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.