As Zandari Festa grows year after year, I’m starting to consider it one of the best festivals that any visitor to Hongdae should attend.

Taking place October 2-4, Zandari is like the best compilation album ever. While looking through the list of bands, I thought of the top five bands that I would want to see.

The condition I had was that these are bands that I’ve never seen live before. After browsing the list, I realized I’ve seen maybe 5-10% of these bands live so there’s a lot more I’ve never been able to watch.

Norwegian Wood

I like the band’s melodic rock style. The slower tempos and heavy melodies are really great and the arrangements of songs improve over their EP Lost. Definitely a good band to hear when you want to get pulled into music.

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we hate jh

Pulling influences from early emo and alternative music, we hate jh is kind of an outlier because their music is played distortion free. I’ve listened to the band way back when it was just a single person and now that it’s a full band I’m curious to see what a live show is like.

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Kernelstrip

I’ve been fortunate to meet Kernelstrip in person, but haven’t been able to see a live performance. He has an unique style among the electronic genre and I’m really curious to see how his recorded work is reproduced in a live setting.

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Tierpark

Tierpark have a new EP releasing before Zandari Festa. It’s been a couple years since their last release and having heard the new EP, I’m a big fan. Self-described as “dreamgaze experimental post rock,” I always enjoy hearing how they perform their music in front of a crowd.

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Say Sue Me

Considering I’ve never been to Busan, the chances I would stumble on a Say Sue Me show are slim. But their surf rock style is awesome. Say Sue Me is a band that I really want to see live. Their releases are a lot of fun and I can imagine that a live show is 1000X better.

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Gus Benevolent

Gus Benevolent actually makes six artists, but after listening to A Thing Called Tomorrow he’s definitely a musician I want to see live.

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Honestly, this is only five bands among the couple hundred that are playing the festival. I could easily recommend …Whatever That Means for punk rock, DIEALRIGHT for garage rock, LudiSTELO and Love X Stereo for electronic pop rock, Julia Dream for psychedelic, and Romantiqua for post rock. I’ve seen them all and they’re awesome live.

Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.