When I first heard that Plano would be getting a two-day music festival, my first thought was, "Wow, out in the suburbs?" Precisely. And to be honest, when I saw the initial lineup, I wasn't all thrilled and thought that Live Nation could have done better. But I was a little off base. It wasn't the lineup I wanted but that's not who they were catering it for. They were catering a music festival for the masses, for the everyday music listener who was getting away for the weekend. They didn't come to see the hot indie band or the overpriced headliner, they came to see and hear the music they know and love. When you look at it from that perspective, they hit the nail right on the head.
Upon first glance of the festival grounds, I'm sure most patrons thought the same thing I did: where are the other stages? The stages were spaced very far apart and made for a challenging trek back and forth, especially trying to shoot every band throughout the day. It was pretty much impossible but with a schedule in hand, you got to pick and choose who you were going to see next. Also at first glance, the absence of any watering station, or free water in general, was a huge oversight. With temps easily in the 90's, people were seeking refuge under any shade they could find but had no way to refill their water bottles. This was rectified early Saturday afternoon, when one water hose was made available for drinking water and another setup to sprinkle passing guests.
Onto the music. Each stage seemed to showcase their own genres of music. The main stage had the most family friendly (that's Top 40 speak), the Cedar Room had mostly rap/hip hop and EDM, while the Prairie Stage had mostly Americana. Most of the smaller stage artists I had never heard of. Upon researching them, I found that most of them were major label signings but relatively new. Again, makes sense because most have a pop sound and are seeking festival crowd exposure. As for standouts, the two-day event provided several great performances, none better than the Alabama Shakes or Run the Jewels. Ume, Third Eye Blind, Delta Rae, Reignwolf, A.Dd+, and the Violent Femmes also provided great sets, as did Tegan and Sara and Surfer Blood. David Guetta and his large visual display brought the debut festival to its glorious end. In hindsight, I think there are some things Live Nation can improve on but, as a whole, they got a lot right on their first try. Cannot wait to see what next year brings. Photos of the festival are below:
Suburbia Music Festival @ Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, Plano, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 2:30:00 PM Rating: