A Look Back at the Newly Named Spillover Fest.
The post-SXSW festival put on by Parade of Flesh went through a few major changes this year. Formerly known as “Bro Fest,” the festival became Spillover Fest this year.
The other big change: A new location.
Relocating from Club Dada, this year's show was put on at the Sandbar Cantina and Grill — probably the last place you'd expect a heavy, indie rock-oriented music festival. Sandbar, as you may or may not know, is a huge, mostly outdoor space filled with sand volleyball courts. It's basically a giant beach in between Expo Park and Deep Ellum.
And yet it worked — pretty damn well, too — as a home for Spillover. The stage was erected between the venue's two volleyball court areas and was wide enough to allow for one band to set up while another performed next to them. That's how the whole day went at Sandbar: Bands flipped back and forth all day, allowing for a total 16 bands to grace that venue's stage. And, technically, considering that Sandbar's proprietors just set up this stage and sound system a few hours prior to the event, everything seemed to move along fairly smooth. There were some hiccups along the way, sure. But nothing out of the ordinary from your standard show.
As such, it ended up being a really great venue. Like a really great one. People quickly shed their shoes and embraced the beach atmosphere. It was a really relaxed environment — the perfect R&R remedy after some two weeks of festival season, no doubt.
The bands embraced the environment, too. During his band's mid-afernoon set, Parenthetical Girls singer Zac Pennington took off his shoes and socks on stage and jumped off into the sand to wander about the crowd. He even filmed himself with his phone as he cavorted about in the sand.
If nothing else, it was a nice change of pace for the fans and bands alike. As expected, the bands were pretty burned out from the SXSW grind. One member of Parquet Courts was losing his voice; still, that band powered through their set. The Coathangers, meanwhile, were late, stuck in traffic on the way up to this show from Austin; the day's whole schedule was rearranged to accommodate them. When they did eventually arrive, they celebrated the performance by destroying a pinata. No Bunny, backed by Bad Sports, followed — and followed suit by finishing off the destruction of that pinata.
It was a sight to be seen, there's little questioning that. It was just a bizarre scene, really. A sluggish atmosphere pervaded the entire day. This wasn't to the festival's detriment, though. Mostly, it was a fitting vibe. This festival may be deemed the Spillover Festival these days, but it might as well have been called the Hangover Fest.
All day long, crowds stumbled back and forth between Sandbar and the festival's across-the-street second venue, the Double Wide, shielding their eyes from the sun as they did.
As such, the crowd sizes at each spot fluctuated throughout the day. Still, you pretty much knew what you were getting at each spot. Whereas the Sandbar focused more on rock bands, the Double Wide was was booked with mostly metal bands — acts such as Single Mothers, Mutilation Rites, Mondo Generator and the whole shindig's headliner, Pallbearer.
All in all it was a pretty low-key affair. But that's how Spillover, new name or not, always is.
And it's pretty perfect that way. Kicking your shoes off, burying your feet in the sand and taking in the nice view of the downtown skyline that came behind the Sandbar stage made this whole deal a fine retreat.
You couldn't really script a better end to the music-related madness that's been going on of late in North Texas than this one. Not even if you tried.
But who would want to do that?