Concert Reviews

Glen Reynolds Shares His Earliest Memories of Chomsky, Weener, Bluh and Blow Aces

Welcome to My First Show, where we give bands a chance to talk about the first shows they ever attended -- no matter how uncool and embarrassing those tales may be.

These days, you see Glen Reynolds in the crowd at shows more than you see him on the stage.

But let's not forget: This guy's played many fine shows over the years, both as a solo act and in the locally revered Chomsky.

Ever the court jester, both while performing and while simply hanging out with friends at a show, Reynolds has plenty of stories to tell. And, this week, he was kind enough to tell us some stories about his first show experiences as a fan, as a band member, and as a solo act.

And before you ask: Yes, we also talked about those times when he played with Bluh, Weener, and Blow Aces -- those great tribute acts to Blur, Weezer, and Oasis.

What was the first show you remember seeing?
Well, that would be Loco Gringos at the Bachman Lake Blue Ramp in 1987. They pulled up in their hearse, got their gear out, and played. Also, I'd seen all the Denton bands play every year at Fry Street Fair. I was used to seeing Andy Timmons and Ten Hands play shows each year on the third Saturday in April. I always circled that date on my calendar as a kid. I only lived five blocks from Fry Street!

What was the first show you saw with your own money? Was it something you could brag about today?
I saw Pop Poppins a lot in 1992 and 1993. I was a big fan of them when I was 18 and 19 years old. The first "big" show I paid to see was probably Weezer in 1994 at Deep Ellum Live, and maybe Oasis at Trees in October of 1994, which really doesn't count because they didn't sell enough tickets and canceled the show! I was there and was super disappointed!

Do you remember the first show you played with Chomsky?
Of course! It was at the old Dan's Bar. We opened for Centro-matic. I had only been practicing with the band for a week, so I came up after a few songs to start at a point I knew. [Guitarist] Sean [Halleck] played "My Mission to Mars" before I got on stage. Matt graduated from the University of North Texas that day. They immediately asked me to play with them. I was planning on moving to England until I met the guys in Chomsky. That changed up everything I had going on in my life!

What do you remember about the first solo show you played?
It was back in 1998 at a bar in Denton when I was between Chomsky and Liquid Three, my old power trio. I think I just did a bunch of Blur songs from The Great Escape, Parklife and Modern Life is Rubbish. It was a party sponsored by College Guide, which my (now) wife Ashley worked for. I was interviewing bands for College Guide at the time. I had some great interviews with guys like Will Johnson (he told me of his love of snow globes) and John Freeman (he talked about the greatness of the band Magma and how he loved that they created their own language to sing in). Anyway, it was a pretty average show, which was a predictor of what most of my solo shows were later on in life.

Finally, I have to ask: What about the first Blow Aces, Bluh, or Weener shows? Any memories of them?
Weener: Sitting in the treehouse at Trees on a hot summer night in 2000. We looked out the window of Trees and saw a line of kids going around the corner waiting to get in. That was a real first for me in a band. Another great memory is how kids would begin to cheer wildly when we'd take our amps off of "standby" and they'd begin to hum. Speaking of hum: One time, at a Chomsky show, a kid came up to me and said, "You guys made my friend deaf!" I thought at first he was either joking or insulting our talents until he explained that, at a Weener show at Rick's Place in Denton, his friend had gotten so drunk that he passed out with one of his ears against the PA speaker. Apparently, two Marshall half-stacks, a drum-kit and a bass rig that John Entwistle would bow down to, all at arena volume, can do that to you! I also have some other disturbing memories of things people in the crowd would do to each other... but I can't share those in public!

Bluh: I think the biggest memory from Bluh was just how great we sounded live. James Henderson is truly a joy to play with live. Bluh was short-lived, but those who saw it got a great set list from all the early, great Blur albums, and the songs sounded so good! James was really great with his Graham Coxon guitar licks! It really could have been Graham over there playing!

Blow Aces: I've loved all the guys in Blow Aces, but the original lineup is where all the great memories come from. Danny Balis, Matty K, J.K., and International Don Cento -- that's the lineup. The biggest memory from that is having Ash open up for us at Trees and having Tim Wheeler on the front row dancing and having a great time! I asked [KDGE-102.1 FM The Edge's The Adventure Club host] Josh Venable (it was his birthday show) why on Earth we had headlined. Josh said, "Well, they were supposed to get on a plane right after they played and leave, but they were having such a good time with you guys, they stuck around!" It was really great. Afterward, Tim said that we really nailed it, and that it was hilarious to hear Texans doing such a good job of the Manc stylings! Very cool night.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs