The Angelus, Crushed Stars LaGrange Thursday, July 26
Last night at LaGrange was certainly a sit-down kind of show, but it wasn't a slumber party. Crushed Stars, the acclaimed combo led by Todd Gautreau, proved why they are one of Dallas' hidden treasures. The band rarely plays live (this was their first Dallas show since the release of March's In the Bright Rain), so anytime the band plays, there should be some understandable fanfare.
Even though they're is often lumped into the "mellow" category, most of the eleven songs they played were quite vivacious. Felt more like The National than Red House Painters. Frustratingly, an uneven sound mix (bass was way too loud) often masked Gautreau's delicate, low voice.
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The Angelus played almost an hour of material, joined by violinist Petra Kelly on three songs towards the middle of the set, expanding into a hypnotic folk drone.
Personal bias: Crushed Stars drummer Jeff Ryan is a guy I keep running into, whether I'm in Deep Ellum, East Dallas or Fair Park. Call it drummer telepathy. This was my first time to see him play.
Random note: Angelus frontman Emil Rapstine quipped that fans of the band were divided between seeing this show and seeing the Kool Keith show across the street at Trees. Given how small the turnout was (maybe 35 people total?), Kool Keith won out.