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Spillover Got Wild on Its First Run as a Three-Day Festival

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Spillover Fest
With Anamanaguchi, the Orwells, Les Butcherettes and more
Deep Ellum, Dallas

This weekend's festivities at Parade of Flesh's Spillover festival proved to be a satisfying alternative for Dallasites to the behemoth festival that is South by Southwest. Many of the acts already seemed a little tired from gigging around Austin, but that week-long warmup didn't sap the energy — or drama — from the Deep Ellum shows.

This was a year of growth for Spillover.  Previously held to a single day, 2016's festival expanded to three days for the first time in its nine-year history.  Being bigger may have been the presumed draw, but at times the increase of choices amounted to little more than different shades of rock.

Friday night kicked-off with Guantanamo Baywatch, L.A. Witch and Les Butcherettes at Club Dada.  L.A. Witch front woman Sade Sanchez sang with a slacking drawl that really filled the room. It was the ongoing mid-tempo thump of the band's rhythm section that really invigorated the music. But it was Les Butcherettes who stole the show that night as they made the crowd move far more than any other act. Terri Gender Bender, the band's singer, wailed like nobody's mother as she bounced maniacally around the stage. Her speedy mannerisms played like a mashup of Iggy Pop and Joan Jett. 
The unceremonious conclusion of the Orwells performance at Trees Saturday clouded the headliner's set. The trouble revolved around a beef between the band and the venue security, detailed in a video that surfaced on YouTube. A few things were certain — a curtain was pulled down, there was definitely some physical confrontation and, naturally, some puke — but the upshot was that the party ended early.

Drama aside, there were a few notable acts that stood out on Saturday night that shouldn't go overlooked. Self-Defense Family played an intelligent yet bouncy style of post-punk that left an enjoyably bitter aftertaste. Oklahoma's Broncho's energetic take on straightforward punk rock was heavy on the Ramones influence. True Widow concluded the night with a set that didn't so much feel like it ended as dissolved into the night.

On Sunday, the St. Patrick's Day hangover was starting to set in, or maybe it was that the formula was feeling a little tired. But there were still some choice acts in the mix. Anamanaguchi put on a colorfully stimulating event at Trees while Power Trip did the crowd a solid with their brand of heavy thrash punk at Club Dada.

The busy venues on Elm Street throughout the weekend showed that Dallas' music fans are responding to music festivals, even supporting a three-day event that would have only filled a single room five or six years ago. And after three days of music, Future Punx and Sealion helped drive the point home, both closing off the weekend with turnouts that were marvelous for a Sunday night.

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