Oh, sure, it's not like you haven't seen these artists before; we all know Salim Nourallah's consistent and benevolent influence on Dallas' music scene, Johnny Lloyd Rollins' updated take on classic songwriting a la Buddy Holly or the Beatles, Airline's upstart youth tunes, etc. But just think about it: These five bands, one night, at a new venue with a splendid sound system and a lot of gumption. Airline kicks things off, followed by the Gazelles' minimal, unpretentious sing-along ditties. Tulsa's The Hero Factor is the weak link, supplying a tepid output of generic rock—now might be the time to sneak out and grab a beer, but come back in time for Rollins. The man's got a knack for plucking the essential aesthetic nuggets out of decades of pop craft and subtly blending them into perfect pieces of chunk-a-chunk rockabilly, rollicking piano-based Elton John updates and ballads that don't suck. Finally, picture it again: After all the pleasant indulgence, Nourallah's delightful paisley-coated pop swirls about, topping off an evening of superb songwriting.
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