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Over The Weekend: Edgefest 2010 at Pizza Hut Park

Edgefest 2010
Pizza Hut Park in Frisco
May 1, 2010

Better than: watching the Kentucky Derby, although probably not if you were doing so from Churchill Downs' infield--because that's a party, folks.

Believe it or not, there was music at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday. Actually, there was a whole bunch of it, thanks to the 20th incarnation of KDGE-102.1 FM The Edge's annual concert affair, Edgefest.

You'd be pardoned for not noticing, though. Let's face it, there were loads of distractions on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon: $9 beers, topless women running around (so rock 'n' roll), Ed Hardy shirts galore.

And we haven't even yet mentioned My So-Called Life star and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto's pink mohawk.

Basically: It got all kinds of crazy up in that place.

Especially on the main stage, where angry teenagers and not-quite-grown-ups put on a clinic on how to act inhibition-free at a show and how to crowd-surf with the best of them. That crowd was almost inspirational in its apparent good-times-at-any-cost mantra. So much so that even a rather dismal, heavy-on-the-new-material performance from The Deftones went without criticism from the crowds.

Well, some of the crowds. On the south end of the covered soccer field, at the venue's much-smaller, second stage, indie rock favorites Metric and Phoenix performed as impressive draws. But, given the fact that, well, this was an Edge-sponsored show, their performances were almost dismissed. Laughably so: Before Metric could bring its set to a close on Saturday afternoon, an on-air Edge personality was introducing the Deftones on the other side of the field. And, rather than allow Metric the 20 seconds it needed to finish its set, The Deftones launched into their own. For a few seconds, sounds and tastes were colliding.

More than likely, such occurrences simply took place to keep the show on schedule. But for the crowds that never left the side stage--impressed more with a bill that featured Metric, Phoenix, Cage the Elephant and others--it seemed like a slap in the face, as if the rock fans in the building were taking their long-awaited swipes back at the music snobs who pity their appreciation of Limp Bizkit and the like.

Perhaps it was merited: The side stage crowd's attempts at crowd surfing were downright embarrassing (think less surfing, more falling). But their excitement was just as worthwhile: Phoenix, headlining the second stage, was making its first Dallas stop since the release of its phenomenal early 2009 disc, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It was only a 45-minute show. And the sound system brought in to work the second stage wasn't amazing. But it was still quite a show, with frontman Thomas Mar climbing the stage's poles and bouncing about with glee and loads of energy.

Those familiar with the band danced along merrily. Those that weren't waited until "1901" or "That Song From That Buick Commercial" and eventually did the same.

But it paled in comparison to the reaction earned by Leto's 30 Seconds to Mars offering. Glammed out from his hair to his toes, Leto proved an engaging emcee, leading his audience in massive jumpalongs and singalongs to his band's bland-yet-rousing brand of modern rock. Indeed, 30 Seconds to Mars seemed the big draw of the day.

After that band's send ended, scores of fans left the building. And though, if only for the kitsch factor, Limp Bizkit's headlining slot loomed, I left with them. Waiting through Three Days Grace's set for that performance seemed a bit treacherous--even that band reportedly marveled from the stage at its placement after 30 Seconds to Mars and The Deftones.

Besides, earlier in the day, during Hole's performance, Courtney Love essentially confirmed why it wasn't worth sticking around for, blaming Fred Durst for the worst years in rock history.

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And people say she's crazy.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I adore Phoenix. Went to this show just for them, basically. Also, I had to run an errand to Ikea, just a few exits down the tollway from the venue. So, uh, there you go.

By The Way: During its set, 30 Seconds to Mars filmed the Edgfest crowds for possible footage to be used in an upcoming music video.

Random Note: Oh, to be 13 again and see all the boobs at Edgefest...

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