SMFest

SM Fest: Summer Rental and Blevins

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By Sofia Psolka
Web Content Contributor

Sewell Park opened its stage to local bands on Oct. 23 to close out the sixth annual SM Fest. I pulled up just in time to catch two local favorites: Summer Rental and Blevins.

People were sitting along the riverbank, enjoying the warm air, taking dips into the water. Guys playing basketball as kids ran around the court; skaters and bikers popping wheelies and racing along the bridges. A perfect summer day in the height of fall. (But hey, that’s Texas.)

The members of Summer Rental set up their equipment, sporting Hawaiian shirts and swim trunks, making me regret not having my own swimsuit on hand.

Stands from local and student organizations surrounded the Sewell stage, handing out free t-shirts and flyers for any curious San Martians passing by. However, the moment Summer Rental’s leading man, Garrett Douglas, introduced the band, it was as if a congregation was called; everyone came close together to celebrate with music.

In between songs, Douglas shared that Oct. 23 marked the three-year anniversary of Summer Rental’s first album which coincidentally debuted at SM Fest.

At one point, the band threw a beach ball into the audience, to everyone’s enjoyment—especially the children in the audience.

Watching the kids weave through the crowd, racing to catch the ball in an intense game of “keep the ball of the floor”, made me want to join in on their fun. I got a lucky hit a few times—as well as a few accidental hits—which was enough to satisfy my inner child.

Among the crowd of swayers and small chasers, a couple took over the floor, swing dancing a circle for themselves, as if nothing else surrounded them but the music and their partner. It was a heartwarming moment to witness.

Garrett Douglas (center) plays teal electric guitar and sings into a mic.
Garrett Douglas sings for the crowd.

To close out, Summer Rental played, my personal favorite, “Someday” which, in every concert I’ve attended, never fails to get the crowd passionately yelling, “I wanna get better,” while whipping their heads back and forth. Once they said a few parting words, Blevins prepared to take the stage.

After a bathroom break and mingling with friends, Blevins was ready to perform. I’ll admit, I’m not familiar with the music of the brothers trio, but their set drew me in.

The shift in tone changed with the sun. As afternoon turned to dusk, Blevins brought techno punk rock for all the angsty college students in the audience.

Members of Blevins perform their set on Sewell Stage. 
Blevins takes the stage.

Blevins’ front man, Brandon, took some time to thank the San Marcos community for supporting local musicians and shared their dream of performing, one day, in a coliseum.

After playing a few mellow songs, Blevins busted out their own version of “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. People got up from their seats to crowd the stage, jumping and spinning.

A group of friends to the right of the stage, dressed in ’90s grunge fashion, were folding back and forth—the emotion of the music taking over them—as they screamed out the chorus. Couples took each other by the hand, tugging and pulling. Everyone was smiling in a moment of community and celebration—music truly is a powerful force.

Written by: Hannah Walls

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