Texas punk and metal feature prominently at Riot Fest
Dallas’s first Riot Fest, held Saturday at Gexa Energy Pavilion, featured a long lineup of national headlining acts on its main stage. In order to populate the side stages, though, the festival drew from a wide range of local Texas talent. You could be assured that if the band in the pavilion wasn’t to your liking, you could find something outside which better matched your tastes.
Dallas-based thrash/hardcore band the Messengers started things off in the Heineken Lounge, playing to the early arrivals. Due to the limited space in the lounge, those who moved on after the Messengers or follow-up rock duo Not in the Face may have found themselves unable to get back in for the Parade of FleshShowcase. This miniature festival-within-a-festival occupied the lounge for the rest of the day, Featuring Big Fiction, Kill the Client, Power Trip, Yells at Eels andFirewater. Those who could get inside were treated to a variety of sounds, from grindcore and thrash metal to a kind of gypsy ska punk.
Nearby, the Plaza Stage was where most people found themselves while breaking away from the headliners. Again starting with local talent, Dallas alt-rockers The News Can Wait and Fever Dreamer largely found their crowd listening from a distance, waiting for the pavilion to open. They should have come closer, as both bands played fantastic sets. The audience started to converge during Arlington-basedMouth of the South’s performance and was densely packed by the time Houston’s The American Heist and Venomous Maximus took the stage. This crowd showed no signs of dispersing as Off With Their Heads and Teenage Bottlerocketwrapped things up.
The only downside was the difficulty in finding out when and where these bands were playing. There was no schedule posted for the majority of the event, either on the web site or in the venue. Parade of Flesh seemed to notice this and posted a list of their acts outside the Heineken Lounge. Eventually, a few of the staffers seemed to acquire a list of the set times, but a little more organization would have relieved a lot of frustration.
Organization issues aside, it was nice to see a national festival give so much time to the local bands. It would be nice to see other rock festivals follow this lead in the future.
If you haven’t read the coverage of the main stage, be sure to check out Riot Fest surges southward into Dallas.
Off With Their Heads
The American Heist
Mouth of the South
Not in the Face
The News Can Wait