For three days, 35 Denton is taking over downtown L’il d to bring all kinds of fun and awesomeness to town. We’ve got a roving team of intrepid writers who are hitting the shows and sharing their highlights throughout the fest.
Words by Alise Gray
Hella Zealous – Dan’s Silverleaf at 5:15 p.m.
The savoring sounds of synth carried through the beloved venue as the crowd eagerly enjoyed the dancey-rhythmic melodies of Hella Zealous. Donning black suits and untied bowties, this handsome duo delivered a I-don’t-want-to-stop-dancing persona to the Dan’s stage. This attitude quickly engaged the crowd who wantingly began to tap their feet and bob their heads before some fans went into full-fledge dance mode. Members Lee May and Jon Briggs teamed up over a year ago to create this energetic, laser-loving electronic force. If we had one complaint, it was that it wasn’t dark enough yet to properly enjoy the laser lights.
Dome Dwellers – Dan’s Silverleaf at 6 p.m.
The crowd quickly shifted and headed to the newly remodeled Dan’s patio to join Dome Dwellers for an intimate (or more like jam-packed) set where this high-energy group showcased their intricate and harmonious vocals and complex guitar riffs. Leaving the audience moved and mesmerized, Dome Dwellers has a distinct way of sucking you in and refusing to let you out sonically unscathed.
Class Actress – Main Stage 1 at 6:30 p.m.
D Magazine deemed Class Actress as modern-day disco and named them one of their 10 Must-See Bands at 35 (not from Denton). Following their advice, I challenged my electronic music naïvety and scouted out Elizabeth Vanessa Harper at Main Stage 1, who was projecting a high-energy vibe to the crowd — especially to the guy sporting a ’90s windbreaker, short shorts and combat boots. This Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio offered our small Texas town in what I hope was an unapologetically accurate depiction of the New York electronic scene — minus the intimate (and quite dark) setting of an underground club.
Ronnie Heart – PAAC at 7:30 p.m.
Texas-born singer/songwriter/dancer and former Neon Indian guitarist delivered a charismatic set to the PAAC stage Saturday. This nu-disco artist enthralled the crowd with his electro-funk performance —engaging and enticing the audience with his vibrant stage presence. Ronnie’s face-melting solos and heartbreaking harmonies left the room awestruck and grooving to his unique brand of soul, funk, pop and disco.