Saturday began and ended with brave displays from North Texas musicians, kicking off with a band you've likely never heard of, The Happening. First to perform at Art Con 8, The Happening was comprised of students from Girls Rock Dallas, one of the evening's beneficiaries, and they took to the stage in bright colors and tutus. Their original pop-punk song, with a fairly impressive tempo change right before the hook, was going so hard the sound gave out briefly before The Happening ended their first tune.
The lead singer, who appeared to be about nine years old, was visibly distressed, and you could see her making the decision to just power through despite the anxiety. Between songs, the drummer, who was so short she was nearly hidden behind the kit, came out to whisper something in her ear, and I just barely heard her yell to the band, "We can do this!" It was a pretty punk rock display, actually, emotion butting up against power chords and screaming vocals.
"We have three more songs," The Happening's lead singer yelled out before delivering a not-as-sweet version of Taylor Swift's "Never Ever." It took me a second to recognize the cover.
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As folks streamed into Art Con 8 all night, the auctions got loud, the music got loud. Though I wasn't there until the bitter end, I could hear auctioneers take bids of over $700 for square after square from the 150 co-conspirators involved in the night.
I hopped into my car to speed through Downtown, making my way over to our Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase, and relished in the magic of a night like Saturday. Complain, as some of you did, about having to choose between two annual events that unite their respective communities all you want. I happen to delight in the synergy of it all.
I walked into Prophet Bar just in time to hear the Quaker City Night Hawks hit a soul-stirring harmony. Folks were drunk, dancing and smiling. It was dash-and-dance the rest of the night, as we all ran from venue to venue, until we stopped at Snow Tha Product outside at Dada.
It felt full circle to end the night surrounded by grown-up girls, cheering on this grown-up girl. All this art, and music, it's just a mechanism to run into each other. The guise of a party actually helping a girl swallow a fear or connect a community -- I'll buy a ticket any day for that. Make that two tickets, if only for the memory of so many people who care about this city running around, trying to make something, or make something better.