The much anticipated Self Help Festival hosted by A Day to Remember came to Michigan Lottery Amphitheater this past weekend. The festival was expanded for the first time this year. Despite the bumps, bands like Of Mice & Men, Issues, Wage War, and Rise Against had a successful run.
The day started off rocky, with fans waiting a half an hour past doors to be let in. Venue security assured fans they would make it inside in time to see the opening acts. However, some were stuck in line for over an hour past door time due to a lack of organization.
The Plot in You started the day, opening the Black stage in the amphitheater itself. Despite the set back of doors gave an energy filled set. They performed their latest single “Feel Nothing” as well as “Take Me Away”.
Wage War was one of the heaviest sets of the day to the main stage. Vocalist Briton Bond’s vocals tore through constantly moving crowd. Having recently released their new album Deadweight, the band preformed songs “Stitch” and “Don’t Let Me Fade Away”.
Vocalist Michael Bohn of Issues started the bands set by jumping into the crowd as they opened with “King of Amarillo”. Fans sang along with Tyler Carter’s harmonic vocals for every song. Their set closed with fan favorite “Mad at Myself”.
Closing the Black stage was Of Mice & Men. The band’s vocalist is now bassist Aaron Pauley, who took over after Austin Carlile left the band. The band performed a tight set, playing mostly new songs including “Pain” and “Would You Still Be There?”. However, the band closed their sets with one of their heaviest songs “The Depths”.
Underoath gave an impactful performance, which included plenty of mic swings from vocalist Spencer Chamberlain as well as a performance of “Writing on the Walls”. Afterwords, Pierce the Veil took the stage. To fans surprise, vocalist Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember came out to perform his guest vocals on “Caraphernelia”. The band closed their set with “King for A Day”.
A Day to Remember blasted the crowd with confetti as they opened with “All I Want”. Jeremy McKinnon constantly interacted with fans and photographers. Before playing “Naivety” the band challenged fans to attempt surfing on a crowd surfer, to which many happily obliged. The band showered the fans with their t-shirt cannon, operated by photographer Adam Elmakias. Their encore included an acoustic performance by McKinnon and guitarist Kevin Skaff. The band closed their set with their infamous song, “The Downfall of Us All” while showering the crowd with streamers, confetti and beach balls.
Political punk band Rise Against closed their U.S. tour with this stop of Self Help Festival. They opened with “Chamber in the Cartridge”, and vocalist Tim McIlrath joined the crowd at the barrier for “Give it All”. The band also performed one of the heavier songs, “Re-Education Through Labor”. Before performing “Survive”, McIlrath took a moment to dedicate the song to the late Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Vocalist of Pierce the Veil, Vic Fuentes, joined the band on stage for “Wolves”, the title track of their most recent LP Wolves. Rise Against closed their set with “Savior”.
Self Help Festival was a hit in Detroit. Fans were constantly singing along to their favorite bands throughout the day. Each band performed tight, energy filled sets, leaving fans anticipating next year.
Check out the gallery of photos below: