Middle-Aged Queers at Palomino Pool Hall in Gainesville, Fla. | photo by Lorien Lamarr

Lorien Lamarr Photo Column—Middle Aged Queers

Nov 19, 2022

So there I am minding my own business, taking a few shots of the Fest 20 Flea Market, when I have to put down my camera at the Say 10 Records booth because my jaw has hit pavement. Adam is wearing the most perfect tank top I’ve ever seen. It’s neon pink. It’s got the Golden Girls on it. It reads “Middle-Aged Queers... Go Fuck Yourself.” I MUST HAVE IT.

At this point I’m not even aware it’s a band shirt. In my mind it’s just a perfect shirt. So when Adam tells me they’re playing Fest and I can get one at their set, I scramble through my shooting lineup and discover to my horror that I am not scheduled at that venue. Distraught, I asked my friend (Shoutout Chewy! You’re the best!) if he can grab me a shirt while I’m shooting, which he does. But I keep thinking about this shirt and the mystery band I’ve never heard of behind it.

This festers (pun intended) in the back of my mind all weekend. By Sunday I can’t take it anymore. I make a decision: I’ll find five minutes to shoot this band or die trying. Fortunately, Palomino Pool Hall is between two venues I’m scheduled to cover. So I set an alarm in my phone for their set and I slip in between my regularly scheduled programming. Any expectations I had based purely on the magnetic appeal of the shirt were obliterated and surpassed the moment the bubble machine came on, complemented by pink balloons. To say this band is fun is an understatement of criminal proportions. They’re the whole damn ball!

The Fest is so jam packed with bands it can be hard to stand out as the life of the party. Middle-Aged Queers achieved that without so much as breaking a sweat. The songs are fast and furious. The lyrics are witty and pithy, sometimes silly. It’s a riot. It’s gay AF. I left feeling like I’d mainlined joy. I’m told that this was tame by the standards of their typical sets, which only intrigues me more.

My favorite thing about The Fest is that without even trying I always discover new bands to adore. It will be impossible now to think back on Fest 20 and not remember it as the year I discovered Middle-Aged Queers.

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