Priests vocalist Katie Alice Greer. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Pitchfork’s Octfest headed indoors to Maspeth’sKnockdown Center last Saturday after a rainy weekend on Governor’s Island last year. Ten bands headlined by indie powerhouses Mogwai and Parquet Courts shared the venue with over 50 brewers and food vendor Mission Chinese Food. The festival had good luck with the weather this year as over 3,100 attendees filled Knockdown’s expansive interior and rolling backyard. 

Control Top before they opened up the Sidecar stage.
Control Top vocalist Ali Carter.  (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Philly rockers Control Top vociferously kicked things off  outside at the Sidecar Stage for a crowd that grew fast as they sipped suds from their mini pint samplers. The band’s torrent of music bounced off the brick walls behind them and lead singer Ali Carter thanked her crowd for “joining us in this celebration of rage. Anger is powerful, don’t you forget it.”

Empath opening up the Growler stage for Octfest at Knockdown Center, 10/19/19. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)
Empath after opening up the Growler stage for Octfest at Knockdown Center, 10/19/19.

Fellow Philadelphians Empath opened the main Growler stage inside with a brighter sound as guests mingled along the rows of brewers’ booths under the sunbeams pouring through Knockdown’s skylights.

Priests after their Sidecar stage performance.

Back outside, Priests frontwoman Katie Alice Greer danced in a leopard bodysuit matched with blue gloves (the band’s fashion prowess can also be seen in their video “The Seduction of Kansas,” which Greer directed).

Duster after their Sidecar stage performance.
Duster vocal and guitarist Clay Parton (center) and bassist Jason Albertini (left). (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Indie stalwarts Duster followed them with their first new songs in almost 20 years, including the aptly titled space-rockish single “Intersteller Tunnel.” Their fans started a healthy mosh pit and lead singer Clay Parton amplified their energy right back to them. “I see you guys down there,” he said. “Keep it going!”

Iceage members, (from left) Casper Morilla, Elias Bender Ronnenfelt and Dan Kjaar Nielson after their Growler stage performance.
Iceage vocalist Elias Bender Ronnenfelt. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

While waiting for the coiffed and suited Danes of  Iceage to take the Growler stage, we stopped by Junshine’s booth to sample their hard kombucha, which received an enthusiastic response endorsement from friends Ali and Carmella, of Rockville Center, Long Island:“The flavors are like walking into a ray of…of…sunshine!”

Guests at the Radeberger booth. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

After Iceage sweated out their set in their formal wear, we spoke to guitarist Casper Morilla, who told us the band had only come to the U.S. for this one show. “We’re going to spend a couple of more days to, ya know, relax a little. We’re working on a new album right now that will be recorded in Portugal and come out next year.”

Lower Dens after their Sidecar stage performance.

As night fell, Baltimore’s Lower Dens played some smooth tracks including their new single “Young Republicans,” the mature sound of which was perfect for the many couples on dates there.

Screaming Females after their Sidecar stage performance.
Screaming Females during their performance on the Sidecar stage. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

New Brunswick locals Screaming Females closed out the Sidecar stage not only with hits from their recent All at Once album but also past b-sides and rarities featured on their new Singles Too compilation.

Mogwai performing on the Growler stage. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)
Mogwai guitarist Barry Burns. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Mogwai’s spot as co-headliner spot was justified, as an informal poll found that four of the first eight people in line for Octfest came to see them. Attendee number seven was Mike from Brooklyn who last saw them in 2017 at Terminal Five. “They’re awesome, I’ve been a fan for a long time, like 5-7 years.” The band’s free flowing setlist didn’t disappoint those toughing out their immense wall of sound with plenty of ear plugs. 

Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage (left) and Sean Yeaton (right) performing on the Growler stage. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)
Parquet Courts’ Sean Yeaton (2nd left) and Austin Brown (right) with fans after their performance.

Knockdown’s main room, which stretches out for half an acre, was even more packed when the backyard closed and everyone came inside for Parquet Courts’ closing set. Their latest single “Wide Awake” had fans jumping around and a core group of them stayed behind for autographs from guitarist Austin Brown and bassist Sean Yeaton.

Guests with their sampling glasses. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)
Guests at the Hertog Jan brewery booth. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Walking out with bellies full of beer just after 11pm, the departing crowd still had some nighttime to enjoy their more-than-buzzes. Earlier on, Toronto punkers Metz probably described that feeling best when lead singer Alex Edkins thanked the crowd like a true Canuck. “We’re happy to be back in the big city….so you guys are all hammered, eh?”

Metz after their Growler stage performance
Metz performing on the Growler stage. (Photo by Manny Tatkieto)

Photos by Nick McManus unless noted.