A Day To Remember’s “Self Help Fest” returned for its fourth incarnation (second in Philadelphia) with even more cities lined up and bigger headliners on the bill. This year’s stop in Philly included everything from underground artists (Bad Omens and Microwaves), breakout bands (Real Friends and Wage War) and the veterans of the scene (Underoath and A Day To Remember).
Taking place at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier, the dual stage production opened its gates around 2pm to a line of all ages reaching three blocks down the pier. The dual stage was a unique, yet ideal set up as one band would finish up their set as another started up on the other stage. The small overlap in performance allowed the audience to catch every band on the bill unlike the majority of festivals where the audience has to pick and choose who they see based on stages and set times.
The lineup consisted mostly of scremo and metalcore bands with the exception of Real Friends and Moose Blood who were more emo punk and indie (I hate trying to label bands). They were a nice change of pace in a day filled with redundant metalcore riffs and screams. The crowd was electric throughout the nine hour festival with mosh pits and crowd surfing during every bands set. The day was filled with many highlights from Wage War’s explosive set, crazy costumes in the circle pits, Underoath’s intense light show and A Day To Remember’s ever so popular stage shenanigans (confetti and smoke canons, t-shirt guns and beach balls).
With all that being said there was still one moment that nearly ruined the festival. I’m talking about frontman Ronnie Radke of Falling in Reverse. This egomanic is known for his on stage meltdowns (check his Wikipedia) and their set was one of them. Only one song into their set, Radke asked the whole entire crowd to sit down on the dirty ground still covered in sand. As the crowd, still standing, quiet down a bit, the singer kept demanding them to sit down. At one point he told the crowd he won’t begin the song until they all listen to his idiotic demand. He even sat down on the stage waiting. I glanced at the rest of the members of his band and the looks on their faces were pure frustration and distain for his actions. Eventually Ronnie started the song back up to which one audience member thanked him by tossing a water bottle at him.
I for one look forward to the return of the Self Help Fest in beautiful Philadelphia next year. Just please tell Ronnie Radke and his band to stay home, and never come back here.