The Top Ten Of This Year's SO What?! Music Festival
Rain,sleet, or shine, So What?! Music Festival lives up to its name. Its success can be attributed to three things. It’s father, Mike Ziemer, the die hard fans, or the die hard bands. All three of them have bodies that seem immune to the weather which snuffs out an excuse for why you didn’t experience the event.
Whether it was Knuckle Puck jamming out with the electric crowd who despite being wind whipped and chilled to the bone, kept their loyalty or Hundredth which didn’t miss a beat or a note when their guitarist fell off stage, the bands have always given their all when it comes to the event. We here at The LP Collective thought no better way than to highlight the best bands for you. These aren't only chosen because of their talent but because of their dedication to their fan base as well.
Being the brainchild of State Champs guitarist Ryan Scott Graham, Speak Low If You Speak Love is vastly different from most side projects of pop punkers. To start with, his music is robust with inspired subject matter. The debut record Everything But What You Need was re-released in early 2015 on Pure Noise and the masses loved it. It was filled with individuality just as Speak Low is. Definitely check out Speak Low If You Speak Love on day 1 of the festival.
Dance Gavin Dance has made its name by being a damn fine, no shits given, quirky as hell, band. This isn’t a band that emulates; this is a band that paves the way in music. With Instant Gratification having released last year the band is still riding the waves in which they created with the record. They have a plethora of sounds all of which mesh together perfectly to create a musical masterpiece which is remnant of none due to the trailblazing effect the group has. Catch DGD and their wild antics on day 2 of the festival!
If there was any band that was adept at the evolution of sound it would be Citizen. If going from Statues to Youth was them dipping their feet into the pool then Everybody Is Going To Heaven is them tying weights to their ankles and hoping for the best. Citizen has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to sound and although their subject matter has a pattern, their music does not which keeps everything refreshing a creative. This band connects with its listeners on a raw, emotional level. Check them on day 1 of the festival!
I’m new to the world of Emarosa. The first time I saw them was at Warped last year and what I witnessed(and heard) hooked me. You have a band who’s emotion floods over, infecting the crowd causing an invocation of the human spirit. It was the only set I saw where there wasn’t hundreds of phones out the whole time. The crowd was focused on the music and the performance in the here and now instead of snapping a picture of a lead singer for social “cred.” Bradley Walden has a legit love for the band's fan base as do the other members. If you want to feel like you are part of a musical family, check Emarosa on Day 2.
Talk about talent, Artifex Pereo has the market cornered. Reminiscent of Dance Gavin Dance or Circa Survive, the band progressively shapes the niche which they control. Be ready to groove with these dudes and their songs are backboned by technical drum work and devilish guitar that echo older Panic! Artifex Pereo are not only leaders musically but they are also damn good dudes willing to help out anyone who needs it. Be sure to catch them on day 2 for an awesome experience.
I cannot stress to you how much of a benefit it would be to you if you caught A Will Away during day 1. This band is making moves and have been steadily progressing up the ranks in the music industry. They killed the game last year with their EP Bliss featuring songs like “My Sitter” which are testaments to the amount of creativity and individuality that this band has. This is a band that makes nothing but incredible music. Again, peep them on day 1.
I would call Hotel Books a poetic masterpiece. Hotel Books is pure emotion with a subtle hint of music; it isn’t just a band, it’s a true testament to language. Creating immensely deep subject matter tied together seamlessly by musical notes is what this band does professionally and they are damn good at it. It may not be loud and the songs may not be long but emotion drips from the band's performance. Definitely check Hotel books out on day 1.
This band is the definition of copacetic. They are champions of the pop punk genre, legends even. Those who criticized the band for waiting so long to release a full length havent looked at the bigger picture in which the band was fine tuning their sound with each EP, readying the music community for what they deemed was good enough to be part of a full length. What came before Everything Is Copacetic was incredible and what comes after will be improvements on an already perfect sound. The energy this band releases at shows is incredible. They hate barriers because it separates them from the fans and their fans are a big part of them. Knuckle Puck is love, Knuckle Puck is life. Catch them on day 1.
The boys from across the pond are a force to be reckoned with. These pop punk heavy hitters dropped a banger last year titled Life’s Not Out To Get You and with that they solidified their place on everyone’s radar. They can hang with the rest of the genre's heavyweights and they kill the stage game. You haven’t lived until you’ve stood backstage and watch the band control the monumental crowd all while having the time of their lives. These dudes are legit. Catch them on day 1.
Last but definitely not least is Beartooth. If you do nothing else for the two days of musical mayhem that is So What?! Fest catch Beartooth and mosh to your hearts content. I can almost guarantee they’ll belt out “I Have A Problem” and the crowd will go crazy with both anger and bliss. The vocal range of Shomo seems humanly impossible but makes for a performance that need not be missed. The electricity of the band is unmatched by anyone on the roster for the upcoming festival and that is saying something. Check Beartooth on day 2!