The Best & Worst Of All Possible Buzzfests

Bizkit oct20.jpg
Photo by Marc Brubaker
We did it all for the nookie.
This weekend is Buzzfest XXVII in Houston, 94.5 The Buzz's bi-annual all-day throwdown at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Rocks Off has covered a few of the shows in the past few years, including the May 2010 edition where we took along Buxton's Chris Wise and met Fred Durst before Limp Bizkit's triumphant return to Houston.

Hearing thousands of people scream "Break your fucking face tonight" was chilling and, well, fun.

The festival began in 1995 just as the station, then at 107.5 FM on your dial, was beginning its domination of Houston rock radio. That first year the line-up included Bush, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Sweet, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Nixons, Face To Face, No Use For a Name, and Phunk Junkeez, who you may remember from their cover of the KISS klassic "I Love It Loud" on their Injected album and the Tommy Boy soundtrack.

In 2001, the festival started being bi-annual, with one in April and one in October, allowing for more saturation of the market for bands. There has always been a local and Texas presensce at the shows, with Los Skarnales, RiverFenix, Electric Touch, and The Hunger making appearances. This Saturday, thelastplaceyoulook, who played our BestFest last month and are nominated in a few HPMA categories, will be opening the main stage.

Rocks Off Sr. and Jr. compiled their dream line-ups from the past 16 years of festivals. It wasn't easy... OK, actually it was pretty easy. Who wouldn't want to see Los Skarnales open for Foo Fighters circa The Colour & the Shape? Duh. Craig Hlavaty


Foo Fighters (1998)
Los Skarnales (1998)
Spacehog (1998, Spring 2001)
Boxcar Racer (Fall 2002)
Everclear (Fall 2002, Fall 2006)
Audioslave (Fall 2005) and/or Chris Cornell (Fall 2007)
Alice In Chains (Fall 2006, Fall 2009)
Smashing Pumpkins (Fall 2007)
Deftones (Spring 2010)
Jane's Addiction (Spring 2011) - Craig Hlavaty


Buzzfest isn't all grunting, brooding, bellowing and white-guy rapping. Every so often a potent piece of power-pop sneaks onto the stage. There's even been an actual woman or two, if you can believe that.

Matthew Sweet (1995)
Lush (1996)
Poe (1996)
Old 97's (1997)
Abra Moore (1997)
Soul Coughing (1999)
Dexter Freebish (Spring 2001)
Remy Zero (Fall 2001)
OK GO (Fall 2002)
Fountains of Wayne (Fall 2003)
Metric (Spring 2010)
Neon Trees (Fall 2010) - Chris Gray

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Mikoe Wozz
Mikoe Wozz

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Amy Shields
Amy Shields

The 1st two Buzzfests were the best.  The best part of #1 was when F2F came on and then invited everyone down to the pit area. (this was when CW still had chairs in the pit area). Next thing you see after a sea of people go running for the pit is chairs 'floating' out.  Due to that or security giving up anyone could go into the pit area for the rest of the fest.

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

By the time the first Buzzfest rolled around in June of 1995, the transformation from "Rocket" to "Buzz" had already taken place; still on 107.5 though.

I believe Rubbur was on the local side stage on one of the early years, and certainly 30FootFall had to be in there somewhere.  Gestapo Pussy Ranch (aka G.P.R.), the punk band fronted by then Buzz night DJ The Whipping Boy with me on drums, opened the side stage in '99 if I remember right.  The most memorable local band associated with Buzzfest (1997?) was Atticus Finch, one of the few local bands played in heavy regular rotation on The Buzz ("F.M.T.S." anybody?).  These guys were so good, it's too bad they didn't go farther.  They also played one of the Buzz Labor Day Block Parties in the parking lot of City Streets and a Monster Mosh or two.


crazykilledmingus 1995 - 107.5FM "The Rocket" before 94.5fm "The Buzz"



If you can get me a little bit more specific information I'll add it to the article.

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

I'd have to find my old passes to see who played and when. I'll pass the link on to David Sadof who might be able to fill in some blanks as far as local bands that played in the early years.

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

Jamie from Toy Subs posted this on my Facebook: We played it twice. I know we did '97 with Old 97's, Matchbox 20, Silverchair, Cowboy Mouth, etc. Side stage was Middle Finger, Ultramagg, Liquid, Suspects, then Toy Subs. We also did the one with Bush, Matthew Sweet, Our Lady Peace, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Nixons, etc, and I think that was the first one in '95.

David Sadof
David Sadof

30 Foot Fall was invited to play, but declined the invitation.

Modern English only performed at the second Buzzfest.

If I think of any other local bands that played, I will add them later.

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