Okay, so I made my annual trek out to Manhattan to visit David Bash at the International Pop Overthrow once again. This was a special opening night, as Starbelly was appearing and I made it just in time for their hard rocking set. When David introduced the band, he said “This band epitomizes power pop,” and he was correct. The reunion of Bryan Ewald (guitar), Dennis Schocket (bass) and Cliff Hillis (guitar) was magical. Next came The Whims (a local band I will be reviewing next week) followed by my old friends The Hillary Step, who played a wonderful acoustic set previewing tracks from a new EP due this summer. The venue, National Underground was a small, but lively bar – the only hindrance being a support pole directly in front of the stage. The Festival continues through this Sunday. See the schedule here.