Summer Festivals are a way of life, so after the slow painful death of the Mayhem Fest, it left many wondering how fans would be spending their money late in the concert season. Lo and behold, the Rock Gods smiled upon us. Texas Mutiny Festival took a few “left turns” and slammed concert goers into the wall with the inaugural debut of a stacked and hyped concert experience on the “back 40” of Texas Motor Speedway in Denton, Texas. Threat of inclement weather didn’t stop concert attendees from showing up en mass to enjoy music, drink some beer and roast under the Texas summer sun.
SEPTEMBER MOURNING (Renegade Stage) kicked off the festival midday, and by their second song I was impressed. This band is an excellent replacement for those of us who have grown weary of IN THIS MOMENT. Their cover of “Stand By Me” was unexpected, and very well done.
FAILURE ANTHEM (Republic Stage) did not disappoint. I had some high expectations after seeing them in July of this year in a tiny venue. I will say they absolutely delivered a great show on a larger stage just as I anticipated. Their interaction with the crowd, and energy on stage served them well. When you’re not a theatrical band, and you are playing in the middle of the day (in Texas heat), it takes some fortitude to pull it off.
SHAMAN’S HARVEST (Republic Stage) has been to the DFW area at around three times in the last 12 months and each time, I’ve been unable to catch them on stage. That year long streak ended at Texas Mutiny. The first half of their set was plagued by technical difficulties, but honestly, hearing them play “Dragonfly” at the end completely made up for it. After their time on stage was done, I happened upon their drummer, Adam Zemanek, in the Arcade tent, laying it down on the punching bag for one of the high scores, along with Chris Pierson, vocalist for FAILURE ANTHEM.
AVATAR (Republic Stage) had one of the larger crowds early in the day. I can always appreciate when a band will leave their most popular recent song until later in their set. “The Eagle Has Landed” was no exception. It was definitely the first time you really heard significant fan participation.
Shortly after AVATAR’S set concluded, and just before CANDLEBOX was scheduled to start, the fun and music came to a screeching halt. Texas Mutiny officials made the call to evacuate the concert grounds due to a storm cell moving quickly towards us,and the mass of humanity made the dash for the cars parked outside the gates just as rain began to fall in earnest. Ultimately, it delayed the rest of the day by about an hour, but hey, it’s Texas. Sunshine one minute, threat of lightning and taking cover the next isn’t unusual.
HELLYEAH (Longhorn Stage) What can you say about a band that is essentially North Texas royalty? The excitement was palatable, building before they hit the stage, with drummer Vinnie Paul of course leading the charge. Whipping the crowd into a frenzy, they saved their latest singles “Human” and the Phil Collins cover, “I Don’t Care Anymore” towards the end.
It was touch and go before CHEVELLE hit the stage, as there was another storm cell threatening to shut down the festival once again, but the stars aligned and faces were melted. When you’ve loved a band for 15 years, seeing them live feels like coming home. The group pulled out all the stops with songs like “Take Out the Gunman”, “Hats off to the Bull”, “Face to Floor”, and sent us back to the angst-riddled years with “Send the Pain Below”, “The Red” and “I Get It”.
Strong winds and lightning started to get closer after CHEVELLE ended, and the Texas Mutiny security teams began moving people out from underneath the tents, so I took that as my cue to go ahead and call it a night. All in all, it was a great experience. The roster of bands was good, and the layout of stages worked well. The only real negative was the lack of mist sprayers (It’s Texas in the summer… Come on, now!), even though the rain helped with that a bit.
I feel comfortable knowing that North Texas is in the hands of those who also produce the annual Rocklahoma event and I’m already looking forward to next year. And be on the lookout for our fan photo gallery coming soon!!
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: FIRST GIRL PHOTOGRAPHY