Best Performance: Against Me! Taking the stage with an arsenal that included a reshuffled lineup and new album Transgender Dysphoria Blues—maybe the band’s best record to-date—Laura Jane Grace and her Gainesville ensemble have never sounded better to my ears.
Best Emerging Act: Masked Intruder Performing tongue-in-cheek pop songs about armed robbery, kidnapping and assault (all in the name of love, of course) this young Midwest band won over hard-hearted punk fans with its fun shtick.
Craziest Pit: Judge Fans took full advantage of a rare opportunity to catch the NYC straight-edge pioneers, rushing the stage, flipping into the crowd, grabbing the mic and knocking over musicians.
Best Showman: The Adicts’ Monkey A graduate of the Rip Taylor school of pageantry, this British glam-punk joker loves to cover his crowd in glitter, streamers, playing cards, beach balls, confetti and anything else he can shoot off the stage.
Best Fan Moment: The Dwarves During the Bay Area vets’ “I Will Deny,” an audience member stormed the main stage, stole Blag Dahlia’s mic and performed the song in its entirety.
Biggest Temper Tantrum: John Cougar Concentration Camp JCCC struggled through part of one song before an argument onstage led to a smashed drum set and an abandoned performance.
Best Band Name: Cerebral Ballzy Simple, funny and offensive—the punk-rock trifecta.
Biggest Surprise: Cock Sparrer One night after headlining the main festival stage, the British Oi! originals ambushed fans by performing an unannounced set to a jam-packed crowd inside Backstage Bar & Billiards.