On Saturday (March 7), Self Help Festival returned to San Bernardino for the second year. And while festival founders A Day to Remember weren’t on the bill this year, the all-day show still consisted of a hard-hitting lineup of some of the scene’s leading hardcore, metalcore and pop-punk bands. On what felt like a scorching summer day, thousands gathered hours before the music had even started to claim their spot against the barricade— or in the venue’s limited shade — buzzing for what was to come.

Early highlights of the show included an energetic hometown set from easycore band Assuming We Survive, with frontman Adrian Estrella throwing himself headfirst into the crowd, as well as skull-crushing hardcore from L.A.-based Rotting Out. While the eclectic lineup featured everything from the EDM-meets-Warped-Tour style of Breathe Carolina to the unique acoustic pop punk of This Wild Life, the emphasis was definitely on the current post-hardcore scene.

As the sun was setting, The Devil Wears Prada took the main stage to a sea of screaming fans. About to embark on a tour celebrating the 5th anniversary of their beloved Zombie EP, Prada’s set featured cuts from their four most recent full lengths, as well as the EP. Frontman Mike Hranica was as energetic as ever, while the rest of the band was likewise in top shape.

Next up were the incredibly polarizing Falling in Reverse. It seemed like everyone at the festival either loved or hated them. Among the supporters was a girl against the barricade who was seeing them live for the 28th time. Although their most recent album, Just Like You, dropped late last month, the set focused heavily on the band's first two LPs. Whether you love or hate frontman Ronnie Radke, it’s undeniable that he’s a major force in the scene today.

Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil have been on tour together for quite some time now, and the co-headliners were the highlights for many of the festival’s attendees. Sleeping with Sirens, whose new album Madness comes out on St. Patrick’s Day, played such fan favorites as "If You Can’t Hang” and “If I'm James Dean, Then You're Audrey Hepburn,” as well as newer cuts like “Kick Me.” A particular highlight was a spontaneous a cappella version of Sublime’s “Santeria."

Pierce the Veil’s set consisted of most of 2012’s Collide with the Sky, as well as a few choice cuts from Selfish Machines. The band delivered an impressive set that drove the crowd into a frenzy. The biggest surprise of the night came when Jeremy McKinnon came out to deliver his lines on "Caraphernelia", while other highlights included guest vocals from Pvris singer Lynn Gunn on “Hold On Till May” and Sleeping With Sirens singer Kellin Quinn on “King for a Day."

Self Help Fest’s second year was by all accounts a resounding success, and here's hoping the show will return next year with another impressive lineup.

Pierce the Veil

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Charles Epting for Loudwire

Sleeping With Sirens

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Charles Epting for Loudwire
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Charles Epting for Loudwire

Falling in Reverse

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Charles Epting for Loudwire

The Devil Wears Prada

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Charles Epting for Loudwire

The Ghost Inside

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Breathe Carolina

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Real Friends

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Secrets

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Rotting Out

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Assuming We Survive

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