FestivALT AZ concert review

Dayna Miller, Opinion's Editor

Thousands of AZ concert-goers gathered at Quail Run Park in Mesa on Friday April 10 to watch six alternative bands perform at 93.3’s first annual FestivALT. Coasts, Meg Myers, Family of the Year, Glass Animals, Panic! at the Disco, and Death Cab for Cutie performed on and off for seven and a half hours.

The venue offered food stands and tattoo booths, as well as a ferris wheel to add to the festival ambiance. The concert capitalized on fog machines and spotlights to enhance shows after dark; Panic! at the Disco being the main utilizer of said technology.

Merchandise was very disappointing, to say the least. Maybe five different shirt designs lay strewn about, and only a couple bands offered shirts. Only a few bands had a named curtain as a backdrop during their performances, which made pictures of the bands all mesh together when quickly glanced at. Both of these complaints, however, are band related and not to be blamed on the hosting radio station.

The only issue 93.3 should take into consideration is the addition of a second stage. Bands were only showcased on one stage, unlike other outdoor music festivals that wisely choose two-stage setups to minimize the downtime between performances.

However, considering this was the first FestivALT in Arizonan history, many of these injustices are greatly overshadowed by the organization and overall execution of the event.

The number of alternative bands, for example, was phenomenal, especially when considering Coachella was occurring the next day. Some bands even joked about ditching Coachella to perform in Az. Recruiting six fabulous bands for an all-evening concert was an amazing feat. All performances were amazing, no less.

Most bands played their most popular songs, which makes for a fun and energetic concert experience, but they also threw in some lesser-known tracks that truly showed the layers of their sound, Family of the Year for example. Glass Animals even put their own spin on popular songs, covering songs like 2PAC’s “California Love.” Panic! at the Disco’s lead singer Brendon Urie showed a hidden talent of his as he screamed positive thoughts at the crowd in a punk-like fashion.

Not to mention, the location had sufficient and well-organized parking — at a reasonable price! For only ten dollars concert-goers could park in a dirt lot directly across the street from the festival. Being organized by many workers, the traffic was easy to maneuver with this configuration and space was optimized.

Overall 93.3 has some improvements to make before next years FestivALT occurs, but the concert was a success. As long as the festival makes its return with a second stage FestivALT will bless Az alternative-lovers for many years to come.