A Family-Friendly Music Festival and Cannibal Corpse: Just Another Saturday in Dallas
Mike Brooks The Relatives, featuring Dallas.
Saturday in Dallas was a day you could choose to paint in the starkest possible contrasts, if that's your thing. Two big gatherings cut from an extraordinarily different cloth were happening within a relatively pleasant fifteen-minute stroll of each other, and how often do you get to travel from one event to the other in Dallas without touching a vehicle? Sure, this particular trip required a brief hop, skip and a jump over an on-ramp for I-30, through some trees, and past several parking lots that looked less than welcoming, but that's about as good as Dallas paths get anyway.
First up was Saturday's biggest event, the Homegrown Music and Arts festival. Fitting neatly inside Main Street Gardens and nestled between several skyscrapers, everything about this day in the park was spectacular. The weather was perfect, as a clear blue sky provided the citizens of Dallas with a constantly pleasant temperature. The attendance was fantastic and varied, with a very high adorable child/adorable dog ratio among the crowd and a lot of blankets and local art and relaxing. I'm pretty sure someone hotboxed a portapotty at some point. It was just that kind of place.
There were many fantastic local acts, as there no doubt always are at this event. A.Dd+ flew in specially for the show and even minus usual one-man backing group DJ Sober created a show that had seniors and toddlers alike enjoying the sunshine and shaking their things. It's the sort of event where, outside in the sunshine, surrounded by good people, an ice-cool Shiner in your hand (I've not been sponsored to say that, but if the wonderful people of Shiner want to send me some of their delicious beer, I'm just a mouse-click away) with some righteous local bands playing for you, that you contemplate how lucky you are not only to be alive but to be in Dallas.
I really like it here.
The freakin' Relatives, who we at DC9 find ourselves unable to praise enough (an irony that will not be lost on the Relatives themselves, hallelujah) again proved themselves to be among the local elite with a performance that, as their leader of sorts Tommy said, took the roof off, even if there was no roof. We were outdoors you see. Someone had already taken the roof off. If, however, there had been a roof, rest assured a low-down, booty-shakin' Homegrown crowd would have lifted it into the atmosphere using only the powers of funk and exuberance. A sweating man in a white suit wearing bongo gloves has never seemed cooler.
As the party drifted from the Relatives across the park to the ever-energetic Polyphonic Spree, our gang of three contemplated that, not only this could this totally face-value happiness not last, but within minutes we were going to be plunged into a scene where everything was black and bloodied. If Homegrown was a multi-colored t-shirt worn in the summer by a man who is no stranger to hallucinogens, then what was happening fifteen minutes' walk away at Trees was a black band t-shirt with stark white writing, worn by a man who is no stranger to Jack Daniels (again, not sponsored, but hit me up).
On the final note of "Light and Day" which is about the most upbeat tune any of our party can think of that isn't twee and saccharine, we thought we'd make good on our escape across Dallas to Cannibal Corpse. My wife, God love her, stopped to buy some delicious ice cream because we weren't already happy enough, apparently. The good vibes flowing, we skipped over the I-30 on-ramp (there's a sidewalk, people, you're meant to do it, it just seems.... dangerous), under the freeway, and onto Elm street, arriving in time to catch an opening act for whom the description veteran doesn't even begin to cover it, England's own Napalm Death.