The 2018 80/35 Festival was held in downtown Des Moines Iowa on Friday & Saturday, July 6th & 7th. This was my sixth year attending. In my opinion, this year was the best and most diverse lineup. There was something for everyone. There were local bands, and they were not just there to fill in the gaps between the headliner sets. Local band The Host Country just returned from touring. They sounded great. So did Iowa bands Foxholes and Elizabeth Moen.
The visiting acts really seemed to be having a great time playing. Atmosphere’s Slug was funny, positive and yet did not take himself too seriously. Perfect. Ratboys’ Julia Steiner did a shout out to all of her dead pets. Touching. Honeycreeper performed a cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. Flipping the gender on that song made it extra creepy. Field Division covered “Go Your Own Way”, that was modern and showed the love towards Fleetwood Mac’s original.
There was plenty to eat and drink from the nearby restaurants and the food trucks. The perfect summary came during Karen Meat’s set. Rain and Dana were chatting, getting ready to play the next song. Right before Dana starting playing guitar, he yelled out, “Less talk, more rock!” Yes, 80/35 did rock.
-words & photos: Lance Shuey