Rye Coalition, The Golden Falcons, The Lord Henry

Want to impress a naïve date in Dallas? Take her to a Lord Henry appearance and convince her you're at a secret, unadvertised Strokes show. No hyperbole: LH copies the Strokes so blatantly they should mail royalty checks. Singer/guitarist Clinton Piper was a bit nasal with his Julian Casablancas impersonation, and guitar and drum parts were ripped directly from hits like "12:51," "The Modern Age," "Someday" and "Last Nite." To their credit, the three-piece was very talented at its near-covers, especially since Piper did the work of both Strokes guitarists by himself without slipping up.

The Golden Falcons followed and blew my low expectations to pieces. The under-produced demos on the band's Web site are nowhere near the energy and fun conjured by this Dallas sextet in concert. In fact, I'll put my credibility on the line and call them the most exciting thing to happen to Dallas' hardcore scene since Baboon. Guitarists George Terry and Joshua Weber played off each other in manic fashion, trading solos and chords as frequently as grimaces, and super-tall lead singer Rob Dunlap led the show with power and restraint, proven in particular in a slowly building song that recalled the beauty of Baboon' s "Box Rotter," which climaxed in a bout of shouting at song's end. Even Blue October fans next door kept coming in to see what the fuss was about. That crowd dwindled by the time New York's Rye Coalition took the stage, but their set was a disappointment, as their punk sensibilities wound up mellowing into a lackluster take on the MC5. Besides, the Golden Falcons had already stolen the show.