Last Night: IAMX, The Hourly Radio at Club Dada

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IAMX/The Hourly Radio November 6, 2007 Club Dada

Better Than: Watching election results filter in.

While Dallas was going to hell in a hand basket last night, the stars were aligned for the IAMX/Hourly Radio show at Club Dada. On a Tuesday night, the club exemplified what Deep Ellum could be rather than talking about it. And it could be quite awesome.

The fates, however, seem to hate my relationship with The Hourly Radio. Every attempt in the past to see this band has been thwarted. Last night was no different, but fate gave me some slack. What happened to the rebellious rock attitude that started a set an hour after the scheduled time? You guys are throwing my outings awry. THR started a bit after 9 p.m. but I only caught the band's two final songs -- its latest single “Gun in Hand” and “Deaf Ears” as the closer. Based on these two numbers, THR could really work on their stage presence. The members lack a certain energy that matches their conviction in the delivery of their songs but the anemic crowd didn’t help matters much. What was incredible was their sound. They could have been lip syncing their CD, it was so crisp. That was in thanks to sound by the lady Brooke who was tending to both bands.

A delayed start frustrated some fans who left, but when IAMX hit the stage, the slight pulse of the crowd jumped into overdrive and when Chris Corner entered the building in a sequined hat and body fitting black, the screams in the small club were deafening. Now, for the record, I wasn’t familiar with the band other than knowing the guy from Sneaker Pimps was behind it. I figured on sticking around for a song or two, but when the group's indie-industrial-rock took me to the days of Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb, I reconsidered, which ended up being a good thing. For the next hour, the band owned Club Dada with crystal clear sound and writhing energy that would have been just as entertaining in a bigger venue. The band plays with pride as if they were headlining a sold-out show at Nokia which is the most energy I’ve seen given by any band on the Dada stage this year. (Local guys, take note. We like guys who run around and interact with the audience.)

Corner had his audience in hand as they followed his every move, mostly with their camera phones, while still sharing the strobing spotlight with his just as colorful band letting them headbang with flair and bright yellow. Chris Corner’s voice was spot-on with a falsetto to kill for and captured perfectly by Brooke the soundlady. Whatever holds Dallas audiences back from dancing to live bands is a mystery, but with the high octane beats and basslines, IAMX had to settle for enthusiastic fist pumping and head bobbing. Upon finishing, the audience almost demanded an encore and IAMX answered with two final songs asking after the first, “Does Dallas deserve another song?” Resounding whoops appropriately followed and IAMX finished off with high approval ratings.

What Dallas does deserve is another night like this.

Mega thanks to Rudy Salazar for the photo. Razor phones are so not the ideal device for taking pics of a show. I had to peep over this guy’s shoulder to see some good shots and, fortunately, he’s letting us use one here. I regret not knowing the set list. I can recognize the songs as they play on my newly uploaded IAMX album but any help would be nice. -- Rich Lopez

Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: I have both THR’s CDs as well as the band's free downloads and somehow I’m a member of its MySpace street team. Whatever that means. And I just downloaded IAMX’s The Alternative and it is sweet. Random Detail: Dada co-owner Amanda Newman has a new cool tattoo that has my initials on it. On purpose! By the way: Producer Stuart Sikes is working with The Hourly Radio but wanted to clarify that he did not work on “Gun in Hand” which he felt was inferred in our critic’s pick.

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