Any rock fans that live in North Texas for any amount of time have probably been to, if not heard about 97.1 The Eagle’s BFD annual summer kick-off. Saturday, May 26 saw Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX sell out to 20,000 Memorial Day Weekend party goers. It’s always impressive to see this venue at capacity, but I was surprised at how quickly the amphitheater filled up this year.
Admittedly, I had heard many local people complaining about the lineup leading up to the show, but honestly, considering Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK was happening the same weekend, we really didn’t fare too badly. A PERFECT CIRCLE, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, NOTHING MORE, I PREVAIL, 10 YEARS and THE BLUE STONES made for a solid booking this year. Let’s talk about the seating at Dos Equis Pavilion for a minute…
I’m not sure if this is permanent, but definitely something to note is that at least for this show, the pit was replaced by metal chair seating, which made for very little possible interaction between the artists and the crowd. I certainly wouldn’t pay pit prices to sit three rows back from the stage (which is now over 5.5 feet tall). Just something to consider if you’re visiting one of DFW’s largest outdoor concert venues.
It took me a solid 45 minutes to get into the parking lot this year, a testament to all of the people showing up early and ready to support the early billed bands. Or was it to tailgate and get day drunk? Being Texas, probably a good mix of both. Sadly, due to press restrictions at this particular show, we were sequestered away from the general population of concert goers unless we were shooting, so my ability to really get to enjoy the performances was rather limited. But alas, the day wasn’t a loss by any means.
10 YEARS never disappoints, and even though it was easily 95 degrees at 4pm, they really didn’t let it slow them down.
The guys in CANDLEBOX are a well oiled machine, and it was hilarious to see the 40 something ladies in the audience lose their minds.
It was my first time seeing I PREVAIL. I’m not going to lie, the fangirl in me was firing on all cylinders.
NOTHING MORE was absolutely the standout performance for me. There will be plenty of opportunities throughout North America this summer, and if they show up anywhere close to me, I’ll be going to see them again.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS played so many of their radio hits that it almost felt like a tribute concert, but I will say, it’s always thrilling to hear masses of people singing along in unison, so I won’t hate too hard. I did notice that after they closed out their set, easily ⅓ of the crowd left the venue. I personally would contribute that to the heat, which was absolutely suffocating at times.
I missed out on shooting A PERFECT CIRCLE due to myself succumbing to being overheated and needing to lie down (thank God for quick acting friends & first aid cool packs), so it was the one full set that I was able to see as a spectator. I’m not the biggest TOOL or APC fan, but I can tell you that I was brought to tears a couple of times during “The Doomed”, off their new album “Eat the Elephant”. The lyrics are so representative of the theme of the weekend, of sacrifice and longing.
Altogether, after several hours on my feet in the insane Texas summer sun and a throbbing migraine to keep me company on the drive home, it was all worth it. Isn’t that what these days are about, finding joy in the midst of all the bullshit? I’m ready for the next 97.1 The Eagle event this fall. At least Freakers Ball is usually inside, and not a million degrees!
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: REBEKKAH RAVEN