Skate Fest Seymour Smith: Sun, Sweat, and Summer Vibes
On the morning of May 7th, the forecast called for a 60% chance of rain in the afternoon, and while everyone who had amassed at Seymour Smith Park left sopping wet, it was not for the reasons you would think. Fortunately for the Midwest skateboarding community, luck was on their side. Perhaps a bit too much luck though, as luck oppressively shined down upon park goers, leaving their skin several shades darker, and redder than when they had arrived. It did not rain that day, at least not during the event, and there was not a cloud in the sky to provide refuge from the beating sun.
I arrived at Seymour Smith, camera bag in hand, no longer concerned about that 60% chance of rain. In fact, I was mildly disappointed that the weather had fared so well for the event, as I had brought rain gear just in case, and had to return to my car after several minutes to deposit my raincoat, and to switch into lighter and more weather appropriate shoes. The event was stretched out alongside the elongated series of obstacles that made up the skate park, with tents on both sides of the park surrounding skaters with vibrant art, food, and music. Crowds of people had already settled around the transition section, even though I was a half hour early, in hopes of catching the perfect view of the crazy, face shredding, brain melting tricks to come.
I myself was admittedly more excited for the musical acts to come, as I’ve been waiting for a prime excuse to cover more local hip-hop, and the bill was stacked with local legends new and old, including but not limited to, Ogi Kidd, The almighty J. Crum, and fresh on the scene Re’Philosophy. Also on the bill were some prime Midwest pop punk bands like Fox Paw, Jar, and my homies at Dullparty. The fine folks at Skate Fest Omaha certainly know how to stack a lineup!
Disclaimer: Since this is Skate Fest, I’m going to include skate photos all throughout this article. Just be aware that there will be a gallery at the end of this article with a lot more.
Starting off strong was Re’Philosophy, hot off her debut freestyle/music video “Church Sinner,” released a few months back. I was really impressed with Re’s performance. It was high energy, and incredibly professional for someone who is so fresh on the scene, which was in no small part due to Ogi Kidd acting as resident DJ for several of the opening acts. One of the bigger highlights of her set was watching her nephew dance about in the crowd, excited to watch his Auntie shoot her shot. She’s got the style, the flow, and the beats, all she needs is some studio time to take over the local rap game.
Check out Re'Philosphy's video linked here, and these cool photos of her set.
This Boneless gives me the strength to become who I was always meant to be... A boneless meat sack! (Sorry.)
Bones ejected! Meat sack acheived!
I’m going to try to keep it moving as we have a ton of content to get to, so please excuse my expediency. Up next was Dre2laced, who is working on a song right now as we speak… or write… or read… Well, at all times probably. Dre has gained quite a following during the past few years, so him being on the bill was a no brainer. Dre’s debut album I.T.F.M.D. released back in 2021 is a solid listen. I really enjoyed the dreamy, minor beats, and his Kenrick-esque flow, and it was cool to see some of those tracks live.
Find out what new concoction Dre2laced has brewed up for us on his linktree, and of course the peep the photos of his set below.
This guy was doing all sorts of killer freestyle tricks. I love to see the representation!
I hope at this point in the article y’all have realized that this is all just an excuse for me to take cool photos. You get that right? Because there are a lot of them... Okay moving on. Next up was resident palette cleanser Jar, who attracted a sizable crowd with their unique brand of DIY indie pop punk. I had been told by several independent parties that Jar is awesome, and yeah, they’re awesome! I loved the immaculate chill vibes, and party attitude, and seeing local rapper OhDaFroe get up on stage and join them was pretty F’n dope!
You can find Jar's pickles on their bandcamp page, and as always, check out the photos.
These shots were insane! My guy didn't land it the first time, but absolutely redeemed himself the second time.
Ogi Kidd… My god! How does this man still have the energy to put on such a killer set? Dude really DJ-ed multiple sets before having the stage to himself yet had so much energy left over. To top it off, it was like 90 degrees out! The answer to that question is that he brought friends, as 90% of his set was bolstered with local artists. I have mad respect for Ogi giving so much of his own time to support local artists, and it was cool seeing him share the stage with OhDaFroe, on2galaxies, and others. Killer set my guy! Love to see the love!
Support the biggest supporter of local hip hop by streaming his killa tracks on Spotify. Uhh.. Photos below.
Fox Paw drew the biggest crowd of the night with their early aughts pop punk. It could also have been their fab checkerboard outfits too. I really enjoy their latest single “Ride,” and it was super fun seeing some of that 2000s energy being brought back into the fold. These guys are a must see, and definitely a band you should keep your eye on.
Castle your king on over to Fox Paw's rookin' linktree to stream "Ride" and Photos? Yeah. Uh... Photos below. (I'm so sorry for those awful chess puns. They were tacky, and you all deserve better than that from me. Going forward I will take steps to change my behavior. You don't have to forgive me, but please know that I am deeply ashamed of my puns... lol.)
This Skate Fest was better than the last one I attended; in that it was laid out in such a way where there was actually time for me to skate a bit. After Fox Paw’s set, I took a skate break, skated for 20 minutes, died of heat exhaustion, then performed the heat exhaustion resurrection ritual with my car's AC unit for a half an hour, and still had time to kill before J. Crum’s set. After cooling off I had plenty of downtime to check out the vendors. Checkout all these cool shots I got of them. Definitely some killer artists out there!
The dismount on this run one blew my mind. Nosegrab FTW!
Oh hey, I’ve finally made it out to see J. Crum. I’ve only been trying to cover him for the past year and a half, but for every show I think I can make it to, something comes up. My buddy Anthony Flakus plays guitar for him, so you would think our universes would have aligned at some point. I guess now is the time. J. Crum is seriously one of my favorite hip-hop artists in town. His work is always super high caliber, and he releases music at a higher frequency than most of the local musicians I know in town. I’m sure the frequency and quality of his tracks is partly due to the cast of fantastic musicians he keeps around him. Keys, drums, bass, guitars, all played by insanely talented dudes. They all helped make his live set special.
Absolutely keep an eye out for Crum. He’s got a pretty sizable following for being a local, and his music is good enough to compete with the big guys! Dude is putting out tracks better than most of the old mainstay rappers lately.
Photos, photos, photos, below. Also J. Crum's vibrant Spotify page.
Last but not least were my boys at Dullparty. By this time that 60% chance was threatening to rain on our parade, but it certainly cooled things off quite a bit. Unfortunately, this meant that most people were starting to clear out. Luckily the storm allowed the guys to play a full set, and they rocked the house! This was one of their tighter sets which was impressive because they were out in the sun all day at their merch booth. I know, because I was hanging out with them in between sets and competitions.
The vibes of these guys are always immaculate, and the pre-storm spookies actually complimented their shoegazy indie punk. I can’t fluff their feathers too much, since I clearly have a bias towards them, so I’ll have to quit while I’m ahead, but I probably wouldn’t like them so much if I didn't vibe with their music.
I got pretty weird with a few of the photos to try and match their trippy vibe. Keep the vibes alive by visiting the Dullparty Spotify page.
Overall Skate Fest, as always, is a super fun event. I’m really glad I got to meet so many cool new people and see so many old friends. The music is always killer, and the competitions are super fun to watch. The event is free, so it's worth a few hours of your time, and is a great family friendly event to bring the kiddos to. Just be sure to bring lots of sunscreen, especially if you plan on staying for the entire event. I left exhausted, very red, and filled with all sorts of new memories.
Sorry to all the fine people who I wasn’t able to mention in this article. This was a lot of work, and I couldn’t possibly mention all of the people who made this event special. To cap it all off, check out the rest of these cool skate photos.