Not every festival sends its fans through a whirlwind of lush indie rock, thought-provoking hip-hop, road-tested folks and visceral hardcore ... in one afternoon.
But on its 10th anniversary, that's exactly what 80/35 Music Festival did Saturday in downtown Des Moines' Western Gateway Park.
With 30-plus acts appearing Saturday across three stages (four, counting the youth music "Generation Z" showcase), festival-goers were handed the ingredients to make a musical cocktail of previously-unimaginable proportions. Organizers estimate 33,000 people — across the free stages and pay-to-see main stage — attended the event between Friday and Saturday, marking one of the largest 80/35 crowds in the festival's tenure.
Here's a look at what you may have seen (or missed) at 80/35 this Saturday.
Lost in action: The festival day started with news that New York rapper and food guru Action Bronson would not be making his previously scheduled main stage appearance. Slated as the main support to headliner The Shins, funk jam outfit the Motet slid into the direct support slot with Des Moines' own The Maytags stepping in to fill the vacation 5 p.m. main stage slot.
Led by the groove from front man Dustin Smith, the six-piece soulful act stepped up to the challenge, putting together a 75-minute set just hours before appearing in front of the thousands who populated the main stage concourse.
Smith, a multi-year veteran of the 80/35 free stages, said he and the Maytags were simply humbled to get the opportunity.
"Most bands usually have four, five months to put together a really unique set for an event like this," Smith said. "With stuff like this, we just try to stay professional."
On the side: Like clockwork, each year at 80/35 provides at least one free stage act that turns the crowd completely upside down, leaving fans buzzing for weeks to come. Music lovers know that kind of performance ... the one that comes out of the blue and takes you on an unexpected, roller coaster-like ride, leaving you begging for more.
For some on Saturday, that set could've been the all-too-charming indie flavor of Minneapolis outfit Bad Bad Hats; it also could've happened during the energetic R&B of Zuluzuluu; for some, maybe it happened while Iowan greats William Elliott Whitmore and David Zollo were leading a rowdy rock 'n' roll performance as part of Middle Western.
Or ... it probably happened during the cosmic madness of Diarrhea Planet. Led by three guitarists (down one from the usual four) and a whole lot of hair, the five-piece (usually six-piece) outfit was dynamic and downright fun — a set not to be forgotten in the coming weeks.
"We discovered we really love Iowa," Diarrhea Planet guitarist and vocalist Jordan Smith said during a song break. "Keep it to yourself. ... If you have something great, keep it a secret."
Double duty: A number of local acts during 80/35 perform multiple times in a day, taking talent to the main stage or a free stage before heading to a nearby music club to again deliver a set during a festival after-party.
That was the case for Illinois native — and Iowa transplant — troubadour Dan Tedesco, who first performed solo at 6 p.m. on the free Nationwide stage before taking his act a few blocks northwest to Gas Lamp for a full band second show.
A first-time 80/35 performer, Tedesco said the event makes for an intense day, but isn't something he'd easily turn down.
"I'm hopin' I can actually survive it," Tedesco said. "You never turn down a good gig, man. I love playing. I love being out, doing this."
Meanwhile, on the main stage: The marquee stage opened with a performance from Des Moines' own tenured rap duo prettygirlhatemachine.
Comprised of Matt Smith and Doug Epping, each described it as equal parts "exciting" and "nerve-wrecking." With Bronson dropping off the bill, prettygirlhatemachine were the sole hip-hop act to hit this year's main stage.
"It was definitely the biggest stage we've ever played on," Smith said. "One of the best opportunities we've ever had.
Following a jam from Coral Creek, Philadelphia's alternative-guitar outfit Hop Along took over the main stage to jokes of Hy-Vee sushi and body temperature wine. Performing tracks from both the band's full-length albums, "Painted Shut" and "Get Disowned," the nearly hour-long set came in the 3 p.m. heat of the afternoon.
Frontwoman Frances Quinlan kept a rolling dialog through each of the band's impassioned offerings.
"I wrote this in the kitchen of my dorm, so you know it's good. ... my art school dorm," she joked before the four-piece band performed "Laments."
From Hop Along came the Maytags' performance, followed by funk and jam favorites The Motet. Taking the main stage at 9:15 p.m., James Mercer-led indie rock act The Shins closed down the 10th annual 80/35.
Performing for roughly 85 minutes, Mercer and his band brought an 18-song set to the headlining slot, including fan-favorites "Phantom Limb," "Simple Song," "New Slang" and set opener "Caring Is Creepy." The appearance comes in support of the band's fifth studio album, "Heartworm," which dropped in March.
Following a mispronunciation of Des Moines (each "s" is silent, y'all), the group returned for a three-song encore, closing with a colorful rendition of 2007's "Sleeping Lessons."
"Whew," Mercer exclaimed over the last night of the evening. "Goodnight, you guys."