Good Lord. Aside from a trio of metal bands, everything on the musical plate tonight is home grown. And guess what? It's all pretty great.
Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace and Bullet For My Valentine at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie
Last summer, I caught Avenged Sevenfold on a festival bill and left fairly impressed with the band's stage presence and hook-laden brand of metal. Instead of relying on silly, satanic imagery like so many metal bands, Avenged Sevenfold connects with its audience via sheer emotional release. Still struggling with the death of drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan, the band's concerts now have the feel of a memorial concert. Avenged Sevenfold's new video for the single "So Far Away" is even a direct tribute to the fallen brother. Hats off to these guys for forging ahead in spite of the heartbreak. Also on this early-starting bill is Toronto's Three Day Grace, a more straight-forward hard rock act that doesn't approach the visceral punch of tonight's headliner.
Locals Only! With Analog Rebellion and Bravo, Max! at Jack Daniels Saloon
The second installment of DC9's Locals Only! series features two youthful and energetic acts. Supposedly Bravo, Max! has a debut long-play hitting the streets any day now. The buzz for these indie/alt-country boys has been strong for several months, so let's hope that album sees the light of day sooner rather than later. Analog Rebellion, meanwhile, centers on the talents of 21-year-old wunderkind Daniel Hunter, a guy who knows his way around classic power-pop hooks. This talented bill should produce enough hummable melodies to cheer up even the biggest Grinch you know.
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A Giant Dog, Shakedown Alley and Sweet Talk at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton
Austin's A Giant Dog plays distorted garage rock with a refreshingly carefree attitude. For these guys (and gal), broken guitar strings and shorted mics can actually add to the band's sound. Songs like "Any Way" and "Quit Your Job and Runaway" recall the charming amateurism of early Replacements mixed with classic riffs from '60s psychedelic bands like The Seeds. Lead shouter Sabrina Ellis is certainly one dynamic front person, and A Giant Dog has the vibe of a band just about to make it big.
Jessie Frye, New Science Projects, Ryan Thomas Becker and Roy Robertson at City Tavern
This crowded bill features some of our area's best songwriters. Headlining the evening is Jessie Frye, the lovely multi-instrumentalist who just released her second EP, Fireworks Child. Produced by John Congleton, Child presents a wilder side of Frye, and the singer-songwriter certainly benefits by distancing herself from her classical training. Starting off the evening is Roy Robertson, another ace tunesmith who writes sonically gorgeous power-pop songs that just beg to be on the radio. This is as talented of a bill of local acts as one is likely to stumble across, especially on a Thursday night.
Werewolf Therewolf, The Prospect Before Us, Red Light Kills and The Done Deals at Andy's Bar in Denton
Denton's progressive metal outfit Werewolf Therewolf has a slightly stupid name, but there's nothing dumb about the band's complex and weighty roar. If it weren't for the volume and intensity of songs such as "The Ballad of Freddy Mercury" and "Home is the Hunter," this stuff could almost be called jazzy. Werewolf Therewolf are currently in the studio working in a new lead vocalist. I hope the guy knows what he's getting into.
Zebrateeth, The Boat Lights, Bubble Dungeon and Night Eros at The Prophet Bar
Another bill that features four local acts -- although this time the focus is definitely on the electronic and ambient genres. Zebrateeth is the project of the multi-instrumentalist Garrett Zuhoski, a serious-minded guy who somehow manages to mix in a little humor into his cinematic creations. Songs like "Books" and "Get Out of Town" sound like an alt-country Brian Eno if such a thing is possible. There's also some interesting Sparklehorse influence in Zebrateeth's work that certainly warrants a listen or three. Same goes for The Boat Lights, a somber trio that make music perfectly suited for a dreary day spent at home. And yes, sometimes that's a good thing.