Ume might be an Austin-based trio, but they play Dallas enough that it would be easy to think they're based here. They last came through in late July, opening for Mission of Burma. They'll be back on Thursday, September 29, at Trees in support of their recent album, Phantoms.
Bassist Eric Larson, along with his wife Lauren, have led the band for a number of years. They've played plenty of shows. But the enjoyment of this column is to ask about the first shows.
And while Eric has a first show experience that many have had, it's one that few would willingly be so forthright about.
Read more after the jump.
What was the first show you remember seeing? Were you with your parents?
The first concert I ever went to was New Kids on the Block. It was for my sister's birthday. It was OK -- nothing that big. Yeah, my parents were with me, and it was the first time I ever went to an arena-rock thing. New Kids on the Block did not leave an impression on me.
What was the first show you remember paying money to see?
It was to see All play in Houston at The Abyss, and that left a huge impression on me. It was a really amazing show. It was the first punk show that I went to. It introduced me to The Descendents, and they were phenomenal musicians. I had started playing guitar at that point. They were so tight. Everybody was singing along and having a good time. I just fell in love. It was the first time to see the punk community come together.
What do you remember about the first Ume show?
We booked a show at this one club, and our friends had a show that they had to drop out on. So what we thought would be our first show ended up being our second show. We played at this art space called The Firehouse or The Fire Station -- something like that. It wasn't around for too long in Houston. It was with a stoner-rock band called Kung Pao, and there was maybe one person there.
What do you remember about the first time Ume played Dallas?
It's funny. I don't think we played Dallas until we moved to Austin. Before that, we played Denton a few times. The first time we played Dallas... I can't remember the name of the place. We played there twice.
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Can you describe the place?
It's got an upstairs area and the sound was pretty awful. It was called The Office or The Hotel or something like that. I don't know if it's still there. We played with a Denton band. It was kind of whatever. I want to say the manager or somebody from The Toadies saw us and that's where that relationship started. We started hanging out together quite a bit. They kept track with us, and that's how we ended up playing that St. Patrick's Day thing and Toadies fest and all that.
Was this venue Darkside Lounge, also known as The Lounge and The Nightmare?
That could be it.
You guys are playing Trees soon. Have you played Trees before?
We've never played there before. After we played at The Lounge, we got offered to play the Granada Theater with Octopus Project and, ever since then, they've become fans and they've gotten us on shows. That's how we got on shows like Mission of Burma, Trail of Dead, This Will Destroy You. True Widow also helped us out get a show at the Double Wide.