George Quartz', Midnight Movie, At Night Double Wide Saturday, December 8
In a last-minute switch-up, The Atomic Tanlines, who were slotted to open the three-act bill at Double Wide Saturday night, were replaced by a local electronic band called At Night. It was a pleasant surprise though, as the well-groomed specialized in heavily '80s-inspired, progressive electro-pop. The small Double Wide crowd took the change in stride, and by mid-set, started to cut loose to the beat tracks and synth of the foursome's laptop, keyboard, guitar, bass and drums.
No one in the audience played dumb. It was evident by the constant rotation of people buzzing from bar to patio and back again that most people were just anticipating the headliner, performing Saturday as George Quartz', errant punctuation included.
But they had to get through Midnight Movie, the rock group sandwiched between two glamazon bands. The quartet's '90s alternative style and multiple ballads drove away many of the boys in eyeliner, as clusters of Neiman-clad women took their place in the crowd, and a young couple slow danced in the middle of the room.
Two shots and a beer later, I was inching my way to the limited front row floor space for George Quartz'. Six small white pillars graced the stage, each topped with a cherub, and each one creepily clutching a different object or musical instrument. Behind the wall of cherubs were two keyboardists, fidgeting with pedals. A dancer wearing a George Quartz' t-shirt and black booty shorts entered into the crowd from the left of the stage, twisting and contorting her body to the slow beat. A second dancer joined her, flaunting the same getup, and then a third.
From the back of the room, local artist and musician Clay Stinnett zig-zagged his way through the crowd, carrying Quartz's lifeless body to the front of the stage, before eventually plopping him onto it. Quartz laid there for several minutes as the beat began to build. Minutes passed as the music gradually breathed life into his body, apparent by his sporadic flailing. Like a newborn giraffe, Quartz finally found his footing and started convulsing as the beats peaked and he began shouting incomprehensible lyrics into the mic.
When he finally "came to," he was an unrelenting force, immediately knocking over his cup of water, and living up to his glamorous-yet-cracked-out George Quartz persona, the same one that headed up his previous Dallas-based ensemble, After Hours with George Quartz. In a light grey suit, smeared red lipstick and sunglasses, George Quartz flailed about the stage, almost knocking over one of the cherubs behind him.
"You guys picked the wrong show to go to tonight," Quartz said just before the next song started and he hopped into the crowd, hanging all over people in the audience. It wasn't long before the singer moved to the side of the stage to grab three white pillows, which he handed to his three dancers in the crowd, who lunged into a slow-motion pillow fight with one another.
Every now and then, Quartz would return to the stage to adjust his pedals, although he always stayed in character, at one point wrapping himself in a garland boa. After his powerslide into the crowd, the set finally ended with a recording of Quartz's dissonant vocals, looped as the performer walked out of the crowd and the music faded.