The New Frontiers, This Will Destroy You, Gazelles
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Better Than: Sitting at home on your ass, not supporting local music.
You'd think that going to Club Dada to see the last show by a local band wasn't on most people's agenda for warm winter Saturday night. But, once you got down to the Deep Ellum venue and saw all the people in line and in the building you'd realize you were wrong--and be incredibly surprised.
When I got to the door, the line to get inside was stretched about 10 to 15 feet outside. And, just by looking in the windows to the crowd inside, you could see that this wasn't an ordinary local show: The place was actually packed.
And, once inside, if you didn't want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with patrons watching the opening bands you'd need to go outside to the back patio--which was just as packed.
By the time I arrived at Dada, I was able to hear the sounds of Gazelles wafting out of the door. The Denton group's pop-laden sound had me by the ear as soon as I heard them, and they didn't disappoint.
Neither did the other opening act, This Will Destroy You. They take the verse/chorus/verse way of making music and throw it out the window. I never thought my ears would be so overjoyed to hear nothing but instrumental music for an entire set--but they were. This was the first time I had heard the band live, but, it seemed, I was in the minority in that regard. I'm not sure whether it was just the songs or if they actually had a following, but quite a few of their songs received much appreciation from the crowd.
The night was a powerhouse bill of local music and a testament to how great the DFWd scene really can be.
But the night belonged to the departing The New Frontiers.
Once the band started tuning up in preparation for its show, everyone who was outside went inside. The whole night seemed like a party meant to send off a loved one out into their new life, with friends frequently shouting out what the band seemed to take as some sort of good natured inside joke.
The band started its set off with a rocked up version of first track of their Mending disc, "Black Lungs." This song, like most all the songs during their short-but-sweet set, were met with thunderous applause, hoots and hollers.
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A favorite part of the night was when the band jumped into their tremendous version of Gillian Welch's "Look At Miss Ohio." The appreciation from the band was evident in the smiles donned on the faces of each band member.
However, that moment paled in comparison to the set closer "Mirrors." The band encouraged the crowd to sing along if they new the words--even if it was just the "Ah, ah, aaaaah" part of the song. As the boys finished their career (and night) as The New Frontiers, the crowd quietly and lovingly sang along to every word of the song. It served as a loving elegy to a band that should not be giving up this early.
By The Way: It would be nice to think that a crowd like this would show up at most local shows. I would hate to think that it takes a farewell performance for locals to show up and support great local music.
Random Note: Gazelles and This Will Destroy You are the real deal as far as local music goes. You can go out and hear shitty local band do their best Radiohead imitation any night of the week. But, it's nice to be able to see two bands that show talent and great promise. --Lance Lester