The Boom Boom Box Set LaGrange To Vibrate

The Boom Boom Box LaGrange Saturday, January 21

With the release of Until Your Eyes Get Used to the Darkness this week and Saturday night's preemptive strike at LaGrange, the Boom Boom Box's long-awaited return to the stage was met with a full house, rife with a who's-who of Denton/Dallas late-'90s/early Aughts musicians. Fitting, given that the band is made of up of former members of DFW luminaries like Pleasant Grove and Baboon. The six degrees of separation was making it damn steamy in there.

Crowded on that small stage, the seven-piece almost took on the appearance of an engine, all the members working together like gears to produce the group's elastic, primal take on punk. When multi-instrumentalist Chris Mayes blared his trombone and assaulted the room with noise, it didn't feel flagrant, more like a battle cry.

The two-drummer thing can often be overkill, but it works for them, Jeff Ryan and Clay Stinnett propelling the songs forward. Singer Andrew Huffstetler prowled the stage, crossing his arms, hunched over, almost as if his body and voice were at odds. Darkness is a solid album, and it translated as such live.

Afterwards, New Fumes set up his audio/visual loop and proceeded to rip through newer and older songs. Halfway through the set, an older gentleman simply named Bob joined him onstage and held a keyboard in the air, Say Anything-style. His presence added another layer to Huffman's bizarro-pop revue, and I'd like to see Bob more often. Maybe he'll go on the road with Daniel Huffman when he tours with the Polyphonic Spree next month.

Overheard: "There's a librarian convention in town? Why aren't we there?"

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