Self Help Festival – Nos Event Center – 03.03.2018
Self Help Festival
San Bernardino, California – 03.03.2018
Photos by Salma Bustos
An overcast morning in San Bernardino, California at the NOS Events Center saw thousands of kids lined up several hours before doors in hopes of watching one of their favorite bands front row at A Day to Remember’s Self Help festival. The doors opened at 2pm and the show began immediately. Attendees raced to catch the opening bands they wanted to witness perform at the beginning of the festival. Self Help Fest is known to offer a very diverse range of acts.
The indoor Black stage hosted mostly pop punk bands such as Seaway, Knuckle Puck, State Champs and Mayday Parade, but also included heavier acts such as Crown the Empire and Volumes. The main outdoor Red stage had heavier performances all day by Cane Hill, Wage War, The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Of Mice & Men, Falling In Reverse, Papa Roach and A Day to Remember.
Early on in the day, fans made it in just in time to watch Canadian band Seaway open up the Black stage. They warmed up the crowd as frontman Ryan Locke connected and communicated with the crowd and got them ready for the day ahead. Seaway recently released their album Vacation with Pure Noise Records. They played older songs such as “Shy Guys” along with tracks off of their new record such as “Something Wonderful.” Outside, heavy metal band Cane Hill opened up the red stage with powerful riffs and a very responsive crowd. They began their set with “It Follows” a head banging tune, followed by “10¢” setting the tone for the black stage and a riff heavy day to follow.
Back inside, Volumes had the crowd moving and they started up the mosh pit with their song “Feels Good”. The band moved around a lot as the two vocalists Gus Farias and Myke Terry showcased their complimentary stage presences. Outside Wage War delivered a fantastic performance and, despite having minor technical issues, got through the set with the encouragement of their fans. Crown the Empire tore up the black stage, although they only had time to play three songs having taken a little longer to set up. They gave the crowd all that they had in the short amount of time that remained.
On the Red stage metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada put on an outstanding performance. The bands looked to be having the time of their lives on stage. They started off their set with “Danger: Wilman”, a track off of their record With Roots Above and Branches Below, which was released in 2008. A number of loyal fans made their way to the front of the crowd to rock out along with the band. Inside, Knuckle Puck encouraged a wave of crowd surfers. They began their set with an older song “No Good” off of their 2013 release The Weight That You Buried, followed by “Gone” off of their newest album Shapeshifter. Knuckle Puck’s performance set the tone for the next indoor band, State Champs, who share a similar fan base with Knuckle Puck.
August Burns Red took the Red stage as the sun began to make its way out from behind the clouds. ABR has a sound so massive that it felt like a summertime festival despite the gloomy weather. The band always has a great time performing and is always very interactive with the crowd–today was no different. Inside on the Black stage, State Champs dominated their first California show since April 2017. The band just finished recording their next studio album which is to be released later on this year. State Champs’ massive amount of energy was reciprocated by the crowd. Vocalist Derek DiScanio always has a blast dancing around on stage to engage with fans. Outside, Of Mice & Men delivered a headbanging performance to their dedicated fanbase. Several kids fought their way towards the barricade in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite band from the front of the crowd. OM&M mostly played songs from their newest record Defy, which released earlier this year.
Mayday Parade closed out the indoor stage with an amazing performance. Started their set with “Oh Well, Oh Well”, the crowd instantly sang along in harmony with vocalist Derek Sanders. Mayday Parade announced that the completion of a new record that is to be released later on in the year. Everyone was escorted out of the indoor stage area following their set while Falling in Reverse (not pictured) set up on the main stage. There was a mixed reaction from the crowd as soon as they began to play. Falling In Reverse’s set produced a crowd as passionate as they were rowdy that barricade bolts came loose, forcing it to bend at an angle. Photographers and media were immediately escorted out of the photo pit for preventative measures. Security guards up front held back the crowd and barricades until the band finished their set. Falling In Reverse fans were especially loud when the band played some of their biggest hits, “The Drug In Me is You” and “Just Like You”.
Papa Roach (also not pictured) elicited a thundering roar from the crowd the moment they took the stage. Again, photo and media were not allowed to shoot as security and venue staff were in search of a solution to the loose barricade problem. Papa Roach did an exceptional job playing songs from their most recent album Crooked Teeth along with old hits such as “Scars” and “Last Resort”, resulting in the ultimate festival sing along.
A Day to Remember delivered ground breaking performance as they held the crowd in the palm of their hand the entire night. The band started off the night with “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?” as The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica took the stage for guest vocals on the track. ADTR’s entire Selp Help set gave fan every song they would want to hear live at any of their shows. Songs like “Have Faith in Me” and “All I Want” were all crowd favorites. Additionally, A Day to Remember included songs they haven’t played on previous runs the past few years such as “You Already Know What You Are” and “Sticks & Bricks”, an ode to their first few albums and fans that have been there since the beginning. The band briefly left the stage and returned with a four song encore consisting of “If It Means a Lot to You”, an acoustic version of “I Remember”, “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” and the ADTR classic “The Downfall of Us All.” Overall, A Day to Remember delivered the best festival and performance they could to their fans, who now look forward to the next Self Help announcement in Southern California – whenever that may be.