Blame the rain. Blame the cold. Blame a competing Denton house show. Blame the traffic accidents on Interstate 35 that pushed the commute from Dallas to nearly two hours. Blame whatever you want, but, in the early evening hours Friday night, the venues participating in NX35 were noticeably, jarringly empty.
I'm talking 15 people empty.
And while a sparse crowd like that can fly at Banter, The Hydrant or even J&Js Pizza, it looks downright eerie at a club like Hailey's.
And that was the scene until the nine o'clock hour when people started finally trickling in. When you consider that most people don't usually get-their-Fridays-on until 10 p.m. the thin crowds kinda made sense, but one couldn't help but feel a little bad for the underwhelming crowds for the acts slotted for 8 and 8:30 p.m., like the relatively new Denton act Starhead.
On Thursday, Starhead frontman Ira Wile told me he was a little concerned that they'd been stacked up against
R2B2 RTB2, The Naptime Shake, Delmore Pilcrow and other acts: "We're a new band playing opposite some really established ones," Wile said.
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And thought the turnout was pretty slim as Starhead began its set, by the end of it, more than 30 people had funneled down into J&J's basement.
After the show, I asked Wile how he felt about the attendance, and he said the band was "pleasantly surprised."
Elsewhere by the end of the night, the crowds had multiplied exponentially. More than 120 people showed up for Possessed by Paul James' amazing set, and over at the Centro-matic show at Dan's Silverleaf, they reached capacity as people had to wait outside. When one person left, one person could go in, and, naturally, the wristbanded got first admittance.
I didn't make it to see Brave Combo at the Boiler Room, but I'd imagine there was quite the turnout over there as well...