Colder Temperatures Came, But Things Were Still Plenty Hot on 35 Denton's Final Day.
The final day of 35 Denton was, for the most part, dedicated to straightforward rock 'n' roll and in-your-face punk. There were other showcases going on over the course of the night, sure. But, from where we were standing, it was pretty clear that it was these genre's that ended up being the festival's big draw on its closing night.
Earlier in the day, audiences, perhaps a bit waterlogged from Saturday night's festivities, were a bit slower to arrive. Brooklyn's Beach Fossils and Austin's Holy Wave kicked off their respective sets to thin crowds, but through no fault of their own. The crowds would stagger in as the day progressed.
And, as they staggered in, they were bundled up. Whereas raincoats and ponchos were the clothing items of choice on Saturday, Sunday's crowds favored jackets and scarfs, as Mother Nature decided to drop the temperature down substantially this time around.
As a result, each band performing out in the elements admitted to having a little trouble getting into their comfort zone, whether they were concerned about their guitars staying in tune or even their being able to feel their hands as they played their instruments.
That was certainly the case for Reigning Sound. They weren't in need of instrument assistance, though; they needed help filling out their lineup. And so Greg Cartwright, frontman of the Memphis punk band, plucked out a member of the audience to play the tambourine with the group, if only for one song. Promising that she knew she was doing, she joined the band and looked as happy as could be while she did.
Yes, Sunday's 35 Denton deal would largely focus on new experiences. A number of bands ended up debuting new songs during their sets, including Marnie Stern and Mikal Cronan, who each debuted more than a few new tracks from their respective, soon-to-be released albums in their Sunday sets.
Thee Oh Sees, meanwhile, played right to their pocket — and it was appreciated, too, as the band drew one of the larger outdoor crowds of the day. It was a hectic scene as the band thrashed away on stage, and it was almost comical to watch the security guards and several police officers try to secure the stage barrier keeping the rowdy crowd at bay.
But Chelsea Light Moving's set returned to the new-song focus of the day, as they somewhat awkwardly winged their set of all-new material during their Texas debut and headlining set, using no set list and idly chatting between songs. At one point, legendary former Sonic Youth leader Thurston Moore even asked guitarist Keith Wood to quickly run to the van to get a band-aid for a finger Moore cut open mid-set. But the set still charmed this Moore-adoring crowd, and perhaps deservedly so, as Moore even went so far as to offer up a little “local yokel spiel” about his past days in Denton, crashing at old friend Terry Pearson's house. Moore's dry charisma would carry the set, really.
“We're gonna play a new song called Sunday Stage,” Moore said about halfway through his band's performance. “Very fitting. In tune with the universe.”
During the inside venue portion of the festival's final bow, J&J's hosted sets from Nervous Curtains and TV Ghost. Aftr having decorated the space with two spotlights and, yes, a couple of curtains, Nervous Curtains performed a pleasantly haunting, synth-heavy and punk-inclined set. TV Ghost followed with its own, albeit unique, haunting and cryptic, synth-heavy tracks.
Over at The Labb, the much-anticipated show from Denton favorites Deep Throat got pretty rowdy pretty quickly as frontwoman Taylor Kimbrough manically moved about the stage. Throughout her set, she would eventually go through three wardrobe changes. But it wasn't for naught; she ruled the show, and the crowd followed her every lead.
Later, Andy's hosted Brooklyn's duo Talk Normal and Tampa band Merchandise. Merchandise in particular seemed to have a lot of fun with the late night crowd, joking between songs about barely being a real band since they use quarters as guitar picks.
In the end, it was a long final day. But, needless to say, we're pretty much already looking forward to doing it again next year.