What an incredible weekend!! As soon as the sun came out Saturday April 29th, We knew this was going to be an amazing time. Fortress Festival returned for it’s Second Year promising even bigger Acts and a New Site Layout. Check out Our Last Years Coverage HERE
Saturday started with a Few Local Acts Like Sammie Kidd from Mean Motor Scooter, Friends of Like A Boss, Juma Spears and Francine Thirteen. All Of these were inside the Auditorium at Will Rodgers so it was nice to establish this was also about the Hometown flavor. Last year had a 2-stage set-up spreading across the Cultural district of the museum area, Attendee’s walked to the Modern to see the 2nd stage, but this year opted for a smaller stage opposite of the Main. It decreased walk time and ensured you could see every second of the music, as soon as one stage ended the other picked up, as most festivals have adjusted to.
When the Main Stages Started, The day was bright and full of Fun, Rapsody, Waxahatchee and Jay Som all started off great, commanding the stage in their own respects. As More people came in , The early evening was set straight by Chicano Batman, The dust pouring up while they rocked with full suits on. So Much energy was present and we were surprised at the turnout for each Artist. Most of these bands all tour and play in Venues like RBC, Three Links, Club Dada and to see them all present in front of huge crowds was really reassuring about the culture of these festivals.
Something I was unsure of when I arrived was how the crowd control would be around the Wildcatters Northern Stage, Trees were present and the Statue of Will Rodgers on Horseback wasn’t too far, but everyone was cordial in sharing space and making room. RZA funked along with Stone Mecca, A funk band that added the flavor to classic Wu-Tang songs, Rocking out on possibly the strangest guitar I’ve ever seen live. Shabazz Palaces surprised many, sounding like Death Grips in space, the duo create loops and sounds, establishing a presence that sucks you in like a tractor beam and forces you to be present.
Something no one will forget, Including the Photographers in the Photo Pit, Was De La Soul’s Earth shattering Performance. De La Soul needed everyone present, no excuses, they stopped everything to get the Photographers involved, forcing them to put the cameras down and jump with everyone for an entire song. Even the most stubborn were brought to a smile and really relished in the energy they brought. The Voidz performed after and were equally as hyped, Genre-bending and fully present, Julian Casablancas even came to perform wearing Sponsorships plastered on every article of clothing he wore. Anyone who says they weren’t feeling Chromeo is a Damn Liar because they brought a Chrome dipped stage that looked like something straight out of the Future episode of Spongebob.
Sunday Brought the Local acts to the later Times, Texas Gentlemen and Vandoliers playing in-between Tune-yards and Courtney Barnett. Putting them at full importance along side the national acts. Courtney Barnett played classics from her EP A Sea of Split Peas as well as New Songs from her Upcoming Release, Stopping in N. Texas as a kickoff to a Worldwide tour that already has many sold out dates booked. The Turnout was even larger the second night and you could see the entire crowd swooning to Father John Misty as he serenaded. Finishing the second year with a true bang, Fortress did it right in every way possible, The only thing I could think of as I was walking away was What could the Next year possibly do to top this one?