Shardstyle sent over an in-progress track for the vid so you might want to wear headphones and enjoy it. Also Andy tends to write a bit…ornately, so bear with him and just pretend he’s a complex and troubled writer from the 18th Century, sent Terminator-style forward in time to cover 35D..or something!
(All imagery comes from 35 Denton and therefore is probably the property of the coordinators and bands.)
35 Denton was an undulating musical mess of long lines and crazy sets and I loved every minute of it. The four-day festival continued to transcend being a string of awesome shows, breathing glorious life into the heart of Denton. I’m not going to simply review what I had glimpsed while running to and fro between venues- such would be a fruitless endeavor. No, I aim to get you excited for next year, even if you live a block from Denton Square or a thousand miles away.
The blustery first night of “35D” was both glorious and disastrous. Thanks to an amalgamation of stress from schoolwork and being a lone wolf on trying to cover this giant event, I was dreading heading back out later that night. It was freezing, I was tired, I would be alone, it was late, and I had already forgotten my SD card for my Nikon sitting in my laptop. I had also already agreed to go to Beth Marie’s ice cream parlor on Hickory Street with my friend. Figuring eating away my sorrows was the most popular solution, we ducked in. We headed for a table near the back, putting down our stuff before we approached the well-lit pantheon of flavors. Emotion drove me- I went for the ‘Turtle Torture’.
Holy shit… this is delicious
That first bite into the cone was a synesthetic explosion. Suddenly, I realized, like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”, the true meaning of 35 Denton. I would have never come to the square before, but now, being amongst the crowd, enjoying good food, good company, and the bustle of the growing crowd, I simply wanted to live Denton. There seemed nothing better. I came back later that night, revved up, Nikon inhaling the energy. Oh, and there was ample energy. I don’t know what specifically changed, but the bands seemed… better. I could see people actively enjoying the sounds, and the good vibrations seemed to call forth the populace out of every crevice. Really, almost every night, the big venues were at capacity. It didn’t matter where I went- the music was great and the crowds were raging. As much as 35D is compared to SxSW, I could feel it becoming its own entity. Because, as rocking as every venue was, it was utterly indie and local. Obviously there were bands from around the nation rocking out with Denton bands, but there was an intimacy in those Denton Square bars and restaurants that made every bump that much more enjoyable.
Being one with the crowd, humping it from J&J’s Pizza to Hailey’s (to only realize that was a horrible idea) and back to J&J’s, slipping between the bodies to get to the musical glory was spiritually invigorating. My second year to the festival was even more enjoyable than the last, and my suspicions are that it will only become better and better. This essay is less masturbatory reflection on my fun nights and more of a call. Despite the crowds choking the venues, I want even more people to come out next year. I want more support, more music, more passion. I want 35D to thrive.
Undoubtedly, I’ll be back out there next year, amongst the people and the music that drives them. Maybe I’ll see you there next year. I’ll be of age- maybe I’ll buy you a drink and we can both enjoy the music together.
TL;DR version: 35D is awesome and you should totally go.
Oh, but for those that are curious, I do have a list of bands you need to check out. The bolded names I managed to see and videotape despite work and crowded venues:
Three Oh Sees[/one_third_last]