Best Festival Experience
The 6 bands to watch during Fort Worth's inaugural Fortress Festival
The inaugural Fortress Festival, taking place April 29 and 30 at both Will Rogers Memorial Center and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, is a music festival Fort Worth can call its own. This isn't a traveling festival that's hit other cities or one that's existed in other forms elsewhere. It's unique to Panther City, and it's got a lineup to match.
Organizers have taken care to book bands both national and local, and they've set the schedule in a staggered fashion at the two venues so that intrepid souls can catch part of every set, should they so wish. But if you'd rather see performances from beginning to end, these are the six bands most worth seeing during the event.
Saturday, April 29
Sam Lao - This rapper/singer has made a big impact on the Dallas music scene in just a few short years. Her 2016 debut album, SPCTRM, swept the Dallas Observer Music Awards, winning for Best Hip Hop/Rap Act, Best Female Vocalist, Best Music Video, Best Song, and Best Album. The video for "Pineapple" also earned her some national attention. You'd be wise to catch her while she's still local; it won't be long before the rest of the country catches on. She'll play at 5 pm at the Modern.
The Burning Hotels - The Fort Worth band has been on the rise since their 2010 debut album, Novels. Their pop-rock sound has led to favorable comparisons to other more established bands like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, and they've become one of the go-to options around Dallas-Fort Worth. They'll play at 6:15 pm at the Modern.
Run the Jewels - Likely the headliners of the festival in most people's eyes, rap supergroup Run the Jewels has become one of the most popular in the genre thanks to both their talent and association with Adult Swim. Their latest album, 2016's Run the Jewels 3, went to No. 1 on both the Rap and R&B/Hip Hop Billboard charts. They'll close out the night at Will Rogers at 10 pm.
Sunday, April 30
Quaker City Night Hawks - Another Fort Worth original, the Quaker City Night Hawks were named the Best Band of 2015 by the Dallas Observer, and several of their songs were featured on the FX show Sons of Anarchy before it ended in 2014. All of that, and they hadn't even released their debut album, El Astronauta, which came out in May 2016. You can enjoy their blues rock sound during their set at 5:15 pm at Will Rogers.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - As Nathaniel Rateliff can attest, not every music act is a success right off the bat. The 38-year-old singer has been plugging away for years, with only a few minor triumphs. But once he came out with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats in 2015, his brand of blues rock has taken off, with songs like "S.O.B." and "I Need Never Get Old" rising up the charts. He'll play at 6:30 pm at Will Rogers.
Peter Hook & the Light - Bassist Peter Hook's early bands — Joy Division and New Order — were so influential in the post-punk/new wave genres that they are still referenced to this day. Peter Hook & the Light exists mainly as a tribute to those two bands, with concerts consisting of selections from their notable albums. The group will close out the festival at the Modern at 9 pm on Sunday.