With Big Ups and Sealion
Thursday, August 13, 2015
What makes a good punk rock show? Many would agree that the essential elements include, but are not limited to: high energy, mosh pits, sweat, stage diving, more sweat, cheap beer, black clothing and music so loud your ears ring the next morning. Last night METZ checked off all those boxes and more when they played their first real show in Dallas at Trees. (They played Untapped last year, but it doesn’t count until you've played a club in Deep Ellum.)
A small but rowdy crowd showed up Thursday night and the Toronto trio blasted the venue with guitars so loud there were probably noise complaints coming from Uptown. It was an amazing show with rock star talent on display. METZ has been on the road in support of their most recent album, II, for months and it’s hard to believe a band so road worn can have this much raw energy. The feeling inside Trees was unreal; METZ was an unrelenting force that delivered a punk rock punch straight to your eardrums (with a few stray elbows thrown in for good measure). This was one of the most kickass punk shows in Dallas in recent memory. The guitar sounded like a swarm of hornets spurred on by the driving, animalistic drumming and bass. Serious props are due to Hayden Menzies on the drums, who was relentless in ratcheting up the energy of the show from behind his kit.
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But the real star was lead singer Alex Edkins. Edkins was quite the performer in addition to his over-the-top musicianship. He was the epitome of a rock star as he wildly danced and jumped around the stage, played guitar solos on his back and riffed from atop the bass drum several different times. The crowd ate up every minute of this performance too; there was hardly a soul in the building that wasn’t either at the front thrashing and moshing or headbanging in the back.
The night was opened up by Dallas surf punks Sealion, a last minute addition to the bill in place of originally scheduled openers Dilly Dally. Returning from a month-long tour, they sounded sharp and put on one of the more electric sets they have played here. Maybe it was all the practice from a month of touring, or maybe it was the excitement of seeing friendly faces for the first time in weeks; whatever it was, Sealion was in rare form. They'd just gotten back to town the night before, and they smiled and joked the entire set.
After Sealion was Big Ups, currently on tour with METZ. The punk quartet from New York City was an interesting act to throw into the mix; a textbook punk band that stuck to a formulaic song structure of quiet verses that crashed abruptly into pounding choruses. Even if the music was a bit predictable at times, their juvenile charisma was contagious. Lead singer Joe Galarrag was a dynamo on stage as he twisted himself in the microphone cord while he screamed himself hoarse with incredible intensity, song after song. Big Ups' music draws from several different influences, as each song had a different genre and sound of punk or rock behind it, but never strayed too far from the trusty template.