Imagine this: You’re sitting outside letting the sun beams sink into your skin as the first bass notes of the day begin pulsing through your bones, a belly full of tacos and craft beer in hand, you close your eyes, become one with the collective consciousness of the crowd around you as the conversation of good friends fade into a moment of solace, relaxing deep within your mind, there’s nothing but you and the pervasive vocals of St. Beauty as rich, complex synths rain down around you, clarity washes over your body, this is heaven sent, this is what you’ve been waiting for, this is Oaktopia. Now come back to reality and get ready to experience this immersive music festival with another set of recommendations from your friends at We Denton Do it, we’ll help you get that second day schedule on track.
While the first day of Oaktopia has a lot to offer, day two steps the game up, bringing out heavy hitting national touring acts and almost twice the number of local bands, which means you’re going to have to make some tough decisions on who to see and who to miss, because at any given moment during the day six to eight different bands are playing at the same time. That also means that each venue has a more defined sound by stage, including alt country, indie rock, trip hop, rap and more. So what’s first? Get to the main stage in the early afternoon for the only two acts all day you won’t have to experience FOMO over while seeing, St. Beauty and White Denim, then go from there.
Once White Denim’s got you pumped up, energized and ready to run around town all day, it’s time to decide which acts to see in between headliner sets. If you’re a burger rock fan, check out Andy’s Bar for a mix of music with pysch, surf, and experimental influences. The band you don’t want to miss here is ATX based Summer Salt, a rock trio blending summer vibes and shoegaze, like a combination of The Beach Boys and My Bloody Valentine, resulting in a refreshing genre the band warmly refers to as “Coral Reef Rock.”
Dan’s Silverleaf will be offering a unique blend of indie rock, alt country and folk. Some of you younger folks may be saying, “Well, I don’t like country,” but alt country isn’t anything like the pop country you’ve heard on 94.5 and other big time radio stations. While popular country steps away from it’s roots in an attempt to reach larger mainstream audiences by incorporating generic blends of electric guitar, synthesizers, southern attitude with lyrics about trucks, beer and women, alternative country is the exact opposite. Alternative country isn’t defined by big labels, a goal to stay famous or intentions to be played by the high school football team, alt country is a blend of folk and indie music, usually with a dash of country twang subtly derived from the vocalist’s accent, banjos, violins, or a variety of other instruments and song structures influenced by older country. Take a minute to watch Robert Ellis or Exit Glaciers and we promise you won’t regret it.
The Labb hosts one of the most solid nights of hip hop Denton’s seen since Hailey’s closed and it’s your last chance during Oaktopia to support local rappers. Eleven MC’s take the stage, including Denton’s own AV The Great, Dallas based Topic, and our own personal favorite up-and-comers Xanni, Lil Durt & J3’s Journal. If there’s a local rapper who’s on their way to a top 40 hit or being signed to a major label like Awful Records, they’re probably on this set. Speaking of which, rumor has it that a couple record labels are actually flying in to see this show, so turn out, turn up, get the crowd going and support these guys.
That pretty much wraps it up for our second day recommendations, remember to be safe, drink responsibly, leave your Franzia backpacks at home and stop trying to sneak water bottles of vodka through security. If you can squeeze in a visit to the PAAC and want to get your dance on, Kind Beats, Scal & Dezi 5 will be performing ambient DJ sets with hard hitting electronic and trip hop beats. If you’re a night owl and a comedy fan, Campus Theater is hosting a night of comedy from 10:30 p.m to 1:30 a.m. Check back with us tomorrow for a final set of artists to see, this time covering day three, and remember to tag your photos over the weekend with #wddi for a chance to be included in Monday’s issue of What We Did: Oaktopia. Thanks for reading, y’all.