It's easy to get overwhelmed when picking which national music festival to catch. But before there was glamping at Coachella or a beachfront view at Hangout Fest, there was Edgefest in Dallas.
The defunct alt-rock radio station 102.1-FM The Edge launched Edgefest 25 years ago. Acts have come and gone over the years; some were fleeting while others were featured year after year. Many of those veteran groups, including the Toadies, Lit, the Offspring and the Nixons, returned to celebrate the festival's 25th anniversary.
While most bands didn't reminisce onstage, nostalgia was alive and well in the stadium. A wide range of fans were there -- some to relive their youth, others attending for the first time -- at Frisco's Toyota Stadium.
Possibly the most-anticipated reunion was that of the Nixons, the Oklahoma-bred group made famous by their 1995 single, "Sister." Although it's been 15 years since they played together, the band sounded revitalized and excited during their 35-minute set. Lead singer Zac Maloy didn't avoid the hard-to-reach notes and satisfied eager fans with a classic rendition of the aforementioned fan-favorite track, which was met with a sea of cell phones ready to capture the moment.
It was the Nixons' fifth Edgefest, the most appearances of any band on this year's bill.
From there, songs and bands of my youth came flooding back. Chevelle, one of the heavier acts of the day, performed its soaring singles, "The Red" and "Send The Pain Below," with impressive force. There was less screaming this time around, taking away from the raw energy they were known for in the 2000s. Another beloved local band and staple from the '90s, the Toadies, played all of their singles from the pivotal 1994 record, Rubberneck, to a participatory crowd. Front man Vaden Todd Lewis announced a new record expected in August.
Energetic and free-spirited, 311 brought a lighter side to the day with its funky reggae-rock fusion. Wavy bass lines and floating verses from the refreshingly mellow single "Amber" and the more-textured track "Beautiful Disaster" captivated the evening audience, many of whom were toting classic 311 T-shirts from the band's 1995 debut record.
The Offspring did what they do best: Play blaring punk rock. Formed in 1984, these California natives sounded just as confident as they did 23 years ago on their wildly successful album, Smash.
Whether you were heartbroken over the news that Tom DeLonge left Blink-182, this headlining spot was the moment for the band to show longtime fans that DeLonge wasn't the reason we fell in love with the hilariously blunt trio. It's Blink's refreshing honesty about the struggles of an awkward teenager written with catchy punk-rock tunes and staggering drum work of the now world-famous drummer Travis Barker. With Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba at the helm, Blink gave fans exactly what they wanted and more, flying through hit after hit like standout tracks "All The Small Things" and "Feeling This" to fuel the throngs of elated fans.
Now that D-FW listeners have come to terms with The Edge going off the air, here's hoping the success of this 25-year celebration will secure the future of this beloved festival.