-human guitarist. Better to have a monkey holding a guitar than cymbals. The one night only, thus far, merging dubbed Duderspit played some cardio worthy songs about glitter, time travel and prison on the moon. As Dumptrunk was forced to learn the set, performing the one song he didn’t know about “Dungeon Raiders” conveniently featured on the Gemfest compilation.
Skurt self-described Hen rock (not to be confused at loud shows/parties with hemlock) though their noise may conjure visions of unique abstract things. Two ladies playing the best schizophrenic, noise rock they can. A noise banging “Liquid Lunch” was par for the set and available at the bar. With bits of Nirvana tinkering and screaming fem power, dysfunctional sounds came with “Disfunk.” “Moongroper” brought weird astronomy in someone’s domain to close their show.
A Shade of Red showed zombies are still the rage. “There she Is” traveled an indie rock road, on the road of many “Temptations.” The “Pink Energy” flew as only a lighter shade of scarlet could. They brought the weather in and made it “Rain.”
Jasper the Colossal introduced “Slayer Kinney” to the crowd. The three ladies have played many events in the Yellow Building, to diverse crowds. Live, they “Fail” no one. Sordid but fun tales of “Warm Bodies,” “Drugs” and road adventures with “AAA” told the hardworking stories of the band dedicated to several local causes.
En(p)de may have been the band most entwined with the witching hour opening with some friendly gothic brewed “Frustration.” Their sound was a difference maker, beautifully “Divorced” from the days other acts. They got their late night “Jive” on with twirling synth rhythm’s with nocturnal threats like a verbal fist to the face to f- you up. “Minute” grooved and jammed right into the dirty industrial feel of NIN. They finished Gemfest with the symbolic strobes and dance floor crack of the “Whyp.”
Images by Mike Ritchie