Self Help Fest - Photo: Ben Costa

Self Help Fest Visits Orlando

Self Help Fest Helps the masses in different ways!

One day after the Self-Help Festival and I was in recovery mode. Yes, there was so much excitement over the thirteen bands that played, I was completely depleted of energy. I was storing energy before this event but I feel like I didn’t adequately assume how much I would need.

Check out our photo gallery here: Self Help Festival Photos

From start to finish the lineup was amazing and each band performed their rockin asses off! The festival, held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds Saturday, September 30th, had the black stage playing very adroit bands like The Plot In You (very screamo with precision guitar riffs), Wage War (high energy set), Moose Blood (a force to be reckoned with), and one of my new favorites Attila.

Attila Self Help
Attila at the Self Help Festival in Orlando – Photo: Ben Costa

That Attila crowd was something else and I immersed myself into the gathering like I haven’t in what seems like forever; I participated in the biggest running circle pit at the fairgrounds that day and boy am I feeling it not far in the future. With a sore neck and back, I feel like it was earned!

Dance Gavin Dance was on the main red stage and the sounds of pop-rock filled with symphonic screaming, heavy guitar, and some bass and drum progressions that I haven’t heard in a while. I couldn’t help but notice that there was a poor guy already falling over drunk next to his buddies and quickly becoming incoherent. When I went to first aid (yes, this happened) for an accident that involved a crowd surfer while I was in the press pit (His foot met the side of my head), I couldn’t help but notice the array of injuries from dislocated knees, to broken noses and lots of blood, to hypochondria. Everything a person would find at a festival of this caliber. I have to say how proud I am of the EMT’s that responded to every ailment with such patience, compassion and ease.

Streetlight Manifesto Self Help
Streetlight Manifesto at the Self Help Festival in Orlando – Photo: Ben Costa

Streetlight Manifesto was and IS an amazing band for all the members being into different genres of music and coming together to rock out! They had me reminiscing over 80’s style melodies and beautiful sing/scream vocals, yet at times they reminded me of 311. I was very, very impressed by them!

Next up was Less than Jake and at first you could swear they were a misplaced jazz band at a Rock festival since their sound check consisted of trumpet noises. I was pleasantly surprised to hear their sound was so rock based but with elements of old jazz. As I’m listening to them from afar, I see a guy with a very loud shirt that exclaims, “My shirt is brighter than your future.” This just adds to the collective energy of such a festival!

After viewing a few of the bands I got ravenous for some chow and found my desires for my pallet satisfied with the number of food trucks that showed up. From shish kabobs, to BBQ to Hibachi food, there was enough to choose from. I settled for the Hibachi Grill and got some great tasting fried rice.

After eating, I heard another familiar sound in the atmosphere and it was none other than Bad Omen, and boy they don’t disappoint! I have one word to describe their entire set; EPIC!

Underoath followed soon afterwards and of course we all know that these guys are veteran rockers from that 90’s rock scene. If there was a discussion on Christian rock music, these guys are one of the names you will hear.

Finally, after much sun and sweat, the night descended upon us all, and A Day to Remember came out to finally rock my head off my shoulders. I thought it was breathtaking that they played my favorite song first “All I Want.” When I got into ADTR, that was the song to hook me. They have always had a way with their lyrics that lets their listeners know that they can relate.

ADTR Self Help
A Day To Remember at the Self Help Festival in Orlando – Photo: Ben Costa

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One of the many reasons I was excited to cover this show was because of my long-standing relationship with ADTR’s music. They came out with “All I Want” and then hooked me again with the song “Turn Off the Radio” from their Bad Vibrations album. “All I Want” became my life’s anthem after hearing it because I feel like there is so much hurt and pain in the world that could be taken care of if people were willing to be there in a capacity for each other that not many people are nowadays. In another aspect of this song the lines, “I’m always screaming my lungs out, till my head stops spinning. Playing my songs is the way I cope with life, won’t keep my voice down. Know the words I speak are the thoughts I think out loud,” basically gave me my whole mission in life; “All I want is a place to call my own to mend the hearts of everyone who feels alone.” I have to say that the energy of this crowd for this show never ceased to amaze me and I will be coming back for more in the future!

This truly was the Self-Help Festival because of the masses it attracted and how rabid the fans are. The only thing this review would need is to put up a warning label. Due to this person seeing young children at the festival, I would carefully remind parents that it is not bad for a young child to experience the raw awesomeness of a rock festival but it is imperative to have those still fragile, developing ears protected. Next time you bring your young one, make sure you have some nice noise cancelling headphones used by people who are surrounded by a lot of loud noises in their line of work. Let’s preserve the ears of future rockers so they can enjoy great festivals like Self Help Fest for many years!

~Rock On~

RARA’s Farm is a rock music blog keenly focused on sharing killer rock music news to the rock music fans who visit our site. Make sure you Like / Follow Us below to keep in the loop on new music worth a listen, or just to be nice to us.

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