In the spirit of Spune Productions, known for its diverse indie-rock catalog, Denton's Silver Arrows were the perfect start to the promotion group's Christmas concert. The genre-hopping quintet went all over the map--surf-rock, jazz, Latin, fluff-pop--but the catchy, punk-meets-Zappa mess came together so well, largely because of dual-lead guitar lines and erratic song structures, that it left me with a feedback-filled grin. Record Hop did even better to represent Denton, as songs from their debut, Pareidolia, improved dramatically that night. Scott Porter's newly confident guitar parts provided the most noticeable difference, particularly in "Shotgun," which has doubled in length and transformed into a brooding monster.
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Comet followed with its first Dallas concert in seven years, but on Sunday night, the group sounded like it had arrived at the Gypsy in a 1997 time machine. Their ultra-loud shoegazer style remained completely intact, and the band's booming drums, whispery vocals and soaring guitars made theirs a welcome reunion. The next act brought out a mixer, distortion pedals and a laptop, but it wasn't Tree Wave. Rather, it was John Lamonica. What the F? Last time I saw him, he was the reincarnation of Jeff Buckley with a full, mainstream-rock band, and yet, there he was, half-naked, singing and dancing to techno beats à la The Postal Service (which, I confirmed, is his new style). His voice is so gorgeous that he can get away with that switch even as a joke, but his sincerity quickly became apparent, and after a sensational sing-along acoustic number, he resumed the beats and whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy. Not to be outdone in the tech department, Tree Wave closed the show with a vintage computer rig that pumped out lovely synth tunes and psychedelic video. Of particular note was "Dodge Em," in which programmer Paul Slocum controlled the audio by playing a classic video game without dying once. Singer Lauren Gray called it a perfect game, and with cheers and howls, the crowd agreed.