A dozen stages hosting 150 bands for two days ” Tulsa’s Dfest provides a one-stop shop for the best Okie-based and national indie-rock favorites. It’s impossible to hear every act at Dfest, so Oklahoma Gazette is sharing the highlights on our rock shopping list to help you find the best Dfest deal for your dollar.
Dfest Music Festival and Conference takes place Friday and Saturday at Tulsa’s Blue Dome District. Tickets are $33.50 advance, $45 door while a VIP pass costs $150. Call (866) 966-1777.
If you purchased tickets in advance, you still have to trade your passes for a wristband to gain entry to the festival stage areas and venues. The redemption booth is in the parking lot west of Dirty’s Tavern, 325 E. Second, open from 2 p.m. to midnight each day.
FRIDAY, JULY 25
The City Lives
6 p.m., Hadalay Stage, Near 1st street and Elgin Avenue
Start the festival on a high note with OKC’s The City Lives, an energetic rock band that delivers thoughtful, honest songs, layers of melodic guitars and crushing drums. The five-piece recently inked a deal with All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty, who has made plans to release the band’s upcoming album on his label, Edmond Records.
First Lady Assassins
8 p.m., Exit 6C, 222 E. 1st S
Guitar-driven and frantic, Tulsa punkers First Lady Assassins boast some of the best drumming and guitar work recently recorded in the state. The band’s nonstop rock ‘n’ roll party sounds like an angry MxPx or a really nice NOFX.
10 p.m., Dirty’s Tavern, 325 E. 2nd St.
Cookson native Dana Hazzard and his five-piece band of pluckers, pickers and drumstickers bring a brand of Okie country steeped in red dirt and classic Bakersfield boot bashers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Hazzard packs its twang with a ton of bang.
10:30 p.m., R.U.R. Stage, near 2nd Street and Detroit avenue
If you manage to resist the charms of singer/siren Hayley Williams (it’ll be tough) performing with Paramore on the Hadalay Stage, follow the sound of strange electronica to Ghostland Observatory and find yourself mesmerized by an electro-funk dance trance.
1 a.m., The Continental, 421 E. 1st St.
Close the festival’s first night with OKC rapper Jabee, who recently released “Blood Is the New Black,” a gritty collection of songs inspired by family death and personal struggle.
SATURDAY, JULY 26
7 p.m., Tsunami Sushi Bar, 309 E. 2nd St.
Seattle songstress Alyse Black is the perfect start to Saturday’s sonic onslaught. Charming and sultry, Black has a smoky voice, perky lyrics and an appealing lounge-singer nonchalance.
8 p.m., Hadalay Stage
Festival veterans, Tulsa rock group The Effects has the growl of a Camaro and the staggered swagger of a Seventies drug dealer. The act has gained a ton of mileage since 2007’s Dfest, being named “Buzzworthy” by MTV last November and accruing acclaim from fans and critics alike.
9 p.m., The Continental
If your Nintendo threw up after eating The Cure’s discography, it might sound like Cavedoll. The electrified New Wave five-piece from Salt Lake City is led by crazed front man Camden Chamberlain, who laments lovingly over happy-go-lucky drums and peppy synthesizer bleep-blops.
10:30 p.m., R.U.R. Stage
If you had to pick a crayon to shade a picture of the sonic slurry pioneered by Helmet in the Nineties, “outer space” would make a better choice than black. Heavy and droning, without the sinister pretense of most metal bands, the somewhat-reassembled New York group still plays the dark, brooding, guitar-driven sludge that first won over live audiences more than a decade ago.
Midnight, Hadalay Stage
Philly’s hip-hop heavy-hitters The Roots were a surprise addition to this year’s lineup. For more than 20 years, The Roots have linked impossibly cool live instrumentation from drummer ?uestlove with groove machine MC Black Thought, who dispenses thoughtful, incendiary lyrical politics. “Joe Wertz