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Review: Suburbia Music Festival (Day 2) at Oak Point Park

Posted 12:49pm on Monday, May. 05, 2014

As dusk gave way to darkness Sunday, and David Guetta’s skull-rattling bass signaled the finale of the inaugural Suburbia Music Festival, it was, however briefly, possible to feel like you were somewhere else.

It wasn’t Ibiza, necessarily, but it didn’t exactly feel like home, either.

Light sticks glowed, cellphones held aloft to capture the retina-searing light display Guetta brought along to augment his relentless 75-minute set and the general feeling that, yes, this sort of shindig might be something the city of Plano and, more broadly, North Texas could get behind.

The second day of Suburbia Music Festival — warmer and windier than Saturday — unfolded much like the first, with a few welcome tweaks (cash-only and credit card lines were now marked at food service tents, for example) and what appeared to be a larger crowd. And as on the previous day, ignoring the main stage in favor of the two smaller ones yielded a more satisfying experience.

Arriving to the sounds of Twentyone Pilots bashing out the last song of their set, the bulk of my day was spent bouncing between the Cedar Room and Prairie stages, where talented Texan singer-songwriters like Shakey Graves and Hayes Carll, competed against the main stage draws of Blue October and J. Cole (the latter of whom incurred Carll’s wrath; J. Cole’s thumping R&B bled over into Carll’s closely observed country songs).

Tegan and Sara provided the day’s highlight, diving into their criminally underrated Heartthrob LP, and displaying a charming rapport with the audience gathered in front of the Cedar Room stage.

Guetta’s gaudy mega-mix performance had by far the biggest attendance of the day — indeed, it seemed as though some attendees parked themselves at the main stage and never moved — but it felt anti-climactic compared to the more human-scaled sets seen earlier.

But Suburbia was intent on making a splash — after all, Rolling Stone chose this untested event as one of the summer’s “40 must-see music festivals” before a single act had set foot in Oak Point Park — and, in the final analysis, did well on its maiden voyage. The weather cooperated, and the line-up, for the most part, proved entertaining.

The city of Plano sent out an email blast Monday morning trumpeting Suburbia as “a huge success,” with an estimated attendance of “20,000 during the course of the event.”

And so, we shall likely see Suburbia soon take its place in the increasingly jam-packed yearly festival rotation.

Perhaps the reason being in a field, watching David Guetta trigger samples amid a riot of LED video screens, didn’t exactly feel like home Sunday is because, slowly, steadily, that definition is changing before our eyes.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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