Mike and Bob ran the front of the house with aplomb. You felt welcome, like a contributing part of this frenetic juggernaut club. You were there, and thus, you were a rocker. I remember Bob recounting his experience in the front row of a Helmet show: “those dudes scared the shit out of me!” I wonder if he knew that he had a similar effect on people.
Then there was Jace. Caffeinated and overloaded with rock, his persona would frequently leap-frog the formidable duo up front and usurp all the attention in the room.
Mike was a force on and off the stage. The show was his reality and it followed him wherever he went. Smashing equipment, doors, and hearts all over the Midwest, people wanted to party with him and he obliged. He could also throw down some of the heaviest, most bruising guitar riffs this writer has heard.
There was a fairly wide berth of musical styles in the early 90s in DeKalb, IL, and the Festers covered the balls-out rock genre(s). I remember Mike excitedly describing the following song like this – “it’s going to be some punk rock and then it’ll stop and we’ll say ‘we’re gonna go buttf*ck some goats later’ and then we’ll count it back in.” It was as though the clouds had parted and he could see his clear mission for the first time.
And here it is, exactly as advertised: