WesFest eighth annual event took place at The Roxy Theatre, on Mar. 3. Derek Frank, The WesFest All-Stars featured Ali Handel, Janet Robin, Colin Keenan, Joe Travers & Friends, Danny Mo & The Exciters. The event was headlined by Brendon Small’s Galaktikon. Kosha Dillz and Kira Small made special guest appearances. Brian Beller, bassist of Dethklok, was the master of ceremony.
WesFest is a scholarship event from Berklee College of Music. It is awarded to a continuing bass playing student, in honor of Wes Wehmiller. This year’s recipient of the annual scholarship was Jed Lingat.
Before Beller introduced Frank, he mentioned they were $3,000 away from reaching their goal. Then, Frank began his set with “Breakout”. He continued to cover Daryl Hall and John Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That”, Dillz accompanied him on “Keep It Fresh”, “Off the Top” and “Pinball Number Count” (made famous by “Sesame Street”) were also part of Frank’s set.
After Frank’s set, Belle announced the goal had been reached. He mentioned giveaways of shirts from various sponsors, Epiphone and Galien-Krueger would take place throughout the event. Handel was then introduced and she covered Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog”.
Robin was introduced and Beller mentioned she was a well-known touring guitarist with a live record recorded in France. She went onto perform “View From Above”. Afterwards, Keenan was introduced and he recited “I Won’t Listen”.
Beller arrived again and said the event couldn’t have gone without a hitch, without Stacey Ferguson. She was in charge of the behind the scenes operations. Then, he introduced Joe Travers & Friends and Lingat was invited on stage to display his abilities. Afterwards, a video of Wehmiller was shown on a projection screen with Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” and his bass playing as its soundtrack.
Danny Mo & The Exciters began their set with an instrumental and continued with “Crawfish”. Small was invited on stage to perform Gladys Knight & The Pips “Midnight Train to Georgia” and Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me”.
Brendon Small’s Galaktikon brought the ceremony to an end. Small mentioned this was the first time the record had been performed in its entirety. Members of the audience headbanged and had their hands up in the air, on every song. They sang with every song, for the exception of the instrumental “Dangertits”. He finished off the set with a pair of Dethklok songs, “Thunderhorse” and “Go Into The Water”.