This festival was actually picked by Jessica. After doing 2 festivals last year (Blue Ridge and Rockville) we knew we wanted to try and do 2 this year. When she saw that Simple Plan and Sum 41 were going to be at the So What Texas Festival she knew she wanted to do this one. These were 2 bands on her bucket list. Though I only know a few songs from each band I was happy to go. Honestly, there weren’t a ton of bands that I knew but I knew we would have a blast. However, we did decide to only do 2 of the 3 days of the festival since she mainly wanted to see the 2 bands I mentioned and both were playing on Saturday, plus there weren’t a lot of bands that we knew who were on the schedule for Sunday.
The morning of the festival we had to flight out of Denver at like 6 am. We originally were going to drive but decided to fly so we could see Limp Bizkit on Thursday in Denver. We got pretty drunk for that show so when we had to get up at 3 am to get ready to leave to the airport we were still a little buzzed. Thankfully my dad was taking us to the airport. I have been hung over on a plane before but this was a new experience. The long and short of that is it was a rough flight. We slept on and off and we both managed to sober up by the time we landed. Once we got our car we headed out to meet up with some family so that I could score some weed for the festival. From there we went to the hotel but they didn’t let us check in as we were way to early. So, we ran a few errands and grabbed some lunch. We were finally able to check in around 1:30 which gave us enough time to get ready and head to the festival. The festival started at 1:30ish but none of the bands we wanted to see that day were playing until around 4:30. Which we were there well before that. Our hotel was only a mile away from the venue so we decided to walk. Walking in that Texas heat we were both sweating like crazy within minutes. I knew once we got to the festival and started going in the crowds it was only going to get hotter, which it did.
When we got to the Choctaw Stadium we first walked around and checked out the band merch booths. Then we watched Attack Attack play, which was a great set. Even though I didn’t know any of their songs I enjoyed their set a lot. Once they finished up we decide to grab some food. It took us a minute to find the food trucks at first we thought they were only offering concession stand food, thankfully that wasn’t all they had. However, the lines for the food trucks were long and moving slow. That first night Jess and I split up and I waited for this famous mac n cheese and Jess went to get in line for some loaded nachos. We both stood in our lines for over 45 mins, though I think she only waited about 30 minutes. The nachos were really good however that “famous” mac n cheese wasn’t that great. It wasn’t bad but not worth waiting in line for 45 minutes or the price. After eating we walked back to the Stay lit and Revolver stage. We ended up seeing a Day to Remember which was also a great set. By this time, the sun was going down and it was starting to feel good! By this point we were both ready to see I Prevail. The main band Jess wanted to see that day. Quick side story about I Prevail. So, as I was waiting for that mac n cheese, I saw this guy and girl walking by and I thought to myself. That looks like Eric Vanlerberghe one of the singers. Then I thought, nah no one is walking up to him that can’t be him. Come to find out the next day, it was him. He was spotted a few times walking around the festival. I wish I would have gone up to him and asked for a picture! Anyway, I Prevail put on a short but great set. The crowd was pumped and mosh pits were breaking out all over the place. I tried moving up a few times but Jess got mad at me since I am still recovering from my neck surgery and had me move back. Once their set was over I did manage to work my way up to the rail. One of the security guy was talking to someone who was on stage breaking it down. Then he handed him an I Prevail pick and then he walked up to me and handed it to me! Right after that another guy on stage grabs one of the set lists and throws it right at Jess! That was the perfect way to end the first night.
The 2nd day of the festival, instead of walking we decided to Uber. It was going to be in the 90’s so hotter than Friday was. It was also really windy to start the day. I think we got there around 230ish that day. First thing we did was hit the main merch booth as Jess wanted shirts from Simple Plan and Sum 41 and we both wanted a shirt from the festival which we got. It was cool because they had levels, if you spent so much you got a free water bottle, spend so much more a pair of glasses and the last level was both plus a bag. Together Jess and I spent enough to get all the extras. I have never seen a festival or band do something like that but I thought it was really cool! After getting merch we went to get food at the Pho-BBQ place. We ordered so much food. I got the fried rice with shredded pork and Jess got a brisket BBQ sandwich and we both got brisket egg rolls. We both loved the egg rolls. Even though we shared each others food we both liked what we ordered for ourselves best. After eating we hit the stands inside the stadium and watched a few bands. I don’t remember who they were but they put on a great set and brought some big crowds. One band even had a crazy mosh pit going. Even when the band wasn’t playing they were still moshing! After seeing a few bands we went to check out the local stage. We only watched 1 band play and again I don’t remember their name but they were good. From there we wondered around a little then sat on the hill side next to the Hot Topic stage where we listened to the band, I smoked and we had a few drinks. All the bands that played were great but again I didn’t catch their names. I was getting a good buzz by this point and just enjoying the music. We actually hung out there for a while then decided to have some dinner. There was this taco place next to the mac n cheese place. We wanted to eat there on Friday but they were out of food when we wanted to eat. We were going to eat there instead of the BBQ place but they didn’t have food ready so we thought for dinner would try them. When we got there, they were again out of food. They told us 30 minutes and they would be ready again, so we decided to wait for them. Those tacos were so good, possibly the best thing we ate at the festival all weekend. In fact when we were done eating the tacos we had we went back to get more! We watched part of Gandson’s set from there but were able to catch his last couple songs near the sound booth. This was my 2nd time seeing him. He did a good job as he did before. He should stick to playing music though instead of talking to the crowd about politics. That’s just my opinion! Next up was Simple plan and Jess was excited. I managed to get her about 5 people deep from the rail. Since the crowd wasn’t rowdy I wasn’t concerned about my neck and people around us knew and said they would not be pushing against me which they never did. The band themselves were great! Again I didn’t know any of their songs but when they played their cover songs, I was certainly into them! I think they did a really good job of covering Mr. Brightside! I think Jess really liked their set, of course she knew every song they played. One of the band members put on a hazmat suit so he could crowd surf and stay safe from “covid”, he said he wanted to just crowd surf but the venue told him he couldn’t, so the suit was the compromise. After their set a few people in front of us left so we moved up closer to the rail since Sum 41 was playing the same stage. At first we were about 3 people deep from the rail and by the end of Sum 41’s set Jess was on the rail! Sum 41 also did a great job. They had so much energy and the singer was so engaging with the crowd. The band talked about their new album that is coming out soon which is a double album. I am certainly curious to see how that turns out. When they were done playing and throwing out picks, Jess had one handed to her. I moved to another part of the rail trying to get a set list. After the band was done playing and the set was getting tore down. One of the guys threw a set list toward me and this other guy. We both went for it but he ended up getting it. I wasn’t going to end up on the floor and risk hurting my neck. Another guy who watched him and I both go for it tells him there are 2 set lists attached. There was but the way they were taped it was going to be hard to get them apart. The guy who had the lists said, here and hands me a pick and says this way we both got something from the show. I thought that was pretty cool. He didn’t have to do that but that fact he did was again really cool! After the concert was over we headed across the street to Live and had another drink and ate some pizza before walking back to the hotel.
I want to just say, as always, Jess and I met some great people and have more concert goers that we now refer to as concert family! Huge shout out to all the people next to us and helped with crowd control to prevent me from being pushed and for them carrying all the crowd surfers, thankfully there wasn’t many. I would also like to thank my family there for helping me get some weed for the festival! I of course would like to thank the venue and bands. I think the venue did a great job all and all. I know some people were upset about things like VIP and security but our experience (besides vip) was all great! The band all put on amazing sets and for the bands that played early in the heat, I can’t imagine how hot it was on stage but thanks for playing for us! Lastly I would like to thank Jess for taking me on such an amazing trip! I am certainly looking forward to our next festival together later this year!
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