Homegrown Music and Arts Festival @ Dallas, TX

It was a fantastically gorgeous day over the weekend as the city of Dallas played host to the second annual Homegrown Music and Arts Festival.  The day-long festival that resides at Main Street Garden Park hosts two stages of entertainment and over a dozen vendors who treat visitors to food, art, and literature regarding local organizations and events.  The family and pet-friendly event garnered a  wonderful atmosphere and a welcoming stop for those who just happened to be passing by or an earshot of the magnetic sounds of the stages.  Unlike some festivals that target a specific audience, this event was an exception to that rule and had a genre of music for everyone.  From folk to hardcore and everything in between, this was the place to be on Saturday.

I arrived shortly after one and only got to hear a fraction of Slobberbone's offerings but judging from the crowd's reactions, they must have put on a good show.  In between the staggered sets, I usually found my way to the giant Red Bull tent where I indulged in a few Shiner Lights and enjoyed a few minutes out of the intense sunlight.  The crowd then migrated to the Shiner Stage where local favorites Seryn were setting up and readying to begin their set.  Having seen them a handful of times within the last few months, I can safely say they are my favorite local band and they put on amazing performances regardless of the venue.  It was not exception this afternoon either.  Those blazing harmonies and lush, full melodies, they really grabbed a hold of the audiences attention and did not let go until their last notes were played.  Always a good time when they perform.  I later overheard a phone conversation that went something like, "...yeah, Seryn?  I had no idea.  They were ridiculous."  Ridiculous was a definite compliment in his context.

Over the next few hours, I casually caught each act as they started their performances but later withdrew to the side and enjoyed the music from the confines of a bench or plot of grass.  I found myself enjoying the artists on the smaller stage as I really enjoyed the soulful sounds of Larry g(EE), the energetic rock sounds of the Burning Hotels,  the twangy bluegrass of the O's, and the fresh dance beats by Ishi.  I also really like This Will Destroy You, whose harrowing soundscapes were fantastic and definitely one of my favorite acts of the day; unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, their set was cut short.  Makes me regret not seeing them at Good Records a week earlier.  Former Dallas resident Astronautalis, by way of Jacksonville, FL, was somewhat of a wildcard on the main stage but proved himself worthy of his time slot by mesmerizing the crowd with his quick tongue and witty, reflective lyrics.  My absolute favorite part of his set was his freestyle whose topics included samurai's, the Devil dating a nun, a girl named Alexa, rutabagas, Pegasus's, and Texas Ranger's manager Ron Washington.  It was clever and a lot of fun to listen to.

Unfortunately for me, I missed School of Seven Bells' set as I was claiming my spot in lieu of the main stage headliner, Neon Indian.  I have caught Neon Indian twice since moving from New York and each time has been better in my opinion; October headlining at Granada Theater and February opening for the Flaming Lips at Palladium Ballroom.  I wanted to get a prime spot up front as I was eager to hear and capture footage of the band's new material from their upcoming album.  From hearing reports and rumors that they might play upwards of four or five new songs, I was beside myself and couldn't wait for them to hit the stage.  As the large audience flooded forward, Alan Palomo and crew lit up the stage and pulsated a new track to the expecting crowd; it was very catchy.  The vast majority of the set included cuts from their debut album, Psychic Chasms, including fan favorites "Terminally Chill", "Should Have Taken Acid With You", and "Deadbeat Summer".  I was slightly disappointed as only two songs were debuted, as well as a new guitarist, but overall the set was solid and a great launching point for their upcoming tour.  I did capture the two new songs on video but out of respect of Alan and his management's wishes, I will not post or release them until a later date.

In closing, the festival was a fairly huge success and I can speak for myself when I say that I cannot wait until next year's event.  Pictures and videos of the festival are below:

Larry g(EE)
The Burning Hotels
The O's
Neon Indian

Homegrown Music and Arts Festival @ Dallas, TX Homegrown Music and Arts Festival @ Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 16, 2011 Rating: 5
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