Self Help Fest Philly

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In a society where depression and suicide is on the rise due to bullying of all kinds due to differences in race, sexual orientation, skin color, and religion (to name a few), some people use creative outlets to help cope and escape from reality. These outlets could be painting, photography, or really whatever helps keep you going. For most people it tends to be music, and artists today are making it more mainstream to talk about the topic of mental health; from artist like Logic, Lil Uzi Vert, and many more. With the conversation buzzing, it was the perfect time for A Day To Remember to bring back their Self Help Festival to Philadelphia after about 3 years. All of the bands in this line-up have been hand picked by A Day To Remember themselves to make sure that every single band involved stands for everything that this festival is about.

Starting off the day were a mix of bands I hadn’t heard of, and bands I recognized but wasn’t too familiar with. Bands like Microwaves, Bad Omens, The Plot In You, Can’t Swim, Angel Du$t, Stray From The PathWage War, and Moose Blood were all new music to me– so I just sat back and watched how bands and fans interacted with each other and enjoyed the show. Every one of those bands had amazing energy– even when Microwaves had to cut their set short due to impending weather conditions, the love they got from there fans and the energy they gave them in return was amazing. I ended up running into their lead singer we spoke about one of his favorite moments on warped tour that he had this year with a band I have know for a few years– Alestorm. He talked about how they were really fun to watch because they were great with the fans and gave them instructions in the pit. Next in the line-up was The Plot In You, a band I had just seen on tour with The Color Morale; unfortunately due to the time I did not catch a lot of their set– I only saw a song and half then ran back to the black stage. On the black stage, Bad Omens performed, and I really enjoyed watching them; they remind me of a mix of Bring Me The Horizon and Hawthorne Heights. At this point in the day things are starting to get heavy, and next up to the red stage is Angel Du$t— a new band with an old school punk sound resembling Bad Religion and Rancid. For their whole set they were running around the stage, full of energy, while Can’t Swim, a pop punk out of New Jersey who reminded me of Seaway, did the same on the black stage. Next up to red stage was Stray From The Path a hardcore Long Island band who just had no problem upping the energy and starting the pit up 10x harder than the bands before or after them. Next were 2 bands that are currently on a full US tour with A Day To Remember: Wage War, who sounds like Fit For A King meets Beartooth with an insane energy to match, and Moose Blood who provided a sound closer to the ‘pop’ in ‘pop-punk’.

Now, let’s shift back to the headlining acts, starting with the two on the black stage. Real Friends had a late start due to technical difficulties, but when they got everything sorted out they did not skip a beat. Probably my favorite band on the whole black stage line-up was Silverstein, who is always fun to see live. From Josh making his silly faces to Shane just going nuts playing all the classics like “Smashed Into Pieces“, “My Heroine“, “Vices“, and then new favorites off of their new album Dead Reflection, it was an amazing set. On the red stage, the headliners started with with Falling In Reverse, and the philly crowd rightfully did not care for them one bit–throwing beer cans and chanting things like ‘fuck you’ and ‘go back to prison’, flipping the band off any chance they got. Next was Christian metal legends Underøath, and damn. This was my first time seeing Spencer live with Underoath— I’d seen him a few years back with Sleepwave but I’ve never seen him like this. From the moment they started playing to the moment they finished you would have thought they were the final act because the crowd surfing did not stop and neither did the energy. I finally got to see first hand why they are the leaders in their genre. Now it was time for the founders of the whole festival, A Day To Remember, and if you have ever seen them live you know how crazy their shows get. With mosh pits, crowd surfers crowd surfing on other crowd surfers (yes it is exactly how it sounds), shirts getting shot out of cannons, beach balls and giant inflatable aliens, and toilet paper flying around the crowd it just one giant party that is alway more of an experience than a show itself. They are currently on tour in the United States until October 19th with Moose Blood and Wage War, but if you want to see a Self Help Fest, there is only 1 left and it’s in San Bernardino on March 3rd. I’m telling you, when they come to your town you do not want to miss it.


Last modified: October 16, 2017