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Last Night: Sunny Day Real Estate at the Granada Theater

Sunny Day Real Estate, The Jealous Sound
Granada Theater
October 5, 2009

Better than: seeing 10 crappy bands that cite Sunny Day as an influence.

Sunny Day Real Estate returned to Dallas with such a rush that you couldn't help be deeply moved. Yup, they were that good last night.

There was definitely an air of extreme anticipation as the Granada's doors opened: A large crowd had already gathered and plenty of people were antsy to get in. By the time Sunny Day hit the stage just a little after 9, the crowd was packed in tight and ready to see something special.

Opening with "Friday" and "Seven," it became very obvious that this was not going to be some phoned-in victory lap. One hour and 12 more songs later, the audience got a no-frills set without a dull moment.

For a band that, when it first reunited in 1997, preferred to play newer material over older material, this second reunion featured almost exclusively songs from Diary and LP2. Judging by the crowd's reaction, they had no problem with this decision: Songs like "Shadows," "Song About an Angel," "In Circles," and "5/4" just pummeled thanks in part to William Goldsmith's drumming and Jeremy Enigk's strong vocal cords. Dan Hoerner frequently smiled as he closed his eyes and let his fingers just float over his guitar. And Nate Mendel flawlessly pulled off his subtle, walking basslines.

Last week, Mendel told us how he had no problem playing songs from the Sunny Day albums he wasn't on, so fans were in for a nice little treat. While no songs from The Rising Tide were performed, "Guitar and Video Games" from How It Feels to Be Something On was--and was very well-received. And the band introduced a new, still-in-progress song that has no official title yet (though it was listed "10" on a previous date, and a couple of the band members think it should be called "Fat Skeleton"). It's snappy number with shades of The Rising Tide and pre-War U2. So if a new Sunny Day record is going to happen, there's already plenty to look forward to.

As the band finished its two-song encore with "J'Nuh," Hoerner gave a sincere thanks and said, "We'll be back." Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.

The Jealous Sound, meanwhile, put on a very impressive opening set, and were a very worthy opening act. With its straightforward moody rock, the Los Angeles quartet played to a much more responsive audience compared to its last visit to Dallas. Fronted by former Knapsack frontman Blair Shehan, the band's music fit better for the Sunny Day audience than Spitalfield's.

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Critic's Notebook
Personal bias:
See chapter entitled "Sunny Day Real Estate" in my book Post.

Random note: William Goldsmith used thin, 24-inch ride cymbals as crash cymbals. In non-drummer speak, those are big cymbals that can be hard to make work as crash cymbals.

By the way: If you think "Fat Skeleton" is a crazy title for a song, remember that there is a Sunny Day song called "Bucket of Chicken." 


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