Published: October 14, 2013
Photos by: Robert Underwood
Story by: Jacki Horne
Not quite as heady as the Colorado or Austin music scene, or as notorious as some West Coast outdoor venues, Dallas can seem like an unusual place for a music festival. In fact, I’ve become so accustomed to camping music festivals in the mountains or woods, that I was honestly not too sure what to expect from Breakaway Dallas at a soccer field. However, with an eclectic mix of musical entertainment packed into one gorgeous autumn day, in a spacious outdoor venue, I was surprised by what the festival had to offer.
Breakaway Festival attracted a diverse crowd to FC Dallas Stadium, with a plethora of genre representation. From funky, electronic Big Gigantic, to hip-hop Wu Tang Clan, to ambient Explosions in the Sky, the day-long festival had something to offer just about everyone. I had lot of fun jammin’ out and people watching. It’s not everyday you see kids in tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirts hula hooping and spinning poi to the sound of Wu Tang Clan flowin’ about dolla dolla bills, ya’ll.
Big Gigantic brought that nasty funk to Dallas, and practically stole the show. The duo made the entire crowd slaves to their funky-fresh sound with clean execution, and a vast array of aesthetically appealing visuals and lighting. Dominic and Jeremy fucking killed it on every single track they layed down; it’s obvious those two have been playing together for a very long time. Big G’s original tracks such as “Rise and Shine”, “Sky High”, and new/unrealesed “Blue Dream” rocked the field hard enough to remind me how delicious live electronica is, especially with the incorporation of sax, drums and bass. The eargasmic duo went out with a bang with their remix to Mackelmore’s “Can’t Hold Us”. Big G, as the authentic musicians and performers that they truly are, left me fiending for more of that funky, soulful stuff.
Matt & Kim – This duo pleasantly surprised me by going way above and beyond my expectations of their performance. Due to my EDM and bluegrass roots, I think that I had honestly only heard their one “Daylight” track prior to the festival. Bluntly speaking, I kind of thought the indie-pop performance was going to be a bit boring. Holy hell, was I wrong; their performance was shockingly entertaining. The duo not only interacted with the crowd, and worked everyone up so sexual by interjecting things such as “raise your hand if you want to get layed tonight”; they also adapted to their genre surroundings and mixed some electronic fun into their set. One minute Matt and Kim were rocking out with their original tracks, the next they were immediately getting hypey with the Harlem Shake; the crowd was going wild the entire time. This euphonic experience taught me to never judge a musical performance by its genre!
Empire of the Sun - Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore brought their psychedelic, circus of performers, visuals and optical illusions to the playing field. The duo is well-known for putting on quite the spectacle, and that is exactly what they did at Breakaway with an army of space-cadet dancers. I got chills witnessing the crowd sing “Alive” word for word along with Luke and Nick. Between theatrical performance, and other-worldly up-beat music, Empire of the Sun transformed the huge venue into a raving spaceship.
Wu Tang Clan – These guys have been in the game for a long time now, and kept it gangsta’ as always at Breakaway. They had the crowd throwing up “W’s” and rappin’ along with their classics. The most memorable part of their set was their tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Shimmy, Shimmy Ya” where they had everyone screaming “Oh baby, I like it raw” on the top of their lungs.
Explosions in the Sky – I was only able to catch the end of these guys’ set, but it left me speechless. It’s always amazed me how Explosions can completely rock out with such charged emotion, yet be so relaxingly chill at the same time.
In addition to all the hustle and bustle on the main stage, Breakaway Dallas had a silent disco with three different channels, where patrons could go cool off and get weird under a shaded area. There was also a small stage with all local talented on the top of the stadium. All in all, Breakaway Dallas was a success through its unique incorporation of completely different music genres and scenes. It was the most fun I think I’ve ever had at a soccer field.