“Hey, thanks for cleaning up that spill.” These are the words I was greeted with at the best Psychedelic Rock Concert in Fort Worth, Texas. The Psychedelic Panther festival at Lola’s Saloon was whimsical and inviting. And I don’t just say that for the free Arnold Palmer I was given for cleaning that spill. They kept the energy going for 48 hours with anything from funk to shoegaze, riding on the coattails of a roaring crowd. The weekend washed over me and baptized me in psychedelic rock, I was enchanted.
For those unlearned in Fort Worth festivals, Psychedelic Panther fest is a celebration of psychedelic music, art, and culture, with everything from music, painters, and knitting to smoke shops and button making. The festival has been a staple of the Fort Worth music scene in the past with these being the second to draw crowds from across DFW. The event is hosted at Lola’s Saloon fortunately, a venue known for large speakers and stellar acoustics.
From the first song, I was grappled into an embrace of serene synth and heavy basslines by the frontliner of the first day, Gorgeous Jetson, and their song “Buddha on Quaaludes.” I truly thought they would be my favorite band of the night. But then, best friend of the station Estacado came onto the stage, and the rest was history. Shoegaze has a large plot of land on my heart, and the psychedelic twang over their reverbing vocals had me swept away sadly. Many more artists would vie for my love (play their music) in the hours to come, but I was too distracted in the flow of the crowd to discern any one song. Bands trickled into the set just as the one prior had left, and the music never stopped.
Estacado, my love
The last set I saw was the Space Poets, the band that organized the first festival. It was a sad affair that my experience was ending, but they gave me a final send off with their sweet serenade; a metaphorical kiss on the forehead as my metaphorical flight departed. I didn’t realize until after I had begun editing that I didn’t shove anyone to get a shot. The crowds were small! And, looking back, most of the people were just other bands and the same faces all week. I couldn’t have asked for a better festival — just for you to be there next year.