Thoughts on Edgefest 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Edgefest is an all-day alternative music festival. This year was the 24th year for KDGE (the radio station) to put it on. Unlike the early years, when it was held at the now Gexa Energy Pavilion, it is in the large Toyota Stadium home to FC Dallas. There is one large stage on the North end, and the performers are shown on the large screens. On the South end is a smaller stage, but still with an impressive sound and lighting set up. The cover the field with these plastic sheets that are put together much like an indoor dance floor. You can have a regular stadium seat, General Admission (which allows for field access), VIP up in the terrace with special wristbands, and then backstage/all-access passes, which I don’t think can be bought.

This years line-up included:
The Avett Brothers
Cage The Elephant
New Politics
The Neighbourhood
Bear Hands
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
I am a mother now, so I was delayed in my arrival because we had hockey, then reading, then lunch, and dinner prep. I am a mother first before anything else.  I scored a Living Social deal and got my GA ticket for half off! I had wanted to go and lamented missing out on The Black Keys in 2012 because I didn’t have anyone to go with—at that time, I told myself I wasn’t going to let that stop me from experiencing something. Heck, the last time I was able to attend was back in 2010, when my secnd wasn’t even born yet.  Because of the deal, I told myself I’d go with an open mind because I’d be going solo. No big deal. It is quite empowering to go to concerts solo! Heck, I’ve done it a couple of times this year, but none were for all day! Of course, it never fails that I happen upon friends at the shows or I make new ones. Such was the case on Saturday. Already, we all have something in common because everyone there is there for the music.
I like to let out my inner bohemian/hippie at events like this. The weather was perfect! I wore a white sundress and sandals. I’d packed a scarf, sunscreen, my collapsible Vapur  water bottle, and my used copy of Mindy Kaling’s book. Yes, I took a book to Edgefest…and read it. Hey, not everyone is in love with all of the performers, so it is a good way to pass the time lounging in the sun, reading, while live music plays in the background. I just wished I would’ve had my large latte to accompany me…then that would’ve been perfect. I used to be cool, or so I thought.

A nifty addition were the vendor booths on the field. I really enjoyed the hair academies and their offering to do hair chalk and braids for really cheap. Plus, you could charge your phone for free. Not to be outdone, there was another booth that was selling those portable phone chargers for $20. That TOTALLY came in handy, especially towards the end of the night. I Am Second was there offering free rides from Uber for anyone who was unable to drive home. High five to that collaboration! Oh, and the real fun kicker to do, just because you could were the La Bare dancers! They were so nice…and made me feel so, so, so old.

Anyway, the performances:

I missed out on Smallpools because I hadn’t yet arrived (drat because I really enjoy their song, Dreaming) and J. Roddy and the Business (I heard them, but was up in the line for swag—I scored a Beck canvas bag, yaaay for new weekend bag!)--edited to add that I also missed the Jessie Frye Band. For me, all of the performers brought their A game. Seriously, there was always constant gleeful screaming from the crowd, the energy was high, and everyone was so happy. My favorites were: Beck, Bastille, Cage The Elephant, Grouplove, Chvrches, and MS MR. The Avett Brothers were so fun, I especially liked their cellist. It was my first time ever hearing them. The Neighbourhood’s voices took me back to San Diego to nearly a year ago. The rest were really great, too!

I found myself just roaming around, smiling at people, striking up conversation, avoiding what I thought was blue body paint, but ended up being actual paint, and just enjoying the gorgeous afternoon.

I lingered in the back mostly or to the side.
Grouplove’s energy and spirit had me hopping up and down, singing along, punching beach balls, smiling, and high-fiving. Bastille had me shouting and singing, crying, and feeling ever so very much consumed with the music. You see, music has always made me feel, in one way or another. Bastille’s Pompeii has a very visceral reaction. Singing with them fills me with all of the feels—for lack of a better way to put it. Then he put me over the edge by singing SNAP!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer.” Why was I the only one within earshot who knew all of the lyrics? Whatever, I’m owning my age.

I braved the masses for Cage the Elephant---love those guys, and helped push forward more than my fair share of bodies while they crowd surfed. At the end of the night, I carefully slipped off my wristband, exited the field and handed it to a hungry concert-goer. You know the one. The big fan standing as close to floor as possible, hungry to be there in all of it. I do this at nearly every show I go to. It is like my little gift to the music world for paying it forward. She was more than appreciative and in a bit of disbelief when I handed it to her. She quickly scurried off and I lost her in the masses. Didn’t matter. I went up, found a seat, gazed to the sky as Beck performed “Blue Moon.” Eyes filled with tears, I smiled, enjoyed the flickering lights of the fire flies dancing.

There were drunk people, but not like from times past. There weren’t women flashing…I remember, lots and lots of flashing from years past. No, I did, however see more than enough booty cleavage, that I had visions of it hours later. Ugh, that fashion trend should’ve stayed in the 80s when people were more in shape or much thinner because they were hopped up on coke or heroin. I’m not saying people should do drugs, at all. I am saying that it wouldn’t kill anyone to do some lunges. You are a teenager, there is NO REASON you should proudly display all of your cellulite. I didn’t see any big fights, either. I noticed some roadies giving high-fives to the people coming through the barricade after they finished crowd surfing. That was really cool to see that support. Even more so when I discovered that these roadies were actually the morning show from the EDGE, Jagger Mafia. No wonder people were taking photos with them! It was a good time, mostly wholesome, and about the tamest of Edgefests I’d ever attended, actually. This was refreshing.

I couldn’t agree more with New Politics frontman David Boyd’s statement from the Dallas News write-up:

“This is the definition of magic,’’ Boyd said, staring out at the crowd as the sun dipped behind Toyota Stadium on warm, blustery night. “Good friends, good music -- this is what life is about.”


Anonymous said...

You left the Jessie Frye Band off the lineup??

Mrs. Bianca said...

It seems I did. Sorry, I just copied and pasted from KDGE's site and her name wasn't on the list.

Heather said...

Sounds like it was perfect! My brother and his friends went and loved Beck as well.

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