Self Help Fest ignites the night in San Bernardino

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

  1. The Downfall of Us All
  2. My Life for Hire
  3. I’m Made of Wax, Larry, what are you Made of?
  4. 2nd Sucks
  5. Monument
  6. My Own Worst Enemy (Lit cover)
  7. Right Back at it Again
  8. Mr. Highway’s Thinking about the End
  9. Paranoia (live debut)
  10. Better off this Way
  11. Have Faith in Me
  12. Sometimes You’re the Hammer, sometimes You’re the Nail
  13. All Signs Point to Lauderdale
  14. If it Means a lot to You
  15. All I Want
  16. The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle

  1. Breathing in a New Mentality
  2. In Regards to Myself
  3. Young and Aspiring
  4. There could be Nothing After This
  5. It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
  6. Down, Set, Go
  7. A Moment Suspended in Time
  8. You’re Ever so Inviting
  9. To Whom it may Concern
  10. Reinventing Your Exit
  11. A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White
  12. Writing on the Walls
The Wonder Years

  1. I don’t Like who I was then
  2. Local Man Ruins Everything
  3. There, There
  4. Dismantling Summer
  5. Cardinals
  6. A Song for Patsy Cline
  7. Passing through a Screen Door
  8. Stained Glass Ceilings (with Jason Butler)
  9. Came Out Swinging

  1. Banshee (Ghost Fame)
  2. The Dope Beat
  3. White America’s Beautiful Black Market
  4. Younger
  5. Good Mourning America
  6. Muther
  7. 27 Club
  8. Le Prologue
  9. The Sick, Sick, 6.8 Billion
  10. Virgin Dirt
  11. Day 54
  12. Renegade 86’

  1. Outerspace
  2. Catfish Billy
  3. Push ‘em
  4. Pop the Trunk
  5. I Wish
  6. Till it’s Gone
  7. Empty Bottles

  1. Love. Sex. Riot.
  2. Stingray Affliction
  3. Never Lose Your Flames
  4. Life of a Nine
  5. The Realist
  6. Blue Wall (live debut)
  7. Hooligans
Crown the Empire

  1. The Fallout
  2. Johnny’s Revenge
  3. Prisoners of War
  4. Cross Our Bones
  5. Zero
  6. Voices
  7. Machines
Further Seems Forever

  1. How to Start a Fire
  2. The Deep
  3. Against My Better Judgement
  4. Pride War
  5. Light Up Ahead
  6. The Moon is Down
  7. The Down

Post by Matthew Saunders

What are your thoughts on this rendition go Self Help Fest?  Comment below.

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About Matt Saunders 86 Articles
My name is Matt and I am a photographer/staff writer for this site. I'm a writer, photographer, musician, gear enthusiasts, and dreamer. My favorite genres are nü metal, indie pop/rock and pop punk. Other than music, dogs and burritos make me happy.

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