It was a clear, sunny day in San Bernardino, California on Saturday as fans early anticipated the day to come. This was the third time Self Help Fest has graced its presence in Southern California. With the strong reputation Self Help, Dave Shapiro, and Fly South Music Group has had over the past few years, fans were anxiously waiting at the gates to get into the venue and see what would await them inside. What fans didn’t know was how this Self Help would blow the rest out of the water.
The day started around 1:30 p.m. with fans still trickling in and Japan based band One OK Rock starting things off at the “Red Stage” (main stage). Many concert goers gravitated to this stage as this was the only thing musically happening at the time until the “Black Stage” (Indoor Stage) opened it’s doors around 1:45 p.m. with Night Verses.
The fact that Self Help caters to so many “subgroups” in the hardcore/independent scene is what has driven the festival since its inception. Where its nü metal, hardcore, pop punk or even rap/hip hop, there is something for everyone at Self Help. In fact, some might argue the lineups each year are too good, as fans frantically migrate between stages in-between sets in hopes of not missing any of their favorite bands play.
That hustle was put to a stop around 5 p.m. when the Black Stage closed for the day and everyone moved to the Red Stage to catch Grammy-nominated metalcore band, August Burns Red. The band had a special treat for the crowd as they invited A Day To Remember frontman Jeremy McKinnon to the stage to do the guest vocal parts for the song “Ghosts.”
Proceeding August Burns Red was The Story so Far and The Wonder Years. Both pop-punk bands delivered emotionally driven, anecdotal lyrics that got the crowd pumped and ready before Underoath took the stage.
Underoath played their first Southern California show in more than four years at Self Help. This was also drummer Aaron Gillespie’s first Southern California show with the band in more than 7 years as he departed the band prior to their recent hiatus. The band made sure to make the crowd feel special, as the area was originally excluded for their previous hiatus tour. Underoath made it up to their fans that lived in the area by announcing a a new show during the set that is scheduled to be on Easter Sunday in Los Angeles at The Fonda Theater. The band played well known hits from their earlier catalog off Define the Great Line and They’re Only Chasing Safety.
The band saved their biggest hit “Writing on the Wall” for their last song, however, Gillespie’s mic stopped working. This took the band for a surprise since his vocals in the beginning are the root of the song. This didn’t stop the crowd from filling the empty spaces with their own chorus. This chorus was so loud it filled the venue and reverberated off the concrete industrial complexes surrounding the venue. The smile that frontman Spencer Chamberlain gave when hearing this showed the crowd that Underoath is not going away again anytime soon.
A Day to Remember closed out the night, as the founding band of the festival, and the one many came to see. They played songs that stretched from their entire discography. as well as the new single the band put out a week prior entitled “Paranoia.”
An array of lights and fireworks signified the “grand finalé” of the festival and sent home fans on a high note.
|A Day to Remember
|The Wonder Years
||Crown the Empire
||Further Seems Forever
Post by Matthew Saunders
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