Teenage Cool Kids, Beth Israel, Adult Books, Hot Times Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios Sunday, May 27
What happened Sunday night at Rubber Gloves was a pretty unique moment, almost a family reunion of sorts. The bill was full of familiar faces and borrowed band members, which is appropriate for a scene as small, active and incestuous as Denton's. Billed as a Dull Tools showcase, the dedicated label for Teenage Cool Kids, the show featured Denton's Hot Times and Adult Books, Austin's Beth Israel, and the boys of the hour, Teenage Cool Kids, playing what is supposed to be their final Denton show.
When I use words like "incestuous" or "borrowed," I mean it: Hot Times featured members of Teenage Cool Kids, as did Adult Books, but they also share a member with Final Club, who's most recent album was engineered by Jason Kelly, who moved to Brooklyn with Fergus & Geronimo bandmate Andrew Savage, who... you get the point.
If I had to guess, this was Hot Times' first show, or at least an early performance. They seemed timid but rolled through a set that started country-tinged and progressed into something fairly rocking. They were followed by Adult Books and Austin's Beth Israel, who made their Denton debut with a criminally short set.
It's always hard to cram four bands into Rubber Gloves' notoriously iffy start times, but tonight someone had to pay the price. Sounding much more punk than their 2011 album, the threesome ripped through only five or six songs before pulling the plug and making way for Teenage Cool Kids. They should consider reversing the cliche and moving from Austin to Denton.
Finally, Teenage Cool Kids had their turn. For a band whose sound has been maturing since 2009, it was interesting to see how it translated on a night so steeped with history, especially since key members have moved on to other projects and parts of the country. They rose to the occasion.
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They were not only the headliner but easily the best band on the bill, if not in Denton. The deeper they got into their catalog, the higher the audience's hands went up and the harder they jumped. If this truly was Teenage Cool Kids' last Denton show, they left little reason to question the attention they've garnered the past few years.
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Personal bias: You know that thing where you go to a show and you only know two of the bands on a four-band bill but then the other two bands are really good too? Yeah, that.
Random note: It's been a while since I saw crowd-surfing at a concert, but there it was in all of its anachronistic glory through the second half of TCK's set.
By the way: Ever hear the one about the band from DFW that moved to Austin/Brooklyn never to be heard from again?