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  • Writer's pictureABQ Green Room

Fly Honey Fest

By Albuquerque Green Room

For almost 100 years, Roosevelt Park has been a favorite recreational site and a center for activism - including police brutality protests - and has also developed a history tied to gun violence and public drug and alcohol use. Mid-May 2021, a subset of the DIY scene used this Albuquerque Historic Landmark for a day-long music showcase.

Since the entrance of COVID, the focus at house venue Fly Honey Warehouse has shifted from a live aspect to creating and recording as much music as possible, in house. With sights set on future business endeavors, FHW founder Adam Smith curated a 12-set lineup with the hopes of promoting the music that has been made throughout the pandemic. FHW residents Nik Vasko and Greg Silva each played four sets; Smith played five.

The day was filled with hardcore, country doom, shoegaze, hip hop, and math rock. In these bands, there was a lot of musician overlap, though the genres varied widely. We hope you'll keep scrolling to slide through/click on a few photos from the event!

Final set of the night; Joel Sheets of Crushed!? with audience.

likeanangeldoes was the first performer that afternoon, and they opened with a moment of silence for the Palestinian people. They proceeded with a few solemn songs, singing while playing piano. This served as a good opener because it set the precedent for the audience to think deeply about the music they were to hear.

Next was the much-anticipated starsdontmeananything. As a pandemic solo project completely written and recorded by Adam Smith, Fly Honey Fest provided the live debut of the body of work. This turned out to be an excellent performance where not only the musicality came together, but the performance immediately captivated the growing audience.

Hip-hop artist Lil Lavedy commandeered the stage with humor, wit, and amazing energy; her lyrics should be given attention. Her performance really came alive when she was joined by Heru Black for a guest feature.

Dotcomjob have become more comfortable and able to revel in fun on stage as much as they do off stage. They're growing their set list and seem to be taking more risks. This was Adam Smith's second of five sets of the night.

(Photo by @kylerbrynn)

(Photo by @kylerbrynn)

As loved as all the bands this night proved to be, Kid Plastic might have been the best suited for this event. By this time, Roosevelt was pretty packed, and Kid Plastic allowed everyone to section off, sit in the grass, and enjoy being with their friends on a beautiful day. Sonically, this might have been the calmest and most soothing point of Fly Honey Fest.

Nora Cursed exhibited a brand new lineup. Previously consisting of just Adam Smith on drums and Heru Black on vocals and box guitar, the band now has a new guitarist and bass player. Their dark country sound was new and refreshing. Lil Lavedy hopped on for a guest feature (which resulted in some very cool photos...)

Mephalta gained a lot of attention for being noticeably knowledgeable on their instruments. Their songs are bouncy and intricate. The thing about intricate music is that even though a lot of what the band's doing might go over the audience's head, it can still be recognized by anyone for being badass.

Sasha Guleff flew in from California with guitarist John to perform his solo work for his upcoming album. With John and friends from ABQ's Crushed!?, Guleff's David Bowie, Cramps, and Iggy Pop-style songs were played live for the first time.

The one thing that photos might have over live performances is the capture of hair movement. There are some pretty great hair shots here.

If you were just listening, not looking, at the stage on which Sage Cornelius was performing, you'd think, "Holy shit, who is shredding the meanest guitar I've ever heard?" and upon looking up, you'd be absolutely flummoxed to see Cornelius wielding an electric violin.

He covered a broad spectrum of genres, from some straight metal chugging to an excerpt from "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" - the song that made him want to start playing violin. I can't believe the level of skill this guy has built; when I think of his performance, I just feel lucky I was there to see it.

(Photo by @truthhertzproductions)

With that, the sun went down, and the final three bands, each their own kind of punk, played to the remaining, devoted crowd. (This is where things went dark so our photo documentation fell off. Plus, sometimes you just need to listen to your body when a band is so good that you absolutely can't stand still.) Russian Girlfriends, Constant Harmony, and Crushed!? were the best possible conclusion to the night. (I'd been waiting to hear Constant Harmony perform again for over a year.)

A capture from the Crushed!? set.

A capture from the Crushed!? set.

Photos by @shirtshooter, except where noted.

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