My friend Octavia texted me yesterday and asked me what was the best and worst part about Bled Fest. The worst was easy for me to answer – CHOOCH AND HENRY CRAMPING MY STYLE. But my favorite part changes depending on when I’m asked, because there was so much to choose from!
For instance, all day today, all I could think about was how beautiful and inspiring the Cardboard Swords were. I only started listening to them last winter when they were announced for Bled Fest and I was smitten from the beginning. Their Facebook bio describes them as sad pop from Grand Rapids, but they’ve got that spoken word/emo revival sound that I’m such a sucker for. So they went on my Bled Fest “must see” list immediately.
I was really bummed because they actually just played at a coffee shop here in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, but I had other obligations, so I skipped it, knowing that I would get to see them in Michigan a few weeks later.
It was nearly time for their set on Saturday; I made my way to Stage D, which was essentially a long, narrow classroom (Bled Fest is in a school — we’ll get to that in my official Bled Fest chronicles) and quickly realized that a ton of other kids had the same idea and the classroom was positively stuffed to capacity. This was my fault for not considering that hello, the Cardboard Swords is a local fucking band and Michigan’s scene is thriving. So while they probably had 10 people at their show in Pittsburgh, they were straight celebs in Howell, MI.
As they should be. This band is SO FUCKING WONDERFUL. I was able to stand right outside the room in the hall and had a perfect view through the open door; but within a few minutes, I finagled way inside and it was so worth being covered in sweat, my own and everyone else’s, because once it was time for “Flannel,” the whole room erupted into a passionate sing-along and I just cried and cried because that’s just what I do, you know?
I cry and I cry and I cry.
Sometimes it just really feels good.
Ugh, sad boy music. Fuck with my heart at your leisure.
Chooch was sitting across the room from me just now as this video was playing in the background. He asked, “Is that ‘Flannel’?” and then made a “thought so” head nod when I confirmed.
“WHY — DO YOU LIKE IT??” I cried, because god, please someone like this music with me.
“It’s not bad,” he said in the most noncommittal way possible. And then he said he wished that room hadn’t been so crowded. “I would have stayed if I knew they were going to be that good.” But instead, he and Henry went to lay down outside in the grass.
Henry said he still would have went outside to lay down in the grass even if there only had been 6 people in Stage D. WOW JUST WOW.
They’re going to be the first band I let crash at my house once Henry finishes the guest room. And by finishes I mean starts.