JagoeFest in Review

“We’re not afraid to go hard on a Thursday, are we?” It’s day one of JagoeFest, the beginning of a three-day celebration of local music and community. Samuel Decker of Nakamara’s rhetorical question is answered by plenty of dancing, singing, and boozing; despite it being a weeknight, the music lovers of Denton have made it out of the woodwork to congregate at Denton’s DIY darling, Jagoe House.

Announced mid-September, this year’s JagoeFest was the third of its kind and featured a line-up of over 25+ artists. The venue itself housed bands inside, in addition to a small set outside in order to maximize the number of artists featured. A few art vendors also participated with their tables and wares set up in the backyard; on Friday, the Famous Dumpling Bros even paid Jagoe a visit with their food truck and authentic Korean fare in tow.

With the exception of Strange Mother and Jig the Alien (from Austin, TX & Monroe, LA respectively), all the bands were local acts that brought the heat to Jagoe – both literally and figuratively. Though the October weather was kind for the most part, traversing between the two outdoor and indoor sets was much like hopping into a cool pool after spending 45 minutes in a hot tub.

Thursday night’s setlist featured local legend Richard Haskins and a number of other bands - the inside stage closed the night off with acts Nakamara and Carleigh Reese. Nakamara’s jazz-influenced sound (featuring an added saxophone and trumpet, this time around) pleases the ear while their fast-paced tempo changes make it impossible not to tap your foot. The moment the band began playing a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” in a typical Jagoe fashion, the room was aleady full. Carleigh Reese did not disappoint in following with her original music, powerful vocals, and one amazing cover of Kimbra’s “Two Way Street.”

Friday night was windier, cooler, and busier than the last - finally the weekend had released university students into Jagoe’s backyard. The sets outside in the first half of the night were more acoustic in nature, featuring acts like Matt Grigsby, Megan Storie and violin virtuosi/looping expert Leoncarlo. Matt Grigsby, with his folksy sound and impeccable songwriting, reminded the audience of his newest release, and provided the perfect soundtrack for a Texan autumn evening. Megan Storie, with a guitar almost as big as herself, called the weather a “treat” to perform in as she played her solo set. Inside, acts like synth-centric Felt & Fur and Louisianian hip-hop artist Jig the Alien commanded the attention of their audience with sounds that offered a stark contrast to the calmer acts outside. With Dumpling Bros at hand and great music playing both indoors and out, the second night of Jagoefest 3 was one for the books.

Saturday’s weather brought fears of the outdoor set being rained out, but Mother Nature remained kind until about midnight. Elijah Heaps & Nikolai Rya delivered the rap influences everyone was craving, followed by San Antonio’s Strange Mother, who left us with sage advice: “Don’t sleep and drive.” Only after Samus David Jr.’s set at 11:30 did the thunder from outside become hard to ignore; but inside, it was nearly inaudible over the sounds of SDJ’s latest release Literal Trash, played in its entirety.

Saturday’s list of artists began performing as early as 4:00pm - meaning the volunteers and people working JagoeFest started much earlier. As fellow Dentonites and local music-lovers/cherishers/supporters, we have to thank those who put their everything into providing platforms for local music to thrive. Jagoefest was primarily run on donations, but local organizers like Hagen Hauschild have always been committed to making sure that Jagoe’s shows are, for the most part, free to attend.

As reported by The Dentonite, Hagen and Anby are moving on towards their lives as performers - but we are excited to see where Jagoe is headed as the baton is passed. Big thanks to all those who devoted their time into performing or running the show (literally) at Jagoefest 3. Without your help, our love of sweaty mosh-pits would go unfounded.

Photo courtesy of Mallory Frenza
Header design courtesy of Holden Foster