Clearfork Music Festival was Plagued By Poor Attendance Saturday in Fort Worth

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Kelly Dearmore
Clearfork Looks Lonely

Inside of the half-empty Clearfork Music Festival in Fort Worth this past Saturday, it was impossible to not wonder what exactly constitutes a true festival. Any view of the festival grounds at Panther Island Pavilion from one of the slightly elevated spots of the land provided a view of a vibrant festival skeleton complete with tents for local artisans and activists, food trucks, beer trailers and three performance stages. Indeed, Saturday at Clearfork looked very much like a proper festival, even if it failed to feel like one for the most part.

While few would (or should) ever complain about not approaching a line of any kind -- whether it was for restrooms, craft beer or food -- that stretched longer than six people, such unadulterated free-reign over the grounds seemed eerie.

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Grouplove and Portugal. the Man at South Side Ballroom, 8/30/14

Categories: Last Night

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Courtesy the artist
Portugal. the Man, saluting accessible mediocrity
Grouplove and Portugal. the Man
With STRFKR
South Side Ballroom, Dallas
Saturday, August 30, 2014

If there's one thing Dallas/Fort Worth does right, it's long weekends. Venues, cities, promoters, party throwers and citizens -- they all tend to seize on the idea and go all-out to throw the wildest shows of the year. Just look at what this weekend had: a festival in Fort Worth featuring Psych-Rockers; a festival in the Zouk parking lot that featured a James Franco prank; Good Luck Karaoke terrorizing Three Links; a local promoter getting indulgent with a anniversary party; and roughly 2,475 DJ nights.

I managed to miss all of these in favor of a night of corporate synergy at the Gilley's complex where the folks behind marketing the Honda Civic as the "Hip" thing to young consumers put together a show featuring the dance rockers STRFKR, the radio-made wonders of Grouplove and the band your weed guy fucking loves, Portugal. the Man.


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OneRepublic at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/26/14

Categories: Last Night

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Courtesy the artist
Ryan Tedder gave a mostly flub-free performance with OneRepublic last night at Gexa
OneRepublic
With Christina Perri and Jamie Scott
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It was a typical midsummer show at Gexa Energy Pavilion last night as pop stars OneRepublic hit town. Even late into the night, it was hot -- temperatures hung in the 90s -- and the old Stardust just compounded things by trapping the heat inside. Yet that and the fact that it was a school night didn't seem to stop people from nearly packing the place.

Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, took notice, too. "I grew up about 200 miles north of here, so I know what it means to hang out at the end of August," Tedder said in solidarity with the sweating throngs of concertgoers. Fortunately, in return Tedder's vocal chops were better than expected. After some award show flubs, his pitch was on point and it was not lost on the audience, as they applauded the more difficult notes.


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Aerosmith at American Airlines Center, 8/22/14

Categories: Last Night

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Mike Brooks
Steven Tyler was the predictable life of the party during Aerosmith's visit to AAC on Friday
Aerosmith
With Slash
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Friday, August 22, 2014

When Aerosmith hit the stage at American Airlines Center on Friday night, Steven Tyler appeared dressed in a sparkly long coat and top hat. He was posed with guitarist Joe Perry in the middle platform as the band launced into opener "Love in an Elevator." Right from the beginning, Tyler proved he has the kind of coveted energy that can't be bought at any health store.

Each sprightly skip and posed move of his hands is exactly on beat, turning the most mundane detail into an excuse for entertainment, like exaggerating the urge to cough at the end of a song to the point of absurdity. And for the duration of the night, Tyler made the show his own.


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Panic! at the Disco at South Side Ballroom, 8/22/14

Categories: Last Night

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Rachel Parker
PATD, pictured here playing the Palladium in 2011, performed at South Side Ballroom on Fridat
Panic! at the Disco
South Side Ballroom, Dallas
Friday, August 22, 2014

From an outsider's perspective, it would seem Panic! at the Disco sings to the age of teen angst -- when you're too young to go anywhere without your parents, when school and life is miserable, and when black eyeliner is the only acceptable look.

That was certainly the case Friday night when the South Side Ballroom was near or at capacity. The attendants were teenagers, who had no fear of PDA, and some chaperone dads to watch on.

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Sarah Jaffe at Majestic Theatre, 8/23/14

Categories: Last Night

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Jeff Gage
Sarah Jaffe (second from left) with her band at the Majestic on Saturday night
Sarah Jaffe
With Josh Pearson
Majestic Theatre, Dallas
Saturday, August 23, 2014

As local artists go, few in the Dallas scene are as widely beloved as Sarah Jaffe. After the 2010 release of "Suburban Nature," it was almost a foregone conclusion that Jaffe was destined for a long career as an indie darling. And yet four years later, here we are: Outside of hardcore indie fans in certain niches across the country, Jaffe has yet to attract the broader national recognition that she so rightly deserves.

But Saturday night's show at the Majestic Theatre may have finally signaled a new era in Dallas' favorite sullen singer-songwriter's career. Just a few days after the release of Don't Disconnect, this show may have served as the last time you'll be able to see Sarah Jaffe in a venue this intimate. She felt just as at home on that stage at the Majestic as she did in the grimy venues that she frequented at the beginning of her career.


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KXT's Summer Cut at Gexa Suffered from the Same Problems as the Station Itself

Categories: Last Night

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Mike Brooks
Chris Walla made his final Dallas appearance with Death Cab for Cutie last Friday.
KXT Summer Cut
With Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, Hold Steady
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Friday, August 15, 2014

At the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X boulevards sits the Dallas MLK Center, where on Friday, six days after Missouri teenager Michael Brown was killed, residents of Dallas gathered to hold a candlelight vigil. It was here that I found myself at 6 p.m. standing amongst a crowd in the shadow of a statue of Dr. King observing a moment of silence in the 100-degree heat.

Times are heavy in America, particularly in Missouri, but there in the heat and silence I realized we're closer to each other than we think. Around me stood people of varied race, all here to show support for each other, to show that while the division exists, we can come together. Unfortunately, a mile away at the Gexa Energy Pavilion, the division never felt stronger.


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Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/17/14

Categories: Last Night

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Mike Brooks
Nine Inch Nails sweated it out with the crowd at Gexa on Sunday
Nine Inch Nails
With Soundgarden and Cold Cave
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Sunday, August 17, 2014

While some folks may have been attending religious services this Sunday evening, I found myself wandering around Fair Park in need of some classic alternative rock of the '80s and '90s variety. Seeing that a terrific double bill of Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails was in town to play at Gexa Energy Pavilion, I was in the right place at the right time.

Thankfully, a surprise summer thunderstorm cooled things off enough to make an outside show in August quite acceptable. Well, at least at first it was. Once the sun went down and the breeze became negligible, the 85 degrees and 85% humidity turned the venue into a rather stinky sweatbox.


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Tim McGraw at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/8/14

Categories: Last Night

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Violeta Alvarez
Tim McGraw played Gexa on Friday and, pictured, Houston on Saturday
Tim McGraw
With Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Friday, August 8, 2014

On Friday night at Gexa Energy Pavilion, Tim McGraw made his grand "Sundown Heaven Town Tour" entrance by simply walking out on the stage. There were no gimmicks, no over-the-top stage antics. It was just McGraw, dressed in a sleeveless AC/DC tank top that showed off his "Faith" tattoo on his right arm.

And that was pretty much the gist of the night. There was no slapping or scolding or beer sippin' from the country singer -- possibly because he had to have a potentially awkward conversation just one day before with a woman he had slapped during a concert in Atlanta a couple weeks prior.


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Mayhem Festival at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/9/14

Categories: Last Night

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Christian McPhate
Korn weren't the headliners at Mayhem Fest, but they should've been
Rockstar Mayhem Festival
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Saturday, August 9, 2014

This year's Mayhem Festival was more than just a collection of metal bands like Trivium, Asking Alexandria, Korn and Avenged Sevenfold dominating the stage with mind-blowing music that warped the lines of metal genres. It was a festival to celebrate a brotherhood (and sisterhood) of outlaws that's alive and well in 2014, despite a local metal scene struggling for recognition among a landscape littered with pop country, indie and hip-hop/rap artists.

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