Photos / Review: So What?! Music Festival Day 2

Who: So What?! Music Festival Day 2

Above It All,  After The Burial, Attila,  Avion Roe, Be//gotten, Blindwish, Call Me Karizma, Closure, Cute Is What We Aim For, Emmure, Escape The Fate, Forever The Sickest Kids, I See Stars, Marty Grimes, Miss Fortune, Never Shout Never, Sunsleep, The Friday Night Boys, The Human Experiment, The Last Ten Seconds of Life, The Night Of, Under Dog House, Unity, We The Kings, Whitney Peyton.

Where: Airhogs Stadium, Grand Prairie, Texas

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bright and early (11 a.m. to be exact) on March 25, 2017 would be the start of So What Music Festival Day 2. A weekend festival going 10 years strong; it’s an event that many people across the nation look forward to every year. What made this year’s So What extra special was that Saturday’s show would be celebrating 10 year anniversaries of albums for some of the bands, including headliners We The Kings and Mayday Parade. This meant engaging in full throwback mode and singing along to lyrics that many thought they had forgotten.

The amount of people lined up at the gates and ready to rock out before noon was quite impressive. It just showed the dedication of people in the music scene, and support for the local bands opening up for the festival.

The first band playing and welcoming festival goers as they were entering the venue were Denton, Texas natives, Under Dog House. A quirky pop punk band; their cover of “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance was the music caffeine needed to start the festival off on a high note.

The next band to check out was Be//gotten. Brothers Nathan and Caleb Rodriguez were on vocals and they were a powerhouse duo; everything from their makeup to their movements were on point and in sync. The band’s energy really made it’s way into the crowd, and people were already moshing and head banging. This really proved that music never sleeps.

Up-and-coming rapper / R&B artist Call Me Karizma was up next and started off his set with good vibes and bubbles. His song “F U Till I F U” had notably honest lyrics with a catchy beat intertwined.

The next performance would be The Human Experiment. This would be another amazing set so early on in the day, and they set the bar high for following acts. Lead singer Cam Browder made sure to really get into the set, and at one point laid still on the stage. From a photographer’s point of view, this led to some pretty sweet shots, and anticipation for the crowd.

Unity performed afterwards, and brought an early 2000’s rap vibe to the festival. Lead vocalist Jay Webster showed off some sweet moves, as well as doing some high jumps and going into the crowd.  

A newer band on the festival, The Night Of, had the crowd singing along to their debut single, “Shameless.” It was impressive to see fans singing along to a song that has only been released for a couple of months. After catching their set, it looks like these guys have a promising future.

Escape The Fate was next, and the band put on a seamless performance like always. They performed a cover of “Dead!” by My Chemical Romance, and for the second time in a day, MCR fans rejoiced.

It was now time for the 10 year anniversary albums to be played. Starting off with The Friday Night Boys. This would be the first show that they played since 2010. Many people were wondering if this meant that the band was going to get back together, or perhaps go on a reunion tour. No word has been spoken about it yet, so we will just have to wait and see. The band played songs from Off The Deep End, including “Stupid Love Letter” and “Stuttering.”  Reality started to sink in that we would hear a plethora of albums that we grew up listening to ten years ago, and the excitement was building.

Cute is What We Aim For was up next, and played songs off their album, The Same Old Blood Rush with A New Touch. Even though the album came out more than 10 years ago, the whole crowd was singing along to the oh so popular “Curse of Curves” like it was yesterday.

Next up was Never Shout Never, and before starting off with “bigcitydreams,” Christofer Drew took off his shoes and even threw his socks into the crowd, where fans were reaching out in hopes of grabbing one. It was a pleasant sight to see fans truly embracing the festival and swaying their bodies and hands along to NSN’s tunes.

Forever The Sickest Kids played songs from their album Under Dog Alma Mater, and lead singer Jonathan Cook made sure to engage in a lot of mic swings and sing-alongs with the crowd.

Knuckle Puck performed a high energy set, and unfortunately had to stop during their last song. Lead singer Joe Taylor fell off stage and ended up injuring his hand. The band joked on their Twitter about how they went off, but literally “off the damn stage.” Taylor ended up having to get stitches, but thankfully turned out alright.

In the midst of the 10 year anniversary albums being played, bands Emmure and I See Stars performed. Both bands delivered and performed songs off their new albums, Look at Yourself and Treehouse, respectfully.

The headliners were now set to perform and provide a solid finish to Day 2. We The Kings was up first, and played their hit songs like “Check Yes Juliet” (twice to be specific) and “All Again For You.” During the second play of “Check Yes Juliet,” the crowd was even more enthusiastic than the first.

Attila came out to their song “Let’s Get Abducted” and had the crowd going wild. One after another, crowd surfers kept coming through and giving security a run for their money. Attila’s set was complete with CO2 smoke blasts and bright neon green lights, although they didn’t need any of that to keep the energy going.

Lastly, Mayday Parade closed out the night with a full performance of their breakout album, A Lesson in Romantics. This was a chance to play their lesser performed songs, such as “You Be The Anchor…” and “Take This To Heart.” A surprise for festival goers, they also played an encore featuring “Terrible Things” and “Oh Well, Oh Well.” This was a perfect fitting band to end the night of throwback album performances. And if someone said they weren’t singing along to “Miserable at Best,” then they were lying.

Overall, Day 2 was a pretty flawless mix of throwback bands with an introduction to new up-and-coming artists. I would even say that there were artists on Day 2 that could end up having their own 10 year anniversary album celebrations in the future. The addition of rap/R&B artists this year was also well received.

Day 3 was up next, and had a high bar to reach after Day 2. Stay tuned to see how the final day went!

Post and photos by Megan Choi

Did you attend this show? Comment below.

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