May 10, 2008
Grapevine Mills Mall
Better Than: Spending the day at the Journeys store nearby.
I had high hopes for the Backyard BBQ. No, seriously. A decent mall band (Alesana), a handful of local acts and a collective of pro skateboarders and BMX and moto riders performing for free. Not bad...oh wait, seven hours standing in a 87-degree, unshaded parking lot is bad. Painful even. This isn't a slight on the performers, but the crowd.
People meandered in and out of the performance area throughout the afternoon, without really checking anything out. The Backyard BBQ team could have helped this a bit by having bands play continuously. Instead, they alternated bands and sports events. So, consistently there was a large group of bored kids waiting (in that hot parking lot) in front of the music stage. Mobs of bored teenagers don't really entice people to come “join in.” (The free manicure and pedicure from CosmoGirl! worked better, actually. Those seats were always filled.)
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However, when the bands did play the crowd lived up. Especially for Rockett Queen and Before The Fall, both bands fully stepped up to offer an energetic show in the mid-afternoon heat. And despite a tiny vert ramp, I enjoyed seeing local BMXer Morgan Wade again and catching a glimpse of MTV boy/pro skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. There was little space to actually be able to see what was happening on the ramp because of the set-up, which left the announcer consistently begging for more cheering. Yeah, me too, dude. -- Chelsea Ide