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 Ryan M. Creery

Sunday was the final day of 35 Denton 2016, and what a day it was! From amazing local talent kicking things off at noon to surprisingly stunning performances (we’re lookin’ at you, Holly Macve) to watching locally-revered talent take the stage and crush it with the headliner, there was no shortage of awesomeness on Day 3.

Leoncarlo

As I walked up to Harvest House, I was drawn in, siren-like to the captivating sounds of Leoncarlo. He took a large, loud crowd and lulled them into listening. I was reminded of Daniel Hart or early Andrew Bird, though maybe scaled a little more classical. Not that you’d need to be a classical buff to enjoy him — it’s instrumental for the masses.

Biz Markie

There’s a reason he headlined this year. Even after 30 years in hip-hop, he still f*ckin’ brought it. It was like listening to EVERY SINGLE hip-hop and dance song you love from the ’80s and ’90s. He sampled Prince, David Bowie, Nirvana, Michael Jackson — it was nonstop y’all. Oh, and not to mention he was joined by local loves Slobberbone. Which, uh, was amaze. Biz kept the crowd revved up the entire set, like a gigantic dance party.I was thankful to sweat out all the alcohol from the weekend.

Melissa Ratley

This year, we didn’t get to see as many country acts as usual, but the ones we did get were solid. Melissa Ratley has gained a following in the North Texas area andr for good reason. He smooth vocals take you back to the country you listened to growing up — the swooning pedal steel makes for a beautiful duet.

Keytari

When Keytari takes the stage, they TAKE THE STAGE. Their unique stage presence is a perfect pairing for their sound; a pseudo-psychedelic funky rock jam. The chemistry between the two female vocalists was almost intoxicating and it made you want to be up front and center. They were a great addition to the lineup, keeping the crowd swaying and grooving up until the very last beat.

Alsace

Super groovy. It’s the best way I can describe this set. They scaled the spectrum of hip-hop, from slow and hip-swinging to upbeat and head-bopping. They enticed a full crowd in front of the stage, swooning them with gorgeous vocals, heavy beats, and crazy fun audience interaction. “If you’re a freak, make some nooooooise!” You guys, the crowd made some serious noise.

Alesia Lani

They had me at the soundcheck. It was super funky in a Solange-Janelle Monae like pop-rock — emphasis on the rock — kind of way. You could hear the professional quality of each member’s musicianship. They opened with a Lenny Kravitz cover that, honestly, the legend himself would have approved. But they weren’t a cover band; they followed up with original pieces that were so solid.

Siamese

Siamese at Dan's Silver Leaf | Image by Ed Steele
Siamese at Dan’s Silver Leaf | Image by Ed Steele

One of the coolest stage setups I saw at the festival. But the Bauhausian minimalism get-up wasn’t gimmicky and a mask for the music. The set was incredible; droney, shoegazey and definitely some
inspirations of St. Vincent. They had everyone’s attention from beginning to end, mostly because you wanted to capture every movement.

My Gold Mask

It may have been a small crowd, but they did not lack energy. For a three-piece act, it was a lot of sound and so well organized. Two electronic set ups, a modular drum set and vocals melt your heart. They closed out the show at Lone Star Taps & Caps Denton with a bang, representing Chicago well.

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