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.
This year I have the privilege of announcing to our fans an event that will be going to four U.S. cities, including Orlando, in 2017 & 2018. Launched in 2014 by the band, A Day To Remember, it is known as the Self Help Festival.
The World’s Loudest Month kicks off on April 30th at Jacksonville’s first rate hard rock festival, Welcome To Rockville. The lineup for the weekend event, announced today is headlined by iconic artists Disturbed, Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and A Day To Remember. (Click more to see the full lineup)
This year’s event was year four of X102.9’s annual pilgrimage for Florida’s alt-rock nation; and there are rumors that changes in city ordinances could make it the last. Hopefully, it’s the typical local news’ blown-out-of-proportion, attention grabbing crap that dominates so many newscasts these days, because this festival is an important event for we local Rock And Roll Animals at RARA’s Farm.
So, some thoughts this year:
Best Act: There were some great sets: Frank Turner, A Day To Remember, The 1975, but everything else paled in comparison to Twenty One Pilots. This energetic, frenetic duo spent more time in the crowd than on the solid footing of the stage, sounded great, interacted with the crowd, and have clearly grown as artists since last year, when they were, um, the Best Act… Yup, two years in a row…(Check out our review of the 2012 Big Ticket here)
Best Song: “It’s Complicated” A Day To Remember. The crowd was already ratcheted up for these Ocala natives who were tearing through a powerful set. Then, they were pushed over the edge when lead singer Jeremy McKinnon crawled inside a big ball and sang this one from inside the ball, as the crowd bounced him around the park. Pretty damn cool!
Best Setlist: Lots of great songs and creative selections throughout the day, but lets nod the head to Jimmy Eat World. Every song was good, plenty of hits, and they threw in “Last Christmas,” the only holiday song during the day.
Best New Artist: (New to me anyway) – I really enjoyed Nothing More. Quite frankly, their music is a little rougher than my normal preference, but I liked their sound, and loved their stage show. Every band member of this foursome out of San Antonio made the same kind of impression this year that Twenty One Pilots made last year. Entertaining band…
Hottest Chick in a band: Incomplete. We saw seventeen bands throughout the day and every single performer had a Y chromosome. Apparently all of the talented Alt-Rock women were in the area earlier this year at the Coastline Festival.
Best Topless Moment: Nope, not what you think. In fact, I didn’t see any female breasts, but think there were at least five lead singers who performed at least part of their set topless. We saw shirtless performers from Pepper, The 1975, Black Bottom Lighters, Twenty One Pilots and our winner Frank Turner. Why him? Because after 60 plus shows, his shirt was grimier than the sheets at an hourly motel, and it needed to go…
Most Engaging Performer: Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull offered up some funny one liners, but this is Frank Turner’s specialty. He was funny, engaging and entertaining throughout his set, and his lyrics were witty and creative. He’s also a great storyteller and I loved hearing the recap of the Tour banner that a fan brought to a show in Cleveland and henceforth has somehow managed, with no help from the band, to be at every show on the tour.
Best Food: I have no clue, but the funnel cake sucked and the $7 hot dog was worse. The pizza, at least, was edible. Let’s give this one to Monster, not only because it was free, but I actually liked the taste of their Rehab offering.
That’s it for me. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below.
The 2013 edition of The Big Ticket Festival came rolling through Florida over the weekend, providing a memorable rock and roll experience for the overflow crowds.
We have added links to all of our event photos at the bottom of this article. Please don’t forget to Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram for photos updates throughout the year, and to Like Us on Facebook to see all of our collections.
The event, co-sponsored by Jacksonville’s X102.9 historically features a broad spectrum of Alt-Rock acts, and serves as the highlight event for Alternative rock fans throughout Central Florida. This year was no different. Headlined by Thirty Seconds To Mars and the reformulated Stone Temple Pilots, we saw a harder edge then in prior years, but still quite a diverse offering of artists.
As it turned out, 21 was the key number for the day. Spread out over the sprawling Metropolitan Park, we were offered the chance to see twenty-one bands over the three stages. Over the course of the day, there were plenty of memorable highlights, but nothing more impressive than the amazing set from Twenty One Pilots.
30 Seconds to Mars and STP put on solid shows on the Main Stage, but in general, the smaller Jaegermeister Stage was the place to be. More on that later…
Let’s start with the Main Stage acts. Highlights included Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington making STP’s songs his own, and putting on his usual high energy show. Jimmy Eat World offered up forty minutes of non-stop hits, including a nice cover of “Last Christmas.” Crowd favorites, The Dirty Heads and Pepper (just three Coconut pokers from Hawaii) got the crowd into a nice ska/reggae groove. A distinctive pot odor permeated the crowd as both bands offered up fun, well-received sets, that seemed pretty much perfectly suited for the herb in the air.Local rockers, Breaking Through kicked off the main stage and looked and sounded perfectly at home on the big stage. We also saw Ocala’s own A Day To Remember command the crowd with a powerful and creative set, including stuffing front man and lead singer Jeremy McKinnon into a big inflatable ball and bouncing him through the crowd during the best show of the event,”It’s Complicated.” The crowd loved the local guys, and their amped performance clearly fed off of the energy. Aside from his trip around the venue in the big beach ball, McKinnon was a mad man all over the stage and sounded great.
The main stage action was good, but truthfully, it paled in comparison to the events on the Jaegermeister Stage. I was most excited to see Manchester Orchestra, but they truthfully were nothing special despite the fact they debuted some excellent new tracks. Austin rockers Saints Of Valory kicked off the second stage with a tight set that featured a fresh rock sound. They also offered up the best cover of the day with a killer version of Lorde’s “Royals.”
The 1975 were clearly one of the most anticipated acts, and they lived up to expectations, led by charismatic lead singer Matthew Healy, they made the trip to Florida all the way from Manchester, England. Nothing More followed and delivered a powerful performance. Their powerful mix of metal and hardcore sounded strong, but I was more impressed by their stage show. These guys were just fantastic, with all four band members also expert showmen, They do some very creative things on stage and are a band that is truly a must see act just dripping with potential.
The festival also brought us another opportunity to see Frank Turner, and artist who I feel is one of the best touring the country today (see my recent review). Accompanied by his uber-talented and hyper-energetic band The Sleeping Souls, they killed this, their 194th show of the year. They were a bit of an odd fit in the line-up, but walked away with many new fans. Turner interacted with the crowd more than any other performer, and was his typical smart ass self, and as usual sounded superb. And, “yes,” the fans managed to get the flag onto the stage, after hitting every stop on this tour since it debuted in Cleveland.
As good as Turner was, he was not the best act on the stage; that honor for the 2nd year in a row went to Twenty One Pilots. This duo out of Ohio, were astoundingly good live. Tyler Joseph is the lead singer and keyboard player, and he’s just a mad man on stage. He’s everywhere, he sounds great, he’s charming, he’s creative, he’s talented – in other words, he’s pretty damn good. Drummer Josh Dun is just as integral to the band’s success and also a great performer.
Highlights from their set, included a few new mandolin offerings, including a slick “Brown Eyed Girl” cover and their fantastic new single “House of Gold.” These guys are growing as musicians, impressive stuff, as they are already tremendous performers. At different times, we saw Joseph crowd surfing, Dun perched on a small drumkit being held aloft by the crowd, and later dueling kettle drum solos where Joseph and Dunn were both being carried above the crowd by the fans. They also did a bit of crowd-bonding through their new friend Austin, who led a bit of a group striptease with Joseph. Fun stuff!
Twenty One Pilots were our choice for best act at the 2012 (Read our review here) and have done it again this year. Looking forward to 2014 when they return for an evening slot on the Main Stage.