I read online that The Muggs were going to be playing in Ypsilanti, Michigan at a cool little place called Woodruff’s. This was last Friday night (April 11, 2014) and just to happened to be my birthday!  I figured it was divine intervention and that I needed to go check out that show. What I didn’t know was what was really happening at Woodruff’s was FUZZ FEST, a three day rock and roll extravaganza featuring 33 Michigan bands on two stages!

We got to Woodruff’s as soon as doors opened and started out the evening with the Wiccans. Set to a campfire of candles, a backdrop bathed in red, an acoustic guitar, a flute, and a tabla drum (at least I think it was a tabla), the Wiccans whisked us into an incantation set to music. Gods of all kinds were invited to this worship of the musical passion.

Wizard Union broke the spell cast upon us with a slug of distortion. Their style reminded me of the bands Trouble and Fu Manchu. Imagine a mile-wide distortion field of sound wreathed in the burning embers of time and you’ll get the idea.

HISS ambled up to the main stage and brought the growing crowd into a river of divergent textures. The songs felt like a painting where dabbles of colors are spread over the canvas.

Wearing animal skins and drinking MGD, Caveman Woodman and Bam Bam Moss took the stage like a demented Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The noise rock duo’s beer infused torrent of sound left the audience with their mouths agape. Bam Bam can certainly beat the shit out of those skins!

With barely a pause, Van Houten started up on the main stage. I’m not sure if their name was inspired by the famous Manson girl, Leslie Van Houten, or not. In any case, they rocked out a fun and upbeat set!

I had to smile when I saw Scissor Now! with their awesome Star Trek uniforms. Then I heard them and I thought I’d lost my mind. It was a psychotic jazzy fix of bass, drum, and sax. That’s right, SAX! Or should I say it was kombucha sexual? Lets just leave it at fun!

The Boss Mustangs ROCK! That’s right damn it, I said ROCK! They crashed the FuzzFest party with a trailer full of grooves and lots of thrashing on stage! I could hear the old school sounds of Blue Cheer, The Stooges, and the MC5 as they put the show into overdrive. Balls out fun!

More psychedelic revelations swam through Woodruff’s as Chit Chat got started. I definitely felt like I was ‘tripping’ as the band wove a cosmic cocktail steeped in fuzzy moaning guitars and super reverb vocals.

Now it was time to get sticky with Blue Snaggletooth. These guys poured a heaping mug of riff rolling magic. With this dense stew of rock, I found elements of Clutch, Kyuss, and Sabbath. These guys jam and like the Boss Mustangs… they ROCK! They put on a great show and play with maximum intensity.

Just when you thought you couldn’t take any more, Destroy This Place slammed you back into reality. Fierce and fun, they had me thinking of Social Distortion or maybe Husker Du… cause I’m an old dude and that’s how I think :).  This band unleashes blasts of musical passion that make you want to move.

Last, but not least, one of my favorite bands, The Muggs strolled on to the main stage and proceeded to cut heads. Seriously, people’s heads exploded!!  I may be exaggerating just a bit, but Tony, Danny, and Todd tore into a fine set of rock hard music. For those who haven’t heard The Muggs, you can check out my review of their latest release, Full Tilt.

FuzzFest was terrific and a great way to spend my birthday.

Fuzz Fest online:


About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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