Last Night: Here We Go Magic, Caveman and Carlo Canlas at Dada

Here We Go Magic, Caveman, Carlo Canlas

May 24, 2011

Better Than: Sitting in a bathtub at home with a dog and a baby both trying to eat each other.

First, there was a crash, followed by a series of booms, and then some smashing sounds.

None of that happened at the Here We Go Magic show. The sounds actually came from hail bursting through our windows in the other room as we ducked for cover in the bathtub at our apartment. But the tornado passed by quickly and I was on my way to the show. After all, as I approached the venue, Here We Go Magic's drummer Peter Hale reminded me that "If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait a minute."

With those kind words, I approached the front door of Dada, where Caveman had already started into their set.

A second boom came a few songs in, when a blackout occurred.

The band went with it, playing a spontaneous drum jam, and were quickly joined by members of Here We Go Magic as the audience danced and celebrated. All the commotion ended up drawing the crowd closer to the stage. After a few minutes passed and it was apparent that the power was not coming back on anytime soon, Caveman finished up with an acoustic set using the help of Here We Go Magic's Luke Temple and Peter Hale, as well as opening act Carlo Canlas.

After a few songs, Here We Go Magic took over, but before they even began, the night had become special. Thanks to the derailment provided by tornadoes and severe storms, the band's "go with the flow" attitude made for a night the 50 or so onlookers wouldn't forget.

Sitting on the front of the stage with the crowd sitting on the floor around them, they started with "Tunnelvision" from their self-titled debut. After that, they launched into the best song of the night, the as-of-yet unreleased "How Do I Know." It came off as an old soul tune and relied on audience participation, which was happily given.

On "Collector," the band was joined by a few members of Caveman, who provided a rhythm section that was loose at best. Truth is, their sloppy bongo playing kind of took away from the show. So, too, did a few girls using full-blown outside voices near the back of the crowd.

Buy really, it was all in the spirit of the party atmosphere, and the band rose to the occasion, incorporating beautiful last minute harmonies in place of psychedelic guitars and keyboards on the band's biggest hits "Casual" and "Fangela."

Suddenly, the power came back on, and the enthralled crowd cheered.

After just a few minutes of set up, the band was up and running. The remaining five or six songs of the set were hypnotic. Temple's signature melodies played out like right angles, jumping from one key, to the next, and back.

After the set ended, Temple spoke candidly backstage. "This is the first tornado we've ever played," he joked. "We did as best we could."

Their best was definitely good enough. Incredible, really. Few bands can roll with the punches as well as Here We Go Magic, who proved themselves one of the most impressive acts on the road.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias: This is my third time to see Here We Go Magic, and I'm beginning to think they're incapable of putting on a bad show. Right before their last show, their van caught fire, and they performed a brilliant set with borrowed gear. This time, tornadoes!

Random Note: Seems like Dada could use a little help with there lighting sitch. Both touring acts asked if the lights could be lowered, which turned out to be an impossible task. Temple later asked for them to be turned off altogether, and the band played most of their "electric" set in the dark. Every time the lights over the bar turned on, the PA would buzz.

By The Way: This was the first show the venue used its new name. They dropped the "Club" and now it's just "Dada." Real talk, y'all.

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