DFW Music News

Granada Theater's First 10 Years: Our Favorite Memories

Page 3 of 3

M83, 2012 Chris McDonald, Marketing manager

It's tough to choose just one favorite memory for the Granada. So many special moments for me both professionally and personally. Highlights ranging from the XX Dating Game to the Summer Mockbusters. However if I must choose one show, I'd go with M83 weekend in 2012. We were fortunate enough to snag M83 for two nights right at the pinnacle of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. The crowd's roar after "Midnight City" is still the loudest audience reaction I've ever heard inside Granada. Anthony Gonzalez even started getting teary eyed. I still have the show posters hanging in my office. It was an incredible weekend.

Jeff Tweedy, 2007 Kelly Dearmore, Observer contributor

January 20, 2007 was an ugly day which bled into a dreary, cold grey night. Before the venue's friendly staff allowed us inside, the line snaked down Greenville for what seemed like a mile, but the anticipation amongst the throng was electric. Packed solid once inside, a long wait ensued, then a horribly dull, drawn out Scott McCaughey set threatened to derail it all. But once Jeff Tweedy came out with an acoustic guitar and mixed songs old ("I Am Trying to Break Your Heart") with new that would soon be on Wilco's Sky Blue Sky record ("Please Be Patient with Me,"), the earlier annoyances were forgotten. Hilariously grotesque banter with the crowd about how band names can often describe types of bowel movements (Widespread Panic!) made the night end even an weirder, and far more joyful, note than it had begun.

Calexico, 2013 Jeremy Hallock, Observer contributor

Calexico have never been able to capture the enormous and rich sound they had that night on a recording, not even on the live album they released just a couple months later. The seven-piece band crammed onto stage with countless instruments and played for two hours, mainly songs from their Algiers album. Steel guitarist Paul Niehaus, who also plays with Justin Townes Earle, sounded especially great that night and there were fabulous trumpets on some of the songs that really got the crowd excited. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen and, being fairly new to Dallas, it was the first time I realized how marvelous Granada Theater can sound.

The Walkmen, 2011 Darryl Smyers, Observer contributor

The recent demise of the Walkmen makes the memory of this show even more melancholy. The band had just released Libson, my personal favorite Walkmen album, and lead singer Hamilton Leithauser was in prime form throughout the show. The set list was impeccable as the high walls of the Granada reflected the cultured dissonance that had become the band's trademark. Indeed, I would see the Walkmen at the Granada again the following year, but this night's show was special. The band and venue became one in the service of sound and energy.

Gorilla Vs. Bear Fest Trang Nguyen, Granada promotions assistant and media coordinator

Four years since its inception and the recurring Gorilla vs. Bear showcase still remains my favorite event each year. The inaugural Gorilla vs. Bear Fest was a jammed-packed event from start to finish, an ambitious 10 act bill filled with notable acts like Grimes, whom you can't exactly catch in a midsize venue any more, Shabazz Palaces, and White Denim playing a set past 1am, one of the latest sets I've witnessed at our venue. Fast forward a few years and the showcase has grown to be a yearly staple. I always love family reunions because it's a once-a-year gathering of familiar faces and it's a generally exciting time. GvsB has essentially become that for me, just with several dance parties added.

Bonnie Prince Billy, 2009 Doug Davis, Observer contributor

My favorite show was almost certainly Bonnie Prince Bill and the Cairo Gang in 2009. In addition to having an incredible band with him -- Jim White on drums, Emmet Kelly on guitar, Will Oldham's brother Paul on bass, and a girl who had a voice like Iris Dement and played violin -- the way the show started was unique. The band played a rollicking mountain song for a good minute with the curtain down, passing vocals until each player had sung a stanza. By the time the curtain came up mid-song it felt like the audience was in the middle of a singalong in an Appalachian barn. Incredible from start to finish.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
DC9 At Night