Hassle Fest is back, and things look weirder than ever. Well, not too weird. Like, we’re eyeing the lineup and totally want to go, but in part because the stack of bands isn’t the normal combination music lovers come across, thanks to creepy Dr. Seuss art, noise rock, and political photography. You know, that kind of weird.
Now in its eighth edition, Hassle Fest is a two-day music festival run by the fine folks over at Boston Hassle. This year, the festival goes down at Brighton Music Hall on Friday, Nov 4 and Saturday, Nov 5. Over 40 bands are set to play. People of all ages can attend. Art shows will be held in the same space throughout. It’s a mishmash of visual and sonic work that, no matter what time you arrive, will blow you away. And if none of that has you giddy, then look at how their DIY ethics haven’t changed, aka you get the talent and vibe of a basement show in Cambridge without the sweaty stench.
The festival’s dedication to the odder side of music shines through its curation once again. Willis Earl Beal, the Steve Baczkowski/Jake Meginsky/Bill Nace trio, Silver Apples, Girlpool, Rhys Chatham, Monsieurs, Bang! Bros., Ian Sweet, Macula Dog, Dent, Birthing Hips, and the Craters kick things off at 5 pm on Friday. Then, starting at 2 pm on Saturday, Wolf Eyes, Guerilla Toss, Pharmakon, Mossenek, Doomsday Student, Forma, Ava Luna, Jahiliyya Fields, Sad13, Sadist, Palberta, Bugs and Rats, Mommy, Pink Wash, Ben Hersey, New England Patriots, Id M Theft Able, Surface to Air Missive, Confusion Band, and Sadha change gears for a melodic undertone.
From the dark pop of Sad13 and Ava Luna to the blistering noise of Pharmakon and New England Patriots, this year’s edition of Hassle Fest promises to push the mind until viewers wonder how they ever clung to pop as tightly as they did years ago.
So when you’re ruminating on the curious sounds of Wolf Eyes or take a break to observe the “art environment” Trash Land works, take a deep breath and grin. This is the type of creative environment Boston continues to increase thanks to promoters who seek regional and international touring acts that represent mental expansion. Best of all, it’s not a hassle to attend—though summing up all the ridiculous, intense, and vibrant music you saw in under 140 characters may be.
HASSLE FEST 8. FRI 11.4–SAT 11.5. BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL, 158 BRIGHTON AVE., ALLSTON. 2PM/ALL AGES/$22. CROSSROADSPRESENTS.COM.