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XS ROCK

Alternative / Punk

Inaugural Brightside Festival Rocks Orlando

Alexander Sink

April 27, 2024

In a city that is known for it’s world-class entertainment, one would think that there is little room to add to the myriad choices. That was not the case on Saturday when the inaugural Brightside Festival kicked off. From the opening band DONEFOR to headliner Sublime, the entertainment on stage was as good as it comes; and with multiple stage dives, crowd surfers and mosh pits it was just as good off stage too. Temperatures peaked in the mid 80’s and a nice breeze, with clouds, soon rolled in. With that, the stage was set for a great festival and the first headline show for Sublime since 1996.

Check out the gallery of photos from this great event and keep reading below for more info on the bands who performed:

The day kicked off with DONEFOR hitting the stage with a high-energy set full of songs from their 2023 album Sleep On It. DONEFOR is a SWFL band that won a fan’s choice competition to join the lineup on stage, and they were well-deserving of the opportunity. Led by co-vocalists Parker Shogren and Riley Stewart, the band’s high-energy metalcore/pop-punk music kicked things off on the right foot. From this point, things only got better as the night went on. Aside from a few technical delays that limited some set times, the festival was as enjoyable as could be. Donefor’s set was shortened because of this, but their experiences backstage more than made up for it.

Shogren stated that “As an opening band you hope that you just get to see the other bands. We were blown away with how kind the headliners and other bands on the bill were. Striking up conversations left and right with us and leaving us with great memories.”

Many band members joined the crowd and enjoyed making memories of their own after their performances. It made for a nostalgic day that was all about enjoying music and the moment. An atmosphere that was only enhanced by the band headlining the night.

The afternoon sets featured Miami band and second fan choice winner Fuakata!. Described as a blend of reggae and punk rock they hit the stage around 1:00. Zebrahead and Unwritten Law contributed adrenaline sets that kept the energy going. Zebrahead even included a stage dive by lead singer, Ali Tabatabaee, into an inflatable watermelon swimming pool that was held by the crowd. Not the most graceful of dismounts, but exactly what the X crowd was looking for to keep this party going.

Save Ferris kicked off the mid-day sets with Monique Powell sporting a flashy sequined dress and scarlet red hair that was just as flashy as their performance. They ended their set with a great performance of Come on Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners cover) that got many concertgoers up and dancing. This wakeup call sparked great crowd support for Face to Face who followed and Story of the Year soon after. Story of the Year came on stage with fans literally having their song requests in hand. While Sidewalks was undeniably requested, it was not played. Their slightly abbreviated setlist included six songs featuring the songs Until the Day I Die, And The Hero Will Drown, and Anthem Of Our Dying Day.

Next up was Goldfinger who inspired the most successful circle pit of the day and they even incorporated two stage dives of their own. John Feldman led the dive charge as the last daylight faded away and the crowd enjoyed the surge in energy. The anticipation for the final two sets was finally setting in and the crowd was ready to greet 311. From the time that Nick Hexum, S. A Martinez and the rest of 311 stepped onto the stage it was go time. It was a Beautiful Disaster from the start and picked up quickly into fan favorite All Mixed Up. The band hit mid set and slowed things down some with Lovesong (The Cure Cover). The crowd all chimed in and assisted Nick with vocals on Amber and it was just a chill moment in the night brought back to life with Down to close things out. It was a great set from beginning to end and only one band could possibly top it, and they were on deck. Sublime delivered with a set twenty-eight years in the making and it was well worth the wait.

*All photos by Alexander Sink except DONEFOR images courtesy of their Facebook page.

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