8th Annual South by So What!?

8th Annual South by So What!?
March 20-23, 2015
Quick Trip Park- Dallas, TX

      Tucked away in a suburb outside of Dallas, Tx you find Quick Trip Park, home of the 8th Annual South by So What!? Music festival Presented by Hundred Handed & Third String Festivals; with ROCKSTAR Energy Drink at hand to help rock the socks off thousands of screaming fans of the multi-genre music festival. Cold wind & drizzling rain began the festival on March 20 2015 but that wasn’t enough to keep a handful of the hardest of hardened festival goers & photojournalists from showing up to represent their love for the musicians & music that has helped shape & influence their lives in as many ways as songs that were played. About 700-800 people were present during that 1st hectic day & the numbers progressively grew to 2000 along with the night. Security guards could be overheard expressing the strict 5-10 minute set up time rule for each band, leaving just half a stage per act. This allowing time for each band to perform ‘til the end of the night headliners took over. The SBSW fans who were brave enough to stick it out were treated with the likes of Hawthorn Heights; Red Jumpsuit Apparatus; CHON; The Ataris; Lydia; The Maine; Balance & Composure; Title Fight; La Dispute; Cartel; to name a very few, before ending the night with prodigiously phenomenal performances by Mayday Parade & Circa Survive.
   JHW_2880-2 Mayday Parade headlined the Third String stage, knocking the crowd out with every hit from their studio arsenal totally giving the crowd what they wanted and more with Jersey; Kids in Love; When you See My Friends; Girls; Jamie All Over; Hold Onto Me; When I Get Home, You’re so dead; Ghosts; Miserable at Best; Three Cheers for Five Years; Oh Well Oh Well & ending their set with Black Cat.
    By the time Circa Survive took to the stage; there were 32 photojournalists in the pit doing their jobs in a little more than just a drizzle; with their gear wrapped tightly in plastic bags. Protecting what can be described as or considered to be their livelihood from being ruined by the rain. Trust me when I say, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Circa Survive performed a 15 song set-list from hits that touched on all 5 studio albums. A phenomenal set list that included Child of the Desert; Shema; Glass Arrows; Holding Someone’s Hair Back; In The Morning and Amazing; Strange Terrain; Sovereign Circle: The Greatest Lie; Sharp Practice; Through the Desert Alone; One the Sun; Phantom; In Fear & Faith; The Difference between Medicine and Poison is the Dose ending the set with Nesting Dolls and a 1 song encore, Get Out… I am confident in saying every individual that braved the cold rain & air went back to their homes & motels with a smile on their face.
The rain continued to fall on the town of Grand Prairie, Tx as the fans slept tight, nice and warm in their beds. As we wake up to day 2, we awaken to cloudy yet a little warmer weather. Pulling into the venue, cars were being directed into the grassy area(s) & becoming stuck; not to the dismay of a tow truck driver sitting by waiting patiently as the next person needs to be pulled out of the sinking mud. It was immediately clear how many people made it out for day 2 by the distance we had to park from the venue in the grassy area(s). The music from all three stages could be heard over a quarter mile away as we trekked our way through the mud; to the venue gates…
Day 2 began a lot easier than the previous. Less rain at longer durations made for an awesome day of music, food & free Rockstar Energy Drinks! The smells coming from all corners of the Quick Trip Park was enough to set the strictest dieter into a feeding frenzy while enjoying stellar performances from top shelf bands like Slaves; Stars In Stereo; A Skylit Drive; The Color Moral; Beartooth; Vanna; Dance Gavin Dance; Enter Shikari; For Today; Chiodos; Crown The Empire; Memphis May Fire; Atilla & Motionless In White, yet again to name a very small few! Hordes of fans could be seen making way from stage to stage after each set. Most of the attention being given to the two largest stages throughout the whole event.JHW_5915-Edit
    Crown The Empire took over the Third String Stage on day 2 with an unparalleled performance that went off without a hitch in a downpour of sprinkling rain. The band’s hometown received them like no other; feeding each band member with their screams of joy as they entertained the crowd with the hits that brought them into the limelight and beyond! Hits like Call to Arms, Initiation, Machines, Mnstr, Rise of the Runaways; Johnny Ringo, Johnny’s Revenge & Johnny’s Rebellion. Directly after Crown The Empire finished a very formidable set; the crowd of people once again made their way to the Hundred Handed stage to catch Atilla as they played their hearts out for the SBSW attendees. Giving it everything they had and the crowd giving it all back!
Before we know it we were standing back at the Third String stage prepping for the Dallas, Texas based Memphis May Fire. The rain decided to come down upon us once again as the band hit the stage with a vengeance. Kicking their fans in the earholes with what can only be described as a beyond amazing set of 14 provocative hit’s that include Prove Me Right; Beneath the Skin; Pharisees; No Ordinary Love; Alive in the Lights The Deceived; The Rose, Speechless; Miles Away, Need to be, The Sinner, Vices, Without Walls  & Killing it with Legacy!
     As the end of Day 2 drew to a close the fans were ever anxious for Motionless In White to hit the stage. The majority of the photojournalists were not allowed to shoot the set from the pit due to the pyrotechnics and I had to make due at the VIP section, back behind the Hundred Handed Soundboard. Motionless In White took to the crowd’s head a 14 song setlist that included their hits Death March, Reincarnate, Generation Lost, Puppets 3, Abigail, Everybody sells Cocaine, Dead As Fuck & an amazing cover of Rammstein’s Du Hast before kicking the crowds ass with 4 more amazing tracks. Once again, I am confident in saying the crowd went back to their rooms and beds with smiles from ear-to-ear remembering the events of the evening and the plethora of talent that was hosted on the evening of March 21.
JHW_5585-EditDay 3 began with 70 degree, blue sky weather, and along with the beautiful weather came even more people than the previous two days. All three stage fronts were filled with people from front row to soundboards. Each band pumping the crowd up for the amazing acts that follows each other. Things became so busy by this point we really didn’t know where we should go first, and where to next. The crowd was being blown away with the likes of Norma Jean; Fit For A King; Carnifex; Harms Way; Rotting Out; Expire; After The Burial; Stray From The Path; On Broken Wings; Code Orange; Power Trip; Chelsea Grin; Veil Of Maya; Upon A Burning Body; Emmure; Suicide Silence; Hatebreed & Atreyu. Absolutely everybody’s heads were spinning from stage to stage action hordes upon hordes of people migrating from Stage 1 to Stage 2 to Stage 3 with very little time to spare in between sets.
Nothing but stars for 3 days strait, 12 hours each day what more could any music loving connoisseur ask for? There was something for everyone from Pop, Metal & Hardcore fan out there. A veritable cornucopia of music from a plethora of bands; some of which celebrated by playing albums in their entirety. A show that should never have been missed by anyone regardless of weather conditions. I strongly believe that if us photojournalists could risk our gear (cameras, lenses, laptops etc etc) that everyone could brave the weather on these 3 marvelous days of musical entertainment no matter the metrological conditions. In all 100+ bands performed their asses off and poured their hearts out to thousands of individuals. Unfairly sad but true, too many bands to mention in this one small review of a show so ginormous, it’s on its 8th year and already prepping for the 9th, will you be there next year? Will you be in the sea of fans; giving the band(s) the same energy that they themselves give off to the crowds of people who came out to see them perform? Will you be able to say “I WAS THERE TOO!” I know we will see you next year!
Review by: Jared Wingate 



Balance And Composure



Circa Survive

Code Orange

Crown the Empire

Dance Gavin Dance


Enter Shikari

For Today


Hawthorne Heights

La Dispute

Mayday Parade

Memphis May Fire

Motionless in White

New Years Day


Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Stars in Stereo

Suicide Silence

The Color Morale

The Maine

Upon a Burning Body