Just in case you aren’t an active follower of our Instagram account (which if you aren’t, it really doesn’t bother us – okay, maybe a little) you may not have heard we recently went to So What!? Music Festival in Grand Prarie, Texas. Seeing some of the biggest bands in our scene like Attila, Mayday Parade, Emmure, The Story So Far, Dance Gavin Dance, Norma Jean, Sworn In, Chon and more, the three-day trip was definitely an experience we’ll never forget.
Now, before we bore you with your typical 2,000-word concert review meticulously describing each and every artist we saw out in Texas, we wanted to instead try something different – something a little more entertaining. And since there’s nothing more entertaining than award shows (unless you’re the MTV Music Awards), we decided to create and give out awards to all the artists we saw at So What!? this year. If you like the idea, great! If you don’t, we really don’t care.
So, just like the days of Grandma Patty relentlessly showing you photos of her cruise to the Bahamas, we’re here to tell you all about our trip to So What!? Music Fest! After checking out all our made-up awards below, be sure to take a glance through some So What!? photos featuring Knuckle Puck, After The Burial, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, Envy On the Coast and more by our buddy Casey Lee.
Best Sepultura Cover Done By A Grandma:
This was something we witnessed with our own eyes and it was… actually pretty good! All jokes aside about Grindmother and their 68-year-old frontwoman, the band actually put together a pretty solid performance. Pretty much, if your only gripe with Babymetal is that their vocalists are too young and pop-friendly for heavy music, Grindmother is the band for you.
Emerging Artist You’re Gonna Be Completely Obsessed With Very Soon:
If we had a dollar for every time we completely raved about Can’t Swim and labeled them as our next favorite band, we’d probably have about $17 dollars – one for every song the New Jersey outfit has put out thus far in their very young career. If you haven’t checked out their debut album Fail You Again, we strongly recommend it.
Best Set Cut Short By Injury:
As you may or may not have heard, Knuckle Puck had one of the bloodiest sets at So What!? Music Fest this year. No, not because of their rowdy live presence but because frontman Joe Taylor accidently fell off stage and busted his hand open – seriously, that happened. Speedy recovery, Joe!
Best Performance To Get Engaged To (and thusly create internet memes galore):
Look, we’re sure you’ve seen the memes by now and heard the story too. But just in case if you haven’t, some super rad couple got engaged during Power Trip’s ferocious set at So What!? – in the middle of the pit too! That takes some serious guts. Props!
Best 10-Year Performance:
Sorry, Mayday Parade and Set Your Goals! Four Year Strong and their band of bearded barbarians is hard to beat. Performing Rise Or Die Trying in full, you bet your ass we got pretty rowdy to “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die” and “Bada Bing! Wit’ a Pipe!”
Best Intergalactic Performance:
For anybody thinking this award had a chance of going to Sumerian Records act I See Stars, you must not have heard of The Browning before. We mean, no disrespect to I See Stars, it’s just The Browning are on a whole ‘nother planet when it comes to their EDM-flavored sets. While some bands incorporate electronic music to enhance their tracks, The Browning instead build off of the Skrillex-like tuneage to create a Transformers-meets-metal sound that is simply, well, out of this world.
Most Impressive Set Held During A Lightning Storm:
To say you survived an Every Time I Die show is one thing. But to say you survived an Every Time I Die show in the middle of a budding lightning storm? Now, that’s impressive. To prove just how intense the lighting was, check this and this out. To prove just how intense Every Time I Die was, see the video above.
Best Dance Moves:
Honestly guys, this was probably our toughest award to give out. When it came down to awarding Best Dance Moves, our initial thought was to give it to Sergio Medina of Stolas/Sianvar – we mean, did you see his dance moves!? Then, after reviewing the tape like a seasoned Dancing With The Stars judge, we had a definite change of heart and decided to award Turnstile vocalist Brendan Yates for his spastic, high-energy moves. Do we feel torn with our decision? Sure. Could we have gone the other way? Of course. Does it really matter? Probably not. On to the next award!
Favorite Reunion Set:
Among the handful of reunions out at So What!? from Cute Is What We Aim For, Forever The Sickest Kids and more, there’s no denying the absolute best reunion set was from New York movers and shakers Envy On The Coast. While some artist reunions result in a fraction of their glory days, Envy On The Coast’s performance was less of a return to form and more of a highlight reel as the newly reincarnated act were just plain showing off with their impeccable musicianship.
As much as we’d love to give this award to the newly signed Fearless Records act Sworn In as they completely obliterated So What!? onlookers with tracks like “Snake Eyes” and “Endless Grey,” we’d be completely remiss not to acknowledge the insanely brutal set from Stay Sick signees Spite. To say the Bay Area natives were just “heavy” at So What!? is like saying our ears were just “ringing” after their performance. Yeah, Spite pretty much demolished the place – and our ears too – which is a good thing by the way.
ALL PHOTOS BY CASEY LEE: