The Rest of the Fest: One Last Look Back at 35 Denton
It was four days facing the elements: Wind, rain, solar flares and, on Saturday night, a Slime Rave at the Lion's Den.
Taryn Walker "Grandlake," Grandaddy's Jason Lytle with Midlake, filled in last minute on Sunday afternoon
There was the aforementioned late-night basement dance party, close calls with golf carts, mysterious bruises, random introductions and the chance to catch music at every turn. 35 Denton feels like what SXSW probably did before it got huge, where any corner you turn might hold a surprise. There's not the isolated feel bigger festivals have, even if long lines on Friday and Saturday made some folks feel that way.
Still, with all the weather issues, there was never a feeling that the train was veering off the tracks, a testament to just how well this new group of organizers has taken ownership. Thanks for the memories, Denton, and for a great festival.
A few things I remembered from Danny Brown's visit to DFW last year, opening for Das Racist: His yowling Michigan accent, Tony the Tiger hoodie and reluctant but coarse personality. This time, he was clad in sweatpants, white sneakers and a sparkling camo tank top, and started his set at Hailey's with "Die Like a Rockstar." His energy quickly surged through the soggy crowd like a lightning bolt. A layer of of dancers behind Brown, on stage since Main Attrakionz's and Brain Gang's set , increasing their numbers and collective friction.
"As long as you're up on stage," one guy yelled, "you should just grind up on all these women". The set was a tidal wave of intensity with the occasional rip current of male guilt for enjoying it. Brown's set ended as the crowd roared the mnemonic chorus "blunt after blunt after blunt," probably his way of exorcising the ton of Id he unleashed on the crowd. - Shahryar Rizvi
"We're Bad Sports, and you're welcome," Daniel Fried told the one-in, one-out crowd at Andy's immediately after the Denton/Austin punk band finished their set. The crowd clapped, cheered and at least one guy in the back hollered back: "Thank you!"
The band had just delivered a break-neck set, including rousing performances of "Teenage Girls," "Should've Known" and "Days of Denton," which had folks in the audience stage diving within the first few notes. Granted, many of the folks in the crowd had piled into Mad Worlds Records to see Minneapolis' Birthday Suits and High Tension Wires earlier in the evening, and Denton's Idiots primed the audience with their own brand of punk.
The venue was already 25 away from capacity by the time Idiots took the stage at 9:30 p.m., and by 10 p.m. the doorman announced to folks waiting in line that the venue was one in, one out. Singer-guitarist Orville Neeley told the crowd the show was the first time Bad Sports had played Andy's since their very first show. While Gregory Rutherford hammered away at the drums, Neeley and Fried bounded around on the stage like they owned the place. - Daniel Rodrigue
Daniel Rodrigue Atlas Sound's umbrella crowd
Main Stage 2, Saturday
The rain Saturday evening provided Atlas Sound fans a proper backdrop for a completely sane solo performance by Bradford Cox. The audience huddled under umbrellas and the weather elicited some interesting banter from the Deerhunter frontman, who mentioned this was the last stop on his tour.
"I like the percussion of the rain," he said between songs. "You're going to have to listen real hard to hear me over the rain, because I'm going to do this one real quiet. I wish I could loop the rain. It sounds nice. You know?"
While strumming his acoustic guitar, Cox said, "Well, I think I've done a pretty good job of the sad, rainy kind of thing, so this next song is a real bright, uplifting nugget of sunlight." Needless to say, it wasn't. He later acknowledged, "All my songs are rainy day songs." - Daniel Rodrigue