Real Estate, Big Troubles, Lonesome Ghost
Better than: Hanging out with Moz and them.
In some strange turn of events, mellow new jersey buzz band Real Estate have become a party band.
Never mind that their latest release Days is a breezy, melancholy offering with a handful of surprisingly big choruses. It's mellow enough to expect that the band would have trouble commanding the attention of a full crowd even at Dada, but that simply wasn't the case. From the front of the stage to the back of the room, the audience was engaged with the music as the five-piece band operated as one well-synced body.
It's obvious from their performance that the band has been on the road together for a while. Their last album saw them here in Dallas three times, but this show was by far the best they've had in town.
"This is the most people we've ever played for before in Dallas," said bassist Alex Bleeker toward the beginning of the set. Dada was already nearly sold out, and for the most part, the entire audience moved in time with the band's laid back grooves, of which there were many.
Mostly they were held together by the almost country sounding baselines of Bleeker, who at times on "Green Aisles" and "Kinder Blumen," sounded as though he was one note away from playing a Willie Nelson song. But, at center stage was Ducktails member Matthew Mondanile's signature guitar rhythmically echoing and chiming in time with the bass and drums.
Overall, the band's performance didn't deviate far from the music on the record. They played a tight, well rehearsed set, which clearly sat well with the crowd. It was even a little more energetic than expected, but only a little.
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The sense of autumn on Days was further felt when the venue opened up the garage door in the back of the room, letting the cold air mingle with the winter coat-wearing hipsters and the music in the air.
Opening act Lonesome Ghost, a young dream pop band from Austin by way of Richardson, impressed with a unique stage set up. The entire band stood on the front edge of the stage, including the drummer, who played on a rigged stand-up kit. Big Troubles, whose music sounded more akin to the shoegaze of Swervedriver and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, were brilliantly loud and melodic. The music was energetic and well-played, but the vocals were constantly out of key and dampened the band's set.
Personal bias: My history with Real Estate is pretty limited. I've enjoyed the few tracks I've heard here and there over the years, but I didn't give Days a full listen until the day of the show. I immediately fell in love with it. Maybe it was the cold snap we had yesterday, but I couldn't take it out of my player.
By the way: I'm so impressed with Dada every time I see a show there. Maybe the best venue of it's size in North Texas? I used to hate that place.