There’s no other way to put it: covering a festival is weird and if you’ve ever been to one music festival, you’ve pretty much been to all of them. Sure, demographics and genres vary, but every festival contains universally predictable traits. People get fucked up, bands play, and you take pics for your Instagram with the hopes of gaining approval from your peers, thus giving you a reason to live. Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of standing around all day long in the sun waiting for some band of 19-year-old dipshit urban outfitter Title Fight wannabes to play a barricaded stage sounds awful. Luckily, there a still a few organizers/promoters in this vile and disgusting world who still value intimacy, even in a festival setting. Recently, I took a little stroll down to The World Famous Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona to check out the third edition of Within These Walls. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. No barriers and no bullshit, which is, in my worthless and unprofessional opinion, everything a good festival should be. WTW had it all; from shoegaze to hardcore, there was something for everyone. I mean, fuck, they even got Antwon to play this motherfucking monstrosity of a fest. That’s fucking tight! Did Antwon play your fest? No, he didn’t because your fest was probably just a big field for people to do drugs and take selfies in.
In all seriousness, the fest went off flawlessly and the Nile Theater staff did a fantastic job at making sure no one died, which is a tall order any time bands like Gatecreeper, Judge, Absolute Power, and Of Feather and Bone show up to party (well, Judge doesn’t really party but you get it). Highlights of this year’s debauchery include performances from AZ’s favorite sons Gatecreeper and Gay Kiss; The Repos coked-out stage antics; Absolute Power making hardcore fast again; Of Feather and Bone sending us all to another dimension of riffage; Judge somehow still being relevant in 2016; Antwon being Antwon; Seizures sacrificing their gear; Nomads covering The Sisters of Mercy; and American Nightmare making leather pants cool again! Fests like Within These Walls simply don’t happen enough anymore – big thanks to Michelle Mantooth, Chase Mason, and the entire Nile Theater staff for not only hosting a kickass fest, but for providing a space where music could thrive organically. Lurk the photos below and cry about the rad times you missed!
All Photos by Haley Rippy, to see more of her work check out hayleyrippy.com or you could get with the times and just follow her on Instagram at @HAYLEY_RIPPY.
Of Feather and Bone