Re:SET Concert Series @ Texas Trust CU Theatre Grounds, Grand Prairie, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
The inaugural Re:SET Concert Series, a series of outdoors concerts with a trio of headliners that performed concurrently in three cities in a round-robin format, descended upon the Texas Trust CU Theatre Grounds (not the Theatre itself) with a few question marks regarding the weekend's festivities. While the setting and the layout gave the impression of festival vibes, the concert series ultimately is a set of outdoor shows with four acts performing each day on a single stage. For me, the single stage definitely reduced the festival feel, as there was only a single option for performances, but it did give a singular view for the intentionally-curated lineup for each day. With headliners boygenius, Steve Lacy, and LCD Soundsystem, the concert series had a fairly nice lineup of acts, supported by bands such as Toro y Moi, Jamie XX, IDLES, and James Blake. The Texas heat was apparent upon entering the venue grounds, but it would actually be another aspect of the weather that would play a bigger part of the weekend's events.

The walk from the car to the venue grounds left a lasting impact, as this was the first real outdoor show I've shot in some time and the sweat (and anticipation) really began to build. Without knowing a lot of how the shows were going to roll out, I was eager to just to get to viewing the artists onstage. With openers Bartees Strange and Dijon bringing the cool and hip vibes to the Grand Prairie stage, the growing crowd gave their appreciation but it was obvious they were arriving to see the night's headliners, boygenius. But before they took the stage, Clairo took their attention as she swooned and swallowed up the crowd with her dreamy pop. Despite the heavy ovations for Clairo, it was boygenius who had everyone's attention. Their set was a mix of ups and downs, in the best way possible. The ability to go from high-energy performances to gut-wrenching connectivity, the trio of Lucy Dacus, Julien Bake, and Phoebe Bridgers put together one of the finer sets I've seen this year.

The second day's walk to the venue grounds was a slightly bit different than the first, as the preparations for severe weather meant many of the ground's fixtures were removed or brought down. The chance for severe weather was on my mind all week, but I continued to venture to Grand Prairie to catch the day's sets. Fousheé started the day with a bang before moving to the chiller sounds of Toro y Moi. It's been a minute since I've caught Toro, and while their energy was a bit on the lighter side, their sound was as funky as ever. I'm not gonna lie, I was super excited to finally see James Blake, one of the few unicorns that's dodged me for years. And man, I was floored by his performance. Top notch production and vocals. Headliner Steve Lacy has been riding high over the last year, as he headlined the Factory in Dallas in 2022, and his following made quite the noise as he took the stage. With a cool factor that's off the charts, Lacy commanded the stage and performed a solid set to end the second day of the series.

On the final day, all of the ground's fixtures had been moved back into place, as the threat of severe weather had seemingly tapered off from the day before. The heat had remained the entire weekend, but the temperature was pushed beyond the limit once the Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, and her dancers took over the stage. The bounce music made the early afternoon sweats only that heavier as Freedia and company worked non-stop until their time was up. The next band had my total attention, as I would have come to this show simply for them because they are that awesome. IDLES, the only legit rock (punk) band on the lineup, are a force to be reckoned with. Their slow-building opener, "Colossus", paved the way for the remainder of their set, or what I thought would be their set, and really got the fans moving. Vocalist Joe Talbot acknowledged a growing set of darkening clouds and asked the crowd if they should perform a rain dance. The crowd approved. But after two more songs, Talbot addressed the crowd, noting that the fans need to take shelter at the adjacent theatre. After 90 minutes, all of the remaining (and hopeful) fans were told the show was over and they had to head home. I was disappointed not to see LCD, as it's been some time since I've seen them, but in all honesty, I would have been fine with the remainder of IDLES's shortened set.

Overall, the concert series is actually a pretty slick idea, having a touring festival make the rounds in three cities in a given weekend. While the series didn't go without a hitch or could have been attended better, I think this was a solid first try for something like this; DFW has been without a decent festival and I thought this was a nice fill. If AEG and the powers to be continue the Re:SET series, I have a few suggestions: 1. If you're coming to DFW, arrive earlier than June. 2. Challenge the lineups, i.e. don't be afraid to add rock bands. 3. Add a stage, call it a festival and add more bands. But again, good first effort and I look forward to next year.

Photos of the show are below:

Day 1

Bartees Strange
Day 2

Toro y Moi
James Blake
Steve Lacy
Day 3

Big Freedia
Re:SET Concert Series @ Texas Trust CU Theatre Grounds, Grand Prairie, TX Re:SET Concert Series @ Texas Trust CU Theatre Grounds, Grand Prairie, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 12, 2023 Rating: 5
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