You would've thought that three days worth of some of the best punk/garage/rock'n'roll lineups of the year would make for a sufficient fest, in honor of Dot Dash's third birthday. But no. By the time the event rolled around, there was the addition of a pre-fest show, a mid-fest show/barbecue, and finally a post-fest show, featuring Teengenerate, who'd flown out from Japan just for these two shows. At this point, the only way Tom Dash can top this is if he manages to pull an all original members reunion of the Ramones (and with the work he puts into shows, he's probably figuring out how to do it right now).
After the actual Dot Dash Year III fest, there was the post-fest show at Maxwell's, featuring New York City locals the Plungers and Little Killers, as well as another set from Teengenerate (since they'd already come so far to play), with WFMU's Dave the Spazz DJ'ing in between bands. I think it was scientifically impossible for this to suck.
The Plungers were a great opener for the night, with songs that were straight forward, energetic, and fun. Guitar player and singer Masayo was not only funny, but would throw out crazy leads left and right, followed by a jump or kick just to top it off. Every song was straight up punk/rock'n'roll hybrid, and everyone in the band sang at one point. As a side note, they just released a split 7" with J Church, which is also awesome.
After a VERY brief set change were the Little Killers. These two girls and guy play all-American garage rock, with little signs of country and bluesy influence (I want to both agree and disagree with that, both at the same time - maybe it was just because of Andy's Telecaster guitar) thrown in there. There were some bass cable issues early in the set, but that was it, and everyone loved it. Maybe it was just me, but they weren't even playing OVERLY fast, and it still seemed like they went through their twelve songs in just a matter of minutes. Either way, The Litter Killers are another great NYC band.
As great as the show had been so far, there was no comparing it to the anticipation of Teengenerate. People were eagerly cheering as soon as they came on, even while they were tuning and setting up. Only adding to the excitement was the semi-announcement just a few days before that they would also be playing Firestarter and Raydios songs as well. Finally, once everything was ready, Teengenerate announced themselves and went straight into "My GTO" before Dave the Spazz could even turn off the background music all the way, and everyone loved it.
It's hard to talk about something like this, because how many times can you say, "They played their songs, and it was awesome"? Overall, this is what it was like: think about when you go to see a band and they'll say that they're about to play one of their "hits" or start playing it. Everyone is psyched and everyone cheers for the rest of the song, especially during the REALLY great part of said song. That's what the their set was like for practically every song. It was almost as if instead of just writing songs, they gathered around in a lab figuring out formulas and equations so that every song couldn't possibly rock any harder, multiplying solos with hooks, divided by a catchy, singalong chorus. They barely let up throughout the set, playing songs like "1979," "Wild Weekend," and "Mess Me Up." Finally stopping after twenty straight minutes, they quickly retuned, and then went at it again for another twenty minutes. At this point, they put down their instruments, and said good night. No one was going to accept that any time soon.
After a minute or two of people screaming out requests, as well as other various noise that generally sounded like "HELL YEAH," Teengenerate finally got back onstage, and agreed, "We have two more songs for you - we're too old." That two turned into about four or five, and the scenario repeated itself again, as the crowd still wanted more. Again, people yelled, and the band said, "Okay, two more, but we're old."
At this point, the crowd was slowly admitting to itself that Teengenerate would have to stop playing EVENTUALLY and started dancing and pogoing (at the direct request from the band). I think it was around this point that I saw a dude in a faux police uniform jump on stage, and another dude do a back flip off the stage. By the end, Teengenerate had played what had to be over twenty songs in a little over an hour. Morals of the story: Dot Dash puts on amazing shows, and Japanese bands are awesome.