North Texas Daily

Festival review: Spillover Fest

Festival review: Spillover Fest

March 18
13:56 2014

Matt Wood // Staff Writer

A primal scream plunged the crowd into mass hysteria.

In anticipation, the swirling maelstrom of bodies flailed back and forth, as the sea of sweaty concertgoers surged forward and headliner Ty Segall broke into the chorus of “Finger.”

In any other context, this mob would look like a riot. But at this show, it’s the perfect culmination of a daylong festival.

Spillover Music Fest featured mosh pits and crowd surfing galore, and maximized the small venues it dominated. Club Dada and Three Links hosted 23 bands on March 16 on three stages in Deep Ellum, Dallas.

Amid all the bands, however, the real spectacle was the crowd. At many of the shows, a drunken, diehard fan base would yell along with songs and jump off stage into crowds. A strong sense of camaraderie bound them all and it was almost half of the show in itself.

The event featured food trucks, a record van and various bands playing at ear-shattering volumes. Though the weather was 40 degrees and windy throughout, the spirits of festivalgoers were unfettered.

Lo-Fi, High Energy

The formula for a Ty Segall song is straightforward: fuzzy vocals, blistering distortion on guitars and a pounding, quick-tempo drumbeat.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, each song is played with a wild fury that would make anyone want to turn their speakers up until their ears bleed.

However, the songs truly come to life when experiencing these two-minute garage rock stompers in the middle of a roaring crowd.

Ty Segall’s set was relentless, jumping from one fast song to the next. The only real break was Segall jokingly singing “Baby it’s cold outside” for a few seconds, in response to a fellow band member lamenting the cold weather.

In a similar vain, Illiois-based band The Orwells brought its own take on garage rock. Though less “lo-fi” than Ty Segall, The Orwells had enough raucous yelling to hold its own.

The undeniable presence of front man and singer Mario Cuomo was almost unsettling. As he sang, he leered into the crowd, wide-eyed, and stumbled across the stage.

Halfway into The Orwells’ set, Cuomo stood on the speakers and fell backward into the crowd, who bellowed with cheers. As he surfed the crowd in a stupor, he managed to make it back on stage just in time to belt out the last verse of “Who Needs You.”

In contrast, bands like Dum Dum Girls, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Blouse offered more tame performances, but didn’t lose any energy in their sets.

Outside of the weather, the only issue was the festival had outgrown the venues. Though Club Dada and Three Links offered intimate settings, the audiences were packed to claustrophobic levels.

If Spillover managed to get a whole street dedicated to the festival, it might be able to compete with the other Deep Ellum festivals throughout the year.

But as it stands, it made the best out of the venue and sent a crowd of deaf concertgoers home happy.

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