Bradley’s Almanac

[30 Years Ago Today] Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Fest

Posted on October 10, 2022 at 12:45 pm | 5 Comments



A few weeks back, sporting a Pond t-shirt while watching the re-kindled Come play a blistering set at the venerable Middle East Upstairs, with Buffalo Tom‘s Bill Janovitz in the sold-out crowd off to my right and Green Magnet School‘s Chris Pearson somewhere behind me, I had a stray thought: “Well, this is certainly a very Vermonstress evening.” The first time I’d ever seen all four of those bands play was at the absolutely-stacked 2-day Sub Pop Vermonstress Festival in my relatively small hometown of Burlington, Vermont. My second thought: “Wait, that was October ’92… it’s now 2022. Whoa, the 30 year anniversary is comin’ right up.” So here we are.

After Come left the Middle East stage that night, I mentioned the impending anniversary date to longtime WMBR DJ Jon Bernhardt (who was also at the VT fest, at least a decade before we’d actually meet), and remarked that I should probably do some kind of anniversary post. I recalled a previous post at the 20-year mark when I’d shared the fest’s soundboard recordings, and lamented the absence of the Buffalo Tom set, which was on a cassette that had long ago disappeared. Cue Jon: “Y’know, I think I may have those original recordings somewhere on a server.” And he did!

So today, on the three-decade anniversary of that fabled Sub Pop Records fest, I not only rectify the glaring Buffalo Tom omission, but also add the band that was on the other side of that lost tape: The World According To Steve, teenagers from Bennington, VT who were invited by Sub Pop to represent the host state. Also missing from that original share, but only because I didn’t think their set was even recorded: First day openers Gravel. Turns out that was partly true… just a few songs from their performance were captured, so I’ve added them here.

I’ve taken this opportunity to use Jon’s files, which were sourced from the original DATs, to vastly improve the sound quality of some select sets, and re-encoded all the MP3s as larger files at a higher bitrate (remember when server space was pricey?). Those new files also allowed me to reconstruct the exact playing order of the weekend, unearth a few songs that were missing from the cassette dubs, and tweak some details on a few setlists. And there are so many more older releases on both Bandcamp and Spotify than there were a decade ago that I was even able to finally identify all the HP Zinker song names. As a stickler for details, that’s always nagged at me a bit.

It may be hyperbolic to say that weekend changed my life, but it certainly had a butterfly effect on my future. I not only became a lifelong fan of a handful of incredible bands, but met some genuinely great people I’m still in touch with, and was in the room with others I’d eventually call friends. The event even inspired my pal Colin and I to start our own derivatively-named yearly indie music fest, during which I’d solidify relationships that eventually led to my move to Boston. I could go on, but yeah… it was a pretty big deal in my personal world, and it’s been a blast re-listening to these sets while editing over the past couple weeks. Psyched to be able to shine a light on them again. Enjoy…
Download all 157 live MP3s here: Vermonstress ZIP file

Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Festival


Day 1
Saturday, October 10th, 1992
at Club Metronome, Burlington, Vermont
afternoon show…
01. Sand In My Eyes (fades in)
02. Halfway
03. Over The Edge
01. Realize
02. Jr.
03. Barely Real
04. Cave-In
05. Hard to Find
06. D
07. Broken-Hearted Wine
Beat Happening
01. Tiger Trap
02. Teenage Caveman
03. Sleepyhead
04. Dreamy
05. banter
06. Red Head Walking
07. Other Side
08. Revolution Come and Gone
09. Nancy Sin
10. Noise
11. Godsend
12. Left Behind
13. Cry For A Shadow
14. Me Untamed
15. Crashing Through
16. You Turn Me On
evening show…
01. Confection
02. Eyes Are Bruised
03. Railhead
04. Light
05. Prisoner
06. The Charley Horses
07. EJ
08. God-Fearing Shareholders of the World
01. Grinned
02. Young Splendor
03. Perfect Four
04. Wheel
05. Pretty Thing (Bo Diddley cover)
06. Spots
07. Agatha / Filler
Velocity Girl
01. Even Die
02. 57 Waltz
03. Copacetic
04. Pretty Sister
05. Stupid Thing
06. Warm/Crawl
07. My Forgotten Favorite
08. Creepy
09. Crazy Town
Drop Nineteens
01. Delaware
02. Mayfield
03. Winona
04. Astral
05. Happen
06. My Aquarium
07. Reberrymemberer
08. Angel (Madonna cover)
01. Dead Molly
02. William
03. Submerge
04. Last Mistake
05. Fast Piss Blues
06. Bell
07. Car
08. S.V.K.


Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Festival

Day 2
Sunday, October 11th, 1992
at Club Metronome, Burlington, Vermont
afternoon show…
The World According To Steve
01. Spur of the Moment Song
02. Grey Eyes
03. Manufactured World
04. Here and Back
05. Beauty and Pain
06. Happy Hour
07. TWATS Theme
08. War Dreams
09. Funky
H.P. Zinker
01. Desperate Moves
02. A Million Sparks Are Riding In My Mind
03. Reason
04. Trapped
05. Our Precious Love
06. The Breed
07. Mirror
08. Sometimes I Just Don’t Feel Like Talking
09. Warzone City
10. Mysterious Girl
Eric’s Trip
01. Kiss Me Baby / Smother
02. Listen
03. Haze
04. Belong
05. Happens All The Time
06. Float
07. Belly
08. My Chest Is Empty (part 2)
09. Blinded
10. Bring Down the Rain
11. Easier Last Time
12. Open Your Heart (Madonna cover)
Green Magnet School
01. Sonic Exterminator
02. Noxin
03. Barmecide Room
04. Don’t Cry (Neil Young cover)
05. Singed
06. 12 Gauge
07. Penance
evening show…
01. Sleepover
02. Lucky For Me
03. Shame Shame
04. Ill-Placed Trust
05. Underwhelmed
06. Amped
07. Take It In
08. Marcus Said
09. Pretty Voice
10. Rag Doll
Six Finger Satellite
01. Sex Transistor
02. Niponese National Anthem
03. Laughing Larry
04. Polish the Shine (Satchmo)
05. Home for the Holy Day
06. Crippled Monster Bearing Malice
Sub Pop says “Thanks!”
Chris Harford & the First Rays of the New Rising Sun
01. Swinging Bridge
02. Raise the Roof
03. Looking For Light
04. Road With You
05. If You Forget Me
06. Pop Life (Prince cover)
07. You Brains
08. The Living End
09. Sing, Breathe, and Be Merry
Giant Sand
01. Neon Filler
02. Sage Advice
03. Wearing the Robes of Bible Black
04. Solomon’s Ride
05. Stuck
06. Unwed and Well Sped
Barbara Manning
01. Never Park
02. Breathe Lies
03. Someone Wants You Dead
04. Don’t Rewind
05. Winter Song
06. Green
07. On On and One
08. Smoking Her Wings (The Bats cover)
09. Lock Yer Room
10. Scissors
Buffalo Tom
01. Walk Away
02. Staples
03. Enemy
04. Darl
05. Taillights Fade
06. Velvet Roof
07. Mineral
08. Sunflower Suit
09. I’m Not There
10. Bleeding Heart
11. Birdbrain


“um, thanks for coming, it’s 2 o’clock…
they gotta close… so it’s done.
c’mon, 18 bands, 36 hours…
you’ve had enough rock.”

– the final words from the Metronome stage,
spoken by WMBR DJ/Vermonstress emcee David Greene,
during unending encore applause at the 2am curfew
on Monday, October 12th, 2022



5 Responses to “[30 Years Ago Today] Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Fest”

  1. Kevy Nova
    October 11th, 2022 @ 8:25 pm

    Thank you for all your research and reporting on this, Brad! I was the guitarist for The World According To Steve and this was such a magical time, I’m glad you’re keeping it alive. We were aware that the show was recorded but never heard it until now! I thought the recording was lost forever.

  2. Dave Rosencrans
    October 16th, 2022 @ 8:42 pm

    Hello Bradley – As part of the Sub Pop crew lucky enough to attend 1992’s foliage fest in Burlington, I appreciated your post here ten years ago. When Jon B’s BOC episode broadcast on WMBR last Friday, I was blown away by the additional effort you’ve both put into documenting Vermonstress, and can’t thank you enough.

    I’d also like to give a heartfelt shoutout to Joyce Linehan, an author of the Declaration of Techno-Colonial Independence. While it is true that Sub Pop organized this event, Vermonstress was her idea and she was the driving force in making it actually happen.

    Vermonstress perhaps best exemplifies Joyce’s contribution to the label, which was incalculable. She drove a big shift in the A&R direction and a broadening of the label’s aesthetic, all of which was under-appreciated by many. Most importantly, she shifted the culture of the company, making it a far more FUN place to work.

    When I think back to my time there, a great percentage of my best memories involved Joyce, 10-A Burt St. in Dot, and the circle of talent for which she was a hub.

    Thanks again for prepping and sharing these tracks, all of which still sound great and are proof positive of those wonderful times. – Dave Rosencrans, Seattle

  3. Joyce Linehan
    October 19th, 2022 @ 9:47 am

    Dave- You are very kind. I mostly remember laughter and good music!


  4. Jamie Blondin
    October 20th, 2022 @ 8:59 pm

    I had a moment and looked up the name. Was your dad a policeman? I am just reminiscing but we could have been besties when we were very young.

    If not, no harm. Thanks!

  5. Brad Searles
    October 21st, 2022 @ 10:31 am

    Holy $#%^! Jamie! Yeah, it’s me. I still have the photographic evidence of our youngster hang-times. Crazy that you found me through here. And if I’d randomly seen your name somewhere, I’d have done the same thing. 🙂

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    Tuesday, June 4th
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    Joe Jackson
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    Wednesday, June 5th
    Andy Summers (The Police)
    @ Cary Hall, Lexington

    Thursday, June 6th
    Jason Narducy & Alison Chesley
    duo/reunion show
    @ Q Division Studios, Cambridge

    Thursday, June 6th
    Reverend Horton Heat
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    Friday, June 7th
    Swansea Sound
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, June 8th
    (a band called) E
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    Saturday, June 8th
    Joe Pera
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    Saturday, June 8th
    John Cleese
    Q&A, plus a screening of
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    @ the Chevalier Theatre, Medford

    Monday, June 10th
    Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade)
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    Monday, June 10th
    Yasmin Nur
    @ the Rockwell

    Monday, June 10th
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, June 11th
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, June 12th
    The Trans-Canada Highwaymen
    (mems. of Sloan, Odds, BNL,
    & The Pursuit of Happiness)
    @ City Winery Boston

    Thursday, June 13th
    Jon Langford &
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    with Jesse Ahern
    @ the Cut, Gloucester

    Thursday, June 13th
    Quasi playing 'Featuring "Birds"'
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    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, June 13th
    Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties
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    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, June 13th
    Comedy Bang! Bang!
    with Scott Aukerman &
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    @ The Wilbur

    Friday, June 14th
    The Gentlemen
    (featuring Mike Gent of the Figgs)
    first show in a decade!
    @ the Burren Back Room

    Friday, June 14th
    Sidewalk Driver
    @ Canal District Kendall

    Friday, June 14th
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    Friday, June 14th
    Dylan Earl
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    Saturday, June 15th
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    Saturday, June 15th
    The Umbrellas
    @ 4th Wall
    @ the Capital Theatre, Arlington

    Sunday, June 16th
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    @ Xfinity Center

    Monday, June 17th
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    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, June 19th
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    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, June 20th
    Roger Daltrey
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    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, June 21st
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    @ the Royale

    Friday, June 21st
    @ Deep Cuts

    Saturday, June 22nd
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    playing "Shake The Sheets"
    with guests
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    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, June 22nd
    Guided By Voices
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    @ the Royale

    Sunday, June 23rd
    Silversun Pickups
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, June 25th
    Jon Anderson (of Yes)
    playing “Yes Epics, Classics, and More”
    @ the Shubert Theatre

    Tuesday, June 25th
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
    Courtney Marie Andrews
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, June 26th
    Blue Oyster Cult
    @ the Lynn Auditorium

    Thursday, June 27th
    Lady Pills
    @ Faces Brewing

    Thursday, June 27th
    Bikini Whale
    Tsunami of Sound
    @ the Cut

    Friday, June 28th
    Dry Cleaning
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, June 28th
    A Day To Remember
    The Story So Far
    Four Year Strong
    Pain of Truth
    @ Suffolk Downs

    Friday, June 28th
    @ Rockwood Music Hall

    Friday, June 28th
    Janet Jackson
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, June 29th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ Boarding House Park, Lowell

    Sunday, June 30th
    Les Savy Fav
    @ Somerville Armory

    Sunday, June 30th
    Pedro the Lion
    Squirrel Flower (solo)
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, July 3rd
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, July 5th
    Mark Sandman Memorial Concert:
    Gone 25 Years But Not Forgotten
    featuring Dana Colley, Jerome Deupree, Mike Rivard, Laurie Sargent, Russ
    Gershon, Christian McNeill, Tom Halter
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    Sabine Hrechdakian, & more
    @ the Cut in Gloucester

    Tuesday, July 9th
    Alanis Morissette
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    Morgan Wade
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Thursday, July 11th
    Bad Cop/Bad Cop
    @ Deep Cuts

    Thursday, July 11th
    Mates of State
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 13th
    Truth Club
    @ Deep Cuts

    Sunday, July 14th
    Daryl Hall & Elvis Costello
    @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway

    Tuesday, July 16th
    Los Campesinos!
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, July 17th
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, July 17th
    The Folk Implosion
    @ the Rockwell

    Wednesday, July 17th
    The "Summer Sounds" Series
    With Lost Film &
    Hey I'm Outside
    @ Bellforge Arts Center

    Wednesday, July 17th
    Totally Tubular Festival Tour
    with Thomas Dolby,
    Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins),
    Modern English, The Romantics,
    Men Without Hats, & more
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, July 19th
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, July 20th
    @ Deep Cuts

    Saturday, July 20th
    Have Heart
    Eye For An Eye
    Wound Man
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, July 20th
    Lana Del Rey
    @ Fenway Park

    Sunday, July 21st
    Foo Fighters
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    Amyl and the Sniffers
    @ Fenway Park

    Thursday, July 25th
    Jah Wobble (PIL)
    "Metal Box: Rebuilt in Dub"
    @ City Winery

    July 25th-28th
    NICE, a fest
    many, many bands
    @ Davis Square in Somerville

    Saturday, July 27th
    Red Kross
    Dale Crover
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, July 27th
    @ the Royale

    Monday, July 29th
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    @ Deep Cuts

    Thursday, August 1st
    The Mountain Goats
    Field Medic
    @ the House of Blues

    Friday, August 2nd
    John Waite
    @ Xfinity Center

    Saturday, August 3rd
    Cheap Trick
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Monday, August 5th
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Full Body 2
    @ the Royale

    Monday, August 5th
    Def Leppard
    @ Fenway Park

    Wednesday, August 7th
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    Smashing Pumpkins
    The Linda Lindas
    @ Fenway Park

    Saturday, August 10th
    The Chameleons
    play "Strange Times" in full
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 10th
    Missy Elliott
    Busta Rhymes
    @ the Garden

    Sunday, August 11th
    Wild Nothing
    Peel Dream Magazine
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, August 11th
    Iron & Wine
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, August 12th
    The Doobie Brothers
    Steve Winwood
    @ Xfinity Center

    Tuesday, August 13th
    Gin Blossoms
    Toad the Wet Sprocket
    @ the Chevalier Theatre

    Thursday, August 15th
    Andrew Bird
    Amadou & Mariam
    @ Tree House Brewing in Deerfield

    Saturday, August 17th
    Kid Congo & the Pink Monkeybirds
    Lupo Citta
    Red Herrings
    @ Deep Cuts

    Saturday, August 17th
    Daniel Romano's Outfit
    @ Sonia

    Monday, August 19th
    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
    @ Suffolk Downs

    Wednesday, August 21st
    @ the Cut

    Friday, August 23rd
    Childish Gambino
    @ the Garden

    Friday, August 23rd
    Eric Bachmann
    Jennifer O'Connor
    @ Club Passim

    Sunday, August 25th
    Dweezil Zappa
    The "Rox(Postroh)y" Tour
    Celebrating the music of papa Frank
    @ the Chevalier Theatre

    Sunday, August 25th
    @ the Cut

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    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, September 2nd
    The "Set Yourself On Fire"
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    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, September 3rd
    King Buzzo (Melvins)
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    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Peter Hook & the Light
    doing both the Joy Division
    & New Order "Substance" LPs
    @ the Paradise

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    play "There's Nothing Wrong With Love"
    in full, with cello
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    Thursday, September 5th
    St. Vincent
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, September 6th
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    Friday, September 6th
    Rob Zombie
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    Friday, September 6th
    Lady Lamb
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Saturday, September 7th
    Marika Hackman
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, September 8th
    Paul Weller
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, September 10th
    Weezer (performing the Blue Album)
    with Dinosaur Jr.
    & The Flaming Lips
    @ the Garden

    Wednesday, September 11th
    All That Remains
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, September 13th
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, September 13th
    Janes Addiction
    Love & Rockets
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, September 13th
    Boy George
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    Friday, September 13th
    Hoodoo Gurus
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    Sunday, September 15th
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    tix on sale this Friday