- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2005

The HFStival’s outdoor area and side stages provided welcome relief for the thousands of sweaty and sunburned rock fans who turned up Saturday at M&T; Bank Stadium.

Though smaller than in previous years, the periphery still resembled a carnival grounds, with food and apparel vendors along with the always-popular piercing booth and climbing wall.

In matters of music, there were two performance areas: the Street Stage, which offered an eclectic mix of bigger-name acts such as Unwritten Law and Citizen Cope, and the Locals Only Stage, featuring such local bands as Victory Twin and Adelyn. In addition to the live-music stages, there also was the Buzz tent for great DJ sets by U.K. natives Evil Nine and Photek, among others.

For the most part, the afternoon belonged to party-punk rockers such as Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Pepper and headliner Sum 41, which was by far the fan favorite of the afternoon. The Canadian foursome played a polished 12-song set full of new material from their third mainstream album, “Chuck,” along with such crowd favorites as “Still Waiting,” “The Hell Song” and “Pieces.”

The Welsh rockers of Stereophonics, whose anthemesque Brit-rock sound seemed noticeably out of place, played an inspired set despite a painfully obvious lack of crowd support.

— Thomas Walter

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