By Jeff Madore, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
Venue: Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, Florida-Septmeber 30, 2017-SELF-HELP FESTIVAL
Rock At Night had a great time at Self Help Fest Orlando! Florida decided that it was still Summer as the “feels like” temps pushed 100 degrees. The event was a day of great music and kudos to all involved for running things very well. I didn’t shoot all the bands due to the two stage set up and the heavy rain at the end.
The show featured two stages and I was able to catch openers The Plot in You who played a great short set to kick things off. I really like their new song “Feel Nothing”. I think once their new album hits they’ll be playing towards the end of festivals.
Ocala Florida’s Wage War hit the stage next. They’ve really taken off with the release of their new album Deadweight. Before they took the stage the crowd was chanting for them. They had great energy and the two vocal attack sounded great. One of the best new metal bands out there.
I jumped over to the Red Stage for Dance Gavin Dance’s set. Clean vocalist Tilian Pearson was a crowd favorite as he danced away on stage. The band was really tight and lots of intricate guitar and drum interplay. A really great group of musicians who showed why they have such a loyal following.
Real Friends took the stage next. They are fun pop punk bad with catchy hooks. They head off to Europe next in support of their new album “ A Home Inside my Head”.
I made my way back to the Black Stage for Attila’s set. Frontman Chris Fronzak has had some controversy but he commanded the stage and crowd. They had a huge mosh pit and the entire crowd jumping though out their set. They are known as a party band and they proved why during their set.
Next I was back to the Red Stage for Streetlight Manifesto. The Ska Punk band continued the party Attila started with their fun set and commanding stage presence. One of the most entertaining horn sections I’ve seen. Drummer Chris Thatcher must have needed an IV after his fast and great playing in the 100 degree heat.
Up next was Ska Punk Legends and Florida’s own Less Than Jake. They really got the crowd going and even brought one fan on stage to show off his abs and dance away. They shot TP on the crowd and were just a ton of fun to watch live. If you ever get a chance to see them play I can’t recommend them enough.
The Story So Far hit the stage next. Their pop punk sound was a fan favorite and they played their new song “Out of It”. Frontman Parker Cannon was really enjoying himself and wowed by the size of the huge crowd.
Hardcore legends Underoath were up next. Sadly the rain really started coming down for the start of their set so my pics were limited. They tore through an intense set and showed why the Tampa natives are Grammy nominated legends of their scene.
Last but not least was A Day to Remember from Ocala Florida. The rain was really coming down for their set and I was unable to take pictures. They played an amazing set and showed why they are the headliners of such a great festival. Their latest release Bad Vibrations is a fantastic album. I hope I get the chance to see them again really soon.
Self Help Fest was a great day! The crowd was fun and respectful. They had a great assortment of food vendors including wood fired pizza and food trucks. There were shirts and merchandise everywhere! The stage crews should be commended for all their hard work in keeping things going and on time. The security and medical staff were also on point and kept every one safe and healthy! It was a scorcher of a day and the heavy rain was almost welcomed (not by my Camera though). I plan on going to the next Self Help Fest for sure and recommend you do as well! An A+ festival with an A+ lineup of bands.
A Day to Remember
- Alien Ant Farm release video of Wham!’s ‘Everything She Wants’ - June 28, 2020
- Flotzilla destroys Central Florida - May 15, 2019
- Queensryche and Fates Warning kicked off their new tour in Orlando - March 3, 2019