350 Fest V took place a couple of weeks back, August 23-25, 2019 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Headliners included Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; and Naked Raygun. Included amongst the many others playing, were Suicide Machines, The Eclectics, Airstream Futures, The Repellants, Tight Night, 88 Fingers Louie, an acoustic set by Anthony Reneri of Bayside, Zebrahead, The Menzingers, Lucky Boy Confusion; and The Bollweevils.
Relive it or find out what you missed by checking out the pics and a full write up below!
That last above mentioned band, The Bollweevils are Chicago punk rock legends, and lead singer Dr. Daryl Wilson aka “The Punk Rock Doc” has became more involved in the fest than ever before. His role has been evolving for several years. I caught up with Daryl after the fest. He discussed with me subjects including his new venture/involvement with 350 Fest, comic books, being a doctor at the shows, raising kids with great music tastes; and how to keep hair fabulous.
Looking back after the fest ended, Wilson is feeling pretty good. “Over all I think the weekend went well. Great crowds, great bands, beer and spirits flowing, great staff, and no major health incidents or security issues. Smiling faces and fun had all around. Despite all that, notes were taken to help improve for the next time.”
Though the final numbers of attendees has yet to be full determined, Wilson described to me by my own rudimentary observations what seems to be pretty common occurrence with multi-day festivals, “The first two days were the big hits. By day three, Sunday, crowds were a bit smaller. Hangovers can really put a cramp on fun can’t they? Fun getting to, but not having a hangover. I was spent by day three, and The Bollweevils still had to play a set!”
Daryl Wilson started his involvement with 350 Fest when he and his bandmates, drummer Pete Mumford, guitarist Ken Fitzner; and bass player Peter Mittler had a beer named for them. Weevil Wobble, brewed a few years back, is a Pilsner with Agave, Lime; & Sea Salt.
Wilson describes why he believes his collaboration with 350 works so well, “Todd (Randall, founder of 350 Brewing Company) was already doing 350 Fest and has a great DIY spirit. He wanted to expand the event and entertainment branch of 350 so we partnered up with our buddy Jason (Lubovich) and started Off The Alley Productions. We got involved in 350 Fest V. Hope to help improve and grow the darn thing!”
I asked Wilson to further describe his new venture, “Off The Alley Productions is me trying to do something outside of my typical comfort zone. Medicine is a discipline that comes easily due to my training but I have a creative side that I like to toy with through music. I am hoping to tap into that creative side and expand that to putting on events. I am excited to wade into this territory, learning curve be damned.”
Off The Wall Productions makes a busy life for Wilson even busier. Unlike some other performers who put Dr. in front of their name, for Daryl Wilson the title is legit and
earned. Dr. Wilson is the Director of Emergency Medical Services at Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL. He shared the most important factors for making it all work after I used the word balance in my question.
“Balance? If I didn’t have the support of my wife, family , and friends I would have dropped so many spinning plates at this circus called my life. There is a definite hierarchy to the plates that I keep spinning. This isn’t a one man show, nothing gets done without some help and support from others.”
Speaking of family, Wilson’s wife and three young daughters were at the show. Two of his kids watched from he side of the stage. Their hearing safety gear in place and with huge smiles on their faces, they were spotted dancing along to the music. Especially when Wilson went to them and sang for his daughters.
“It’s always a special treat to have my family at a show. The smiles on my kids faces, the big hugs I get from my little girls! Best accolades ever!”
I asked him how having his family at the show affects the performance if at all.
“I tend to take less risk to bodily harm when they are present. The kids echo their mother regarding injury and my ability to function as a dad the next day after a show. You would think I would listen when they aren’t at a show as well huh? I am a bit more aware of the stage banter.” As to that stage banter with young daughters on site?
“I try to cut back on the profanity….like I said, I try. Its not like they haven’t heard me or my wife curse. As long as they can curse with the right context and at the appropriate moment I am kind of ok.”
Does playing in front of those closest to him give him a case of the nerves? “I never really get nervous. I am more concerned that one of my kids would get hurt or require my attention during a time I can’t give it to them during a performance.”
I had one last query for him related to being a musician and dad. That is, how aware are his kids of the punk rocker part of life and what it means.
“My kids have been raised with me playing in a band and being a physician. They get that the Punk Rock stuff is just one aspect of me and that it is a creative outlet that is needed to be a whole person. I want them to know that you can still be a professional but you have to have an artistic outlet for a fulfilling life. They have said their favorite bands are The Descendents and The Bollweevils. I can take that as a win in the punk dad column I think. ”
Speaking of being a medical doctor and a performer, I asked about those hats sometimes being work at the same time and place. How cognizant he of people at shows whom may need a bit of medical assistance. “I am always acutely aware of what’s happening around me at all events I attend. I can’t really turn off the being a physician aspect of my persona. The constant need to assist is ingrained into my being. It’s funny because there are usually other healthcare providers at the same events but I’m probably the easiest to find in a crowd. I appreciate those other unsung heroes that usually show up when the badness happens. We all know just what to do and we get it done.”
But does Wilson ever have a chance to take a moment solely for himself? Perhaps for some , reading and if so, any recommendations for Dying Scene readers? “I still have some time to take for myself. I am an avid comic book reader. You name the comic and I am probably reading it! Right now I am digging Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil, Rick Remender’s Black Science, East of West by Jonathan Hickman, as well as this new take on the X-men, Tom King’s Mister Miracle and his run on Batman, I could go on and on but I won’t. I have also taken up painting as a little zen activity.”
Having attended more than a few of The Bollweevils’ shows I know it can get chaotic. So I asked Wilson to share the story of how one unfortunate incident at a show turned into something very moving for him. I’ll call it the Take of Three Timepieces. Or maybe 4?
“Hahaha. I was really blown away when all my friends got together and presented me with my new watch. My wife had originally gotten my the Descendents watch from Vannen for my birthday. Stupid me, stage dove and lost the watch It was smashed and never recovered. Fast forward and my friends all banded together and got me a new watch! I didn’t deserve that at all. Fast forward a bit more, and some of my other friends got me the exact watch! (sans the custom case that my pal Ron Jones made). I was flabbergasted and now had 2 watches! Now fast forward a little more, I get a random package sent to my house from Vannen watches. Dave, the most rad owner of the company, is a big Bollweevils fan and heard about my lost watch situation. He sent me a replacement with a nice personalized letter, a shirt, and stickers! I emailed him back and we have been talking ever since. 3 watches now! Dave is rad! My friends are amazing! I am truly a lucky dude to have this amazing life! Collaboration with Vannen in the works btw!”
On a lighter (well lighter in one way) note, Wilson is know for his long dreadlocks. With Dan Wleklinski, of 88 Fingers Louie, and possessors of a long silky ‘do sharing the same stage as Wilson, I just had to ask the Punk Rock Doc how it feels to share the title of most glorious hair in punk rock with his friend. After all, photos of both often elicit swooning comments regarding this part of their appearances.
“I am honored to be in such rarified “hair” with Dan.” And secrets to his style? “For me it’s just tighten the dreads up as needed. Usually every 3 months. It’s a 2 hour at least process. Its typical hair. Wash it but make sure you have some time to let it dry. Its really heavy and strains my neck but its worth it to be so “cool” hahahahahahahahah. I threaten my girls with “If you don’t comb your hair you will get dreadlocks and you are too young to have them now!” Maybe in the future but it’s up to them.
Of course I had to inquire as what is coming up for The Bollweevils and Wilson individually.
“Next for me and the band is finally recording! We have those new songs we have been playing and they need to get recorded and released! I am going to keep at this production company business and get that rolling. Anyone looking to sponsor some events and get on board give me a shout!”
Note: Dying Scene and the Punk Rock Doc joined together to gift nearly two dozen fans with three day passes for 350 Fest.
Please check out our gallery from 350 Fest V below: