So What Music Fest.
A culmination of one hell of a pre-party, a day of pop-punk, a love fest emo night, and the capstone of it all – Day 2 of the So What Music Fest. The day that brought people all the way from Maine to see headliners Underoath perform not one but two albums. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
A little bit warmer then the initial first day in Grand Prairie, Texas, the slow building crowd made it obvious that the after party hosted by Taking Back Tuesday gave a few fest goers a slow start on the cloud-free Sunday.
Much like Day 1 of So What Music Fest, smaller bands took to the three stages in QuickTrip Park to break them in for the larger acts of the day. Some of these acts included DHN-Tv’s friends in The CMDWN, Cruel Hand, Assuming We Survive and Chunk! No Captain Chunk. Even at noon the size of circle pits were taking up more than half the crowds and by mid-afternoon people were stripping off their jackets and moshing in t-shirts and some ballsy people even shirtless. But, hey whatever keeps you warm.
The set-up of this fest was genius in that it didn’t leave kids wandering around while “no one good played.” Because first off, everyone was good, but secondly once 3 o’clock came around it was just a matter of bouncing from stage to stage as one band ended and another began.
Being As An Ocean really should be considered performers more so than a hardcore band. Not any offense to their music, it’s great- but front man Joel Quartuccio sets his sight on the crowd, and nothing else matters. Performing more than half the set in the middle of the massive crowd, it was hard to look away from what stunt he was going to pull next. I personally find myself humming the melody of “The Hardest Part of Forgetting…” more than I’d like to admit.
One thing I can say about Day 2 of So What Music Fest, is that the performances by bands on day two defintely outshined most from the day before. Again, no offense to anyone, but when you have Emarosa’s front man Bradley Scott Walden climbing rafters and hanging from the top, it’s hard to compete.
The emotion that every member of Emarosa puts into a performance make it hard to miss one single second to get a better spot at the next stage for the next band. Definitely earned a top performer of the day from me. Of course, there were a number of bands to compete for that spot. Of the bands, it was easy to see the crowd favorites before they even took to the stage- hometown boys Fit For A King.
Drawing possibly the largest crowd of the day besides UnderOath, it was easy to see the Dallas was welcoming home these guys with arms wide open. And mosh pits wide open, because not only was their crowd enormous, they were also incredibly energetic going from start to finish. Hometown pride forsureeee.
Another set that was sure to be one of the best of the day was our friends in Dance Gavin Dance. Similarly to Emarosa, the passion in their set is almost mystifying and what a front-man Tilian Pearson is. Some fans described his performance as almost sexual, and I can’t disagree with them. They’re another band that I would most definitely recommend seeing live ASAP. (And keep an eye out for an exclusive from DHN-Tv coming soon regarding these boys 😉 !)
The rest of the night felt like a step back into high school. With old school bands like Silverstein, The Devil Wears Prada, Saosin and Beartooth it was hard not to. Ok, so Beartooth wasn’t part of that era- but they’re so good if I start talking about them, I’ll never stop. Seriously, talk about captivating a crowd. Check ’em out. Anthony Green performed again with Saosin which I think had everyone’s inner Hot Topic-era self fan-girling inside. And let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint (Surprise Surprise.)
It was obvious that everyone’s spirits stayed high all weekend in anticipation for the festival headliner to take the stage, regardless of the cold and wind. If you’re a fan of Underoath, you know that their reunion has been one not to miss, and this set was no different. Playing both They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line in their entirety, there set was sure to have a lasting impression on even those who weren’t major Underoath fans. (Not that there were many of those…) With a large emphasis on dramatics and cinematography to shift from song to song and from one album to the next, the largest crowd of the weekend sang along in unison in almost an eerily way. It was definitely a sight not to be missed. Image seeing a baseball field packed full of people singing “I’m drowning in my sleep” over and over again. Even days later it’s still resonating as one of the best spectacles of the weekend.
There’s no doubt that most people would say that Day 2 of So What?! Music fest would kick Day 1’s ass any day of the week. But if you look at it the way creator Mike Ziemer want’s you to, this is a fest for the fans and the diverse crowd that So What?! brought out this year, it definitely delivered on all fronts.
I personally have to say it’s a festival that is worth traveling for, no matter how far. Can’t wait to see what they pull off next year.