event

Midwest Friends Fest
Sat August 31, 2024 6:00 pm (Doors: 5:00 pm )
The Southgate House Revival
All Ages
$25 Early Bird/$30 adv/$40 dos
MidWest Friends Fest 2024

Bat Boy
Camping In Alaska
FinalBossFight!
Honeycrush
Kerosene Heights
Manor Gates 
Nowhere Else
OK Cool
Pinksqueeze
Routine Fuss
Teens In Trouble
The Dreaded Laramie
Abandoned Malls of America
Alex Kasznel & The Board of Directors
As It May
Bear The Moon 
Dustbin
Ryan Rockwell
Scarlet Street
Tooth Lures A Fang
LayLow
 
Teens In Trouble

“Does it make you want to rock out? Does it make you want to cry?”

If the answer is both at once, you’re probably listening to Teens in Trouble. Specializing in catchy hooks, heavy guitars, and disarmingly direct lyricism, the bright-blazing creative project of Lizzie Killian makes anthemic, emotionally driven indie-rock that merges the snappy, confessional style of Weezer with the Pixies’ soaring, fuzzed-out melodies. The band’s ever- evolving sound is most informed, though, by Killian’s ability to refract these influences through a prism of memory, melding past and present with sun-dappled clarity and a cathartic vocal power that’s distinctly hers.

A California native who moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2019, Killian crafted Teens in Trouble’s self-titled debut EP during the pandemic, on a quiet street in Asheville, where she rekindled her love of songwriting following an extended hiatus. Since its 2022 release, Teens in Trouble has been featured in Alternative PressBrooklynVeganConsequenceStereogum, and more. The EP’s singles, “I’m Not Worried” and “Decomposing,” have also been featured in the popular online battle royale game Fortnite.

In 2023, Teens in Trouble teamed up with bluesy alt-country artist Desert Mambas on a split EP released by Kill Rock Stars and Asian Man Records.

Teens in Trouble is named one of idobi Radio's “100 Rising Artists You Need To Listen To in 2024.”

Bat Boy

Bat Boy began as a way to maintain a long-distance friendship between Hannah Eagle (Philadelphia, PA) and Jake Guralnik (Richmond, VA), two people who hate talking on the phone.

They had developed a great friendship on tour with Spraynard where Jake was playing bass and Hannah was slingin’ merch.

When the tour was over, instead of going, “Welp, see ya,” they decided to start a band of their own and keep the good times rolling. With Cory Chubb from Richmond, VA’s Sundials on board to play drums, and many back and forth iPhone recordings later, the rest was history!

The Dreaded Laramie

The Dreaded Laramie is a power pop band based in Nashville, TN. They recorded their forthcoming debut LP with producer/mixer/engineer Dave Schiffman (PUP, NOBRO, Olivia Rodrigo). The new record comes on the tail of their 2022 EP, “Everything A Girl Could Ask” (produced and co-written by Rozwell Kid’s Adam Meisterhans), which Punk News described as “gender bending … marbled with sickly sweet, hyper feminine vocals encapsulated by indie rock tinged boppy pogo punk and sprinkled with sudden moments of very macho displays of musicianship.” In 2023, The Dreaded Laramie conquered a 60-city tour across North America, joining festival lineups from Gainesville’s Fest to Montreal’s Pouzza Fest, and sharing stages with the likes of Soccer Mommy, Bad Moves, Rozwell Kid, and Tsunami Bomb.

RIYL: Weezer, No Doubt, The Darkness, Charly Bliss, Frankie Cosmos

Camping In Alaska

Camping in Alaska is a post-emo band based in Huntsville, AL. Austin Davis and Jacob Stewart started writing music together at age 15, drawing from influences of childhood-favorite bands such as Jawbreaker, Modest Mouse, and Knapsack. They started their careers in Austin’s mom’s garage and soon began playing DIY shows all around North Alabama with the addition of Ben Cape and Jacob Hill. Their breakout album about being in high school and hanging out in parking lots, please be nice, was recorded in 2013 and quickly took underground internet forums by storm after the popular YouTube channel jommeez uploaded the album, their most popular song, “c u in da ballpit,” holding 1.9 million views to date.

After Ben left the band, BATHE was recorded in 2014 and picked up by Broken World Media for a cassette release in 2015. The band took a hiatus for a couple of years after recording WELCOME HOME SON in 2016, a darker, more serious album about addiction and loss. With the addition of Dani Fandre, the band made a strong comeback in 2022, releasing an EP of acoustic demos recorded through 2017 and 2018 called Lost & Found and selling out both of their come-back shows.

In September 2023 they released Hollow Eyes, a precursor to their next full length, drawing influence from Jawbox and The Weakerthans and grappling with more mature subject matter pertaining to addiction, homelessness and finding a way out. After the success of an almost all-sold-out Midwest and East Coast please be nice Ten Year Anniversary tour, Camping in Alaska plans to go back to the studio to record their long-awaited full length Eggbeater Jesus and hit the road again on the West Coast in 2024.

Kerosene Heights
Kerosene Heights make loud exciting emo punk that carries the torch of earlier emo bands. The energy of a sweaty basement show comes through even in their recordings with distorted twinkly riffs, yelled vocals, and raw production.
FinalBossFight!

FinalBossFight! (Flint, MI) formed in March of 2020, a very cool and normal month for the entire world. Sage and John became acquainted in high school after playing in a classic rock cover band together. After a few years of playing in a handful of separate bands after high school, the two would reunite and begin writing songs to cry and dance to.

FinalBossFight! would release their debut EP The Light in Your Room in 2020, followed by their 2021 single House Rules. With live shows out of the question due to the pandemic, FinalBossFight! took to the internet to build a network of fans and peers in the DIY emo scene. One of these connections was Billy, a musician from Southeast Michigan, who would join FinalBossFight! in the summer of 2021 on bass guitar.

In July of 2021, shows were beginning to re-emerge and the band was eager to finally play to a live audience. An invite to play a Lansing house show at The Church of Elvis Presley, a venue run by members of corduroy pants & Dad Caps, would prove to be a watershed moment for the band. Alongside corduroy pants, Dad Caps, Tequila Mockingbird, Tournament, Dear Heretic, Clipboards and many others, FinalBossFight! would find themselves immersed in a passionate community of fellow musicians, fans, and best friends in the Lansing emo scene.

PINKSQUEEZE

PINKSQUEEZE is a queer power pop four piece from Chicago that brings community care and bubbly fun to stages. PINKSQUEEZE shows have been described as "like being at a sleepover with friends you just haven't met yet" and “like a band from Scott Pilgrim come to life.” 

PINKSQUEEZE’s debut album was released in May 2023. The album titled “Be Gay Have Fun” is centered around celebrating queer joy while healing the inner child. “Be Gay Have Fun” was awarded Best Chicago Album of 2023 by The Chicago Reader.

OK Cool

Eight songs clocking in at a head-spinning, 17-minute runtime, OK Cool’s third EP fawn is at heart a direct line into the minds and creative processes of the band’s Bridget Stiebris and Haley Blomquist. It's a kaleidoscopic stride that showcases the ongoing evolution in their charming union of glistening math rock and fuzzed-out dream pop that the two Chicago shredders have been working on since their inception in 2020. 

The duo’s curiosity for experimentation is reflected throughout: linear, untraditional song structures are bolstered by their athletic musical precision, acute sense for hooks, and wall-of-sound mastery crafted with reverberated Telecasters and transcendent effects. “It’s our ode to the demo,” Stiebris explains. “There’s not much that changed about the songs from the first draft to the final master, besides the production quality. We even kept all song titles in lowercase, exactly how the demos were saved on my computer.” The two harmonize and play all the instruments on the EP, with Stiebris on guitars and drums, and Blomquist on bass and additional guitar. “We like to record everything as a duo because we've always felt very in sync musically– working as just the two of us helped to cut down on compromise and make something we both feel good about,” adds Blomquist. Their adventurous leanings are especially evident in the dynamic, traversing highlight “4 what???,” in which Stiebris notes, “I had been listening to a lot of Spirit Of The Beehive at the time, and had a goal to make something that was as fun to play as it was to listen to.” 

Written and self-produced over the course of two years, and ultimately completed in 2022 with the help of engineers Brad Harvey and John Micensky, fawn is a testament to the band’s DIY spirit. The two friends from college have been cutting their teeth in their local music scene for years, where they’ve established their own label (Take a Hike Records) and Stiebris has worked as a talent buyer for multiple venues.  

Though the EP packs a confident punch, neither Stiebris (26) nor Blomquist (25) had ever taken on main songwriting duties in a band before starting OK Cool. “I had never sung on stage in my life and was extremely nervous about it. All we really knew is that we were always on the same page creatively in each project we had been in, and that was good enough to try writing together,” Stiebris explains. The EP’s resultant lyrics are notably honest and vulnerable. Inspired by their queer coming-of-age, its themes range from their internal struggles with depression and external struggles with relationships. “I think after more life experience I've become very attuned with the patterns I need to recognize and change in trying to make other people more comfortable in lieu of my own boundaries,” reveals Stiebris. “One of them being ‘fawning’ as opposed to the ‘fight or flight’ responses, in an effort to avoid conflict and establish some sense of safety. It’s something that's been on my mind the past couple years.”

“It definitely did, and still mostly does, feel like we're just finding our legs in all of this. The idea of a baby deer learning to walk felt pretty appropriate for the title of the EP–it parallels the vulnerability that comes with taking on new experiences,” Blomquist notes. Though they may feel like they’re just finding their legs, fawn stands tall, unafraid to explore and define the unique sonic language of OK Cool.

Manor Gates
Laced with melodic emo hooks, spiteful lyrics, math-influenced riffs, and full-force rock rhythms, Columbus, OH's Manor Gates, have crafted a debut LP primed and ready to be your next earworm. Griffen Holt (vocals, guitar) and Jeremy Hill (drums) wear their emo-rock influences proudly while charting their course into the next wave of emotional journeymen. Recently rounded out by Matt Silea (bass, vocals), the trio is just starting and will surely be your next obsession. Manor Gates' debut LP "So Much Brooding" out now via Refresh Records/We're Trying Records.
Routine Fuss
Routine Fuss is an Emo/Indie Rock band from Chicago, IL. A three-piece band that over the past few years has embraced a powerful and energetic live performance. With the help of We’re Trying Records, Routine Fuss recently released Live Laugh Fuss which is a fast, fun and energetic 10-minute joy ride. The themes focus heavily on embracing your flaws and improving what you can without putting too much worry towards your own imperfection. In tandem it focuses on the people you surround yourself with, what kinds of people to avoid, paired hookiest riffs conjurable. Strong messages of introspection paired with fun, fast, and explosive instrumentals.
Scarlet Street
Cincinnati Pop-Punk/Indie
Old Pictures/New Pictures
Modelo fueled emo/math rock.
Abandoned Malls of America

Abandoned Malls of America is a midwestern rock band that combines the feel and emotion of classic Midwest Emo with a modern punk energy and grit.

Guitar driven, melodic, and with a cynical edge that most any disillusioned millennial can relate to, this band exists to fill an artistic void. People of this generation openly opine for the emotional and impactful music they grew up with, but mainly through winking nostalgia and meme culture. What if there were bands that picked up the original thread of emo music and carried the torch (in earnest) into corporate life, mortgages, and physical degradation?

Abandoned Malls of America intends to connect with this audience of those wallowing in the same 5 albums from the early aughts. They know those albums will most likely never be usurped, but the chance to find a place alongside these classics is all the band can ask for.

As It May
As It May is an emo trio based in Bellevue, KY. Originally launched as a solo project by guitarist and vocalist Hunter Swope in 2017, the band expanded its lineup in 2021 with the addition of Brian Duffy on bass and backing vocals, and Justin Smith on drums.

Drawing on their heavier influences, As It May is poised to release new music soon. The band has had the honor of sharing the stage with notable acts like Free Throw, Grayscale, Saturdays at Your Place, and Greyhaven.
Bear The Moon
Formed in the fall of 2022, Bear The Moon combines a widely influenced line up of midwestern musicians to create a refreshing indie alternative sound.
Alex Kasznel & the Board of Directors
Since they started making music in 2023, Cincinnati-based trio Alex Kasznel & The Board of Directors have developed a sound some call “surprisingly un-whiny,” a style they affectionately refer to as “pop punk for grownups.”

Their debut album, Everything Is Important & Nothing Matters was released in May of 2023, and was followed up by their 4-Song EP, Parachute, in December of that year.
Ryan Rockwell

Ryan Rockwell is an artist based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. He currently has zero Grammys but did win an award for best hip hop/rap group at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. 

Combining his love of upbeat poppy punk rock as well as hip hop and earworm melodies, he threw it all into the blender and gave it a special shine on his debut solo album "Smurf King". An album reflective of growing up and on, growing as a person, and the desire to do better. Anyone can relate to the themes on this album, but they are certainly told from a unique perspective.

Ryan has played everything from the sweaty basement hardcore shows packed like sardines to playing huge stages with some of your favorite hip hop and pop acts, and regardless of where he is, he just wants to make some more music.

Tooth Lures A Fang

Tooth Lures a Fang is a dynamic Power Pop band from Cincinnati, OH. Their 90s-soaked guitar rock emphasizes satisfying vocal harmony, tight chord progressions, and memorable melodies; making them stand out from other garage rock bands. With a focus on intricate and thoughtful songwriting, they preserve the song's integrity over the tropes of the genre.

Zach Starkie - vocals, guitar

Katy Evers - guitar

Nic Pater - bass, vocals

John Kathman - drums, vocals

Dustbin

Dustbin is a bona fide Midwest supergroup. Comprised of veteran musicians Ted Backus (Creamboy), Paige Beller (solo artist, Jasper the Colossal, Decent Criminal), Abbie Romero (SKRT), and Elijah Batson (Frontier Folk Nebraska, Arlo McKinley, Creamboy), this project combines heartfelt and immediate folk songs with the ethos and grit of punk rock. After the gradual dissolution of the band Creamboy, former members Ted and Elijah had been workshopping a new batch of stripped-back songs when they connected with Paige Beller, who had been an involved member of the Cincinnati and Dayton music scenes for years. This new collaboration added a whole new dimension to the existing songs, introducing intricate basslines and layered three-part vocal harmonies. As these songs developed even further, Paige brought in longtime friend and fellow Dayton/Cincinnati musician Abbie Romero to bring the songs to life with their technical and dynamic drumming. 

Dustbin’s songs promise impactful lyrics delivered through direct folk songwriting and backed by lush and nontraditional arrangements that effortlessly transition from country to shoegaze to punk and noise-rock, creating an end result that is truly more than the sum of its parts.

Honeycrush
Honeycrush is the solo project of singer-songwriter Alexandra Antonopoulos. Though a classically-trained vocalist, the Brooklyn artist first picked up a guitar in 2021, recording her debut EP, Milk Teeth (2023), in her home studio to critical acclaim.

Drawing comparisons to artists Cat Power, Scout Niblett, Mark Lanegan, Jeff Buckley, and PJ Harvey, there’s a distinctly rock influence even in Honeycrush’s most somber melodies.

Antonopoulos weaves themes of identity, the fraught struggle of self-discovery, and generational experiences of womanhood into lyrics that tiptoe between abstract poeticism and diaristic confession. Honeycrush performs live as a four-piece rock band, with Antonopoulos playing solo shows on rare occasions.

Honeycrush’s first headline show sold out Bushwick’s Sleepwalk and a regional tour of the Northeast and Midwest soon followed. Honeycrush and her most recent single, Fruit Is Year Three, were featured on WFUV’s New York Slice highlight.

Honeycrush is planning a more extensive tour with a new EP, Dog The Lamb, slated for release this fall
Nowhere Else
Nowhere Fast are a working class Southern Midwestern rock n' roll band made up of friends from the DIY touring circuit. Their roots lie in Louisville, Kentucky. The band’s latest self released single consists of Nowhere's cover of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" and a stripped down track called "You Act. I Write" (Alta House Session). The band has a new nine song record coming out titled “Modern Archaic” to follow up their last effort, “Aeonian.”
LayLow
Rock band from Newport, Kentucky, USA