Monday, April 9, 2012
Photos and review: Deep Ellum Arts Festival with Seryn, The Virgin Wolves, and Brave Combo (April 6, 7, 8)
Now THAT was a festival.
DEEP ELLUM This year’s Deep Ellum Arts Festival was everything we could’ve hoped for: great local music, beautiful art, and enough carnival-style food to rival the State Fair of Texas. The Pegasus News stage featured a hand-crafted lineup with local bands from all over the DFW area, including Seryn, Brave Combo, The Virgin Wolves, The Fox and the Bird, and Oil Boom. The eclectic mix of folk, polka, rock, and pop made for a cheerful Easter weekend despite showers on Sunday.
Recently reunited funk band Oso Closo played a Friday night set for all of their dedicated fans, and there were many. Front man Adrian Hulet's soulful bellows reminded us why we're glad the band's back together. Even though this was only their second show back after a two-year break, the band didn’t miss a beat. The guitar- and keyboard-infused rock was relatable enough to convert passing attendees, and they enticed a nice-sized crowd to the stage.
Gritty rockers The Virgin Wolves spared no small talk with their in-your-face rock for the headlining spot on Friday. Lead singer and true rock star Jaimeson Robbins stole the show with her raging vocals and frenetic movements. The Denton group undeniably personified the sinister blues sounds of one of Jack White’s side projects, The Dead Weather.
The young band had a calm and confident onstage swagger: They're rock n’ roll through-and-through.
The captivating Seryn took on the Saturday headlining spot with ease, filling empty chairs at the festival as far as the eye could see. They were easily one of the favorites of the entire festival.
With the sun on their back, Seryn’s set of electrifying crescendos and soft harmonies transformed the festival into a serene outdoor haven.
Dallas’ own Oil Boom closed the night Saturday with hearty classic rock stylings. The three-piece band makes a lot of noise, with just an electric and bass guitar and drums. Ryan Taylor, the newly appointed lead vocalist, unforgivingly shredded his electric with controlled ease. They introduced a new song which offered more getup than their deliberately-tempered past material. Their sound is a breath of fresh air in the overpopulated rock band world.
Andrew Tinker makes the most of the rain at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival
Although Easter Sunday was overcast with showers and a cool chill, singer/songwriter Andrew Tinker pushed on and performed some acoustic numbers on the wet stage for his midday set. His three-piece band resumed their rained out show inside the cozy Pegasus News tent nearby with only an acoustic guitar and maracas. The result was a musical circle filled with cheerful fans grateful for a chance to hear some tunes, regardless of the dreary weather.
Brave Combo at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival
Brave Combo, the veteran polka band from Denton, followed Tinker’s lead and played an acoustic set on the slick stage. Their accordions and clarinet (sans electricity) brought out a number of dedicated fans who paired up and waltzed in the pouring rain.
The three-day event made us proud of the local music scene and brought throngs of people together in the culturally rich streets of Deep Ellum. A big thanks to everyone who made it so fun.
Take a peek at each of the artists who performed on our stage:
See more stories in:
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- Creepy rendering of Big Tex shows he's almost ready for the State Fair
- Photos: Dallas Heritage Village Charleston'd its way through history on Saturday
- First look: Read Contemporary shows obscure work by emerging Aboriginal artists
- Photos: Design District's artsy new vino retailer, The Wine Poste, opened grandly on Saturday