March 19 and 20, 2016 was an absolute whirlwind of bands, music, new and old friends. So What music festival had come back yet again, featuring bands such as KNUCKLE PUCK, DANCE GAVIN DANCE, SAOSIN, and the highly anticipated UNDEROATH. Taking over Quiktrip Park in Grand Prairie, the weekend proved to be a bit chilly but sustainable. This festival is known for getting rained out, but this year proved to be a nice exception.
Day One was very much pop punk in flavor, NECK DEEP was one of the headliners and featured openers such as EMERY, HOTEL BOOKS, MILK TEETH, and CITIZEN, just to name a few. Some of the notable sets I caught were the following: KNUCKLE PUCK, who was very high energy and seemed to love engaging with the crowd. SIRENS & SAILORS, whose on stage choreography looked well placed, instead of ill-timed. SLAVES, whose vocalist, Jonny Craig, did a fantastic job and broke many a heart with his performance.
One of the less than wonderful sets came from the older band EMERY. It almost seemed like they were trying too hard to be “young” and “cool”. It felt like when your dad went to a BBQ and tried to use the phrases “swag” and “yolo” to impress your peers.
Overall, Day One was a blast and did a perfect job setting the expectations for the next one.
Day Two was a bit heavier, featuring bands like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, UNDEROATH, BEARTOOTH, and CAPSIZE. One of the best sets of the day came from ’68, whose vocalist Josh Scogin started to load out the drummer’s kit, while he was still playing. EMAROSA kept everyone on their toes when their vocalist, Bradley Walden, decided to not only climb the scaffolding, but also the cross beam on top of the stage. DANCE GAVIN DANCE set many hearts fluttering by way of their clean vocalist Tilian Pearson. Not only did he hit every note with ease, but he supplemented his vocal performance with downright stripperesque moves.
By the time UNDEROATH started their set you would think that the kids wouldn’t have any energy left to give. That’s where you would be wrong. This band was playing not one, but two records in their entirety They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line. The crowd ate it up, yelling every single word right back at the band.
This was certainly a So What?! festival for the books, and I’m sure everyone is eagerly awaiting what next year’s line up will bring. But for now? I guarantee they’re all still resting up from a very full weekend.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: CRYSTAL FAYE PHOTOGRAPHY