Scenes From The Stages at the Fifth Annual Homegrown Music and Art Festival.
Rubberneck had been played in full, the previously agreed-upon shut-down time of 10:30 p.m. had come and gone, and the Toadies had already left the stage, effectively closing out the fifth annual showing of the Homegrown Music and Art Festival on Saturday night.
Then something pretty special happened — something that pretty much sums up everything that’s great about this event that goes down in Main Street Garden Park each spring.
The show went on.
Much to the chagrin of a couple of members of the Downtown Dallas, Inc. crew, who openly worried that a noise complaint was soon coming, the Toadies — already walking toward the tour bus that would take the band to its gig in New Orleans on Sunday night — got held up by the organizers of this favored affair and turned around.
Seems the on-site Dallas Police Department officers had given the band the OK to play two more songs.
And so — because it turns out that the Toadies indeed have more material in its catalog than the contents of its 1994 debut LP — the band walked back to its place on the stage at the west end of the park, waved hello again to its cheering fans and kicked off its very genuinely audience-requested and police-approved two-song encore.
Then the band played a third song.
And the cops? They didn’t even flinch.
Maybe the police just figured that another four minutes of sound wouldn’t hurt things — and if so, they were right, it didn’t. Or maybe — just maybe — the establishment’s finally gotten hip to what the rest of us have known for years now.
This festival is a city treasure. It really, really is.
And this year, on a day blessed with glorious weather, Homegrown rather easily proved itself as such once more. All day long, even.
The 12-hour day got its start early and calmly as the team from Super Yoga Palace centered some chakras in an outdoor yoga session shortly after 11 a.m. From there, the 14-act-deep, all-Texas bill — 10 of which were North Texas-specific — turned the energy up significantly on the day.
Among the daytime highlights? Yet another stellar and audience-earning showing from Dallas rapper Sam Lao, the debut Dallas performance from Houston soul outfit The Suffers, a dual-drumming showcase from Fort Worth retro-pop act Son of Stan, an appropriately intricate showing from Denton’s ever-meticulous folk-rock outfit Seryn and a pulsating electronic pop dance party from the Dallas-bred and currently Los Angeles-based Mystery Skulls. Later, area folk-pop darling Sarah Jaffe turned the grounds into a singalong as performed some of her earlier songs and teased about a new record coming out this summer. Austin rock four-piece …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead then tested the limits of the park’s system, performing with surprising volume as it revisited Source Tags & Codes from front to back, in honor of that revered early ’00s classic’s 10th anniversary.
Even so, it was the Toadies, honoring the 20th anniversary of its own Rubberneck LP, who were clearly the big draw at this event — the most highly attended Homegrown Fest to date, both by eye-test standards and actual organizer-admitted attendance estimates, which placed day-long numbers north of 4,000 guests. This band was the reason why the crowd got so crowded once the sun went down.
And the Toadies didn’t disappoint with its nostalgic offering. Instead, the Toadies’ trip down memory lane was pitch percent — especially seeing as how the greatest power Homegrown boasts, thanks in no small part to its phenomenal Downtown setting, is its ability make attendees feel nostalgic for the moment right as they experience it. During “Tyler,” “Possum Kingdom” and, really, most every Rubberneck song, the whole thing just felt right.
It was just a really, really beautiful scene.
And for the fifth year in a row, no one — not even the cops this time — wanted to see it come to a close.