Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chris Stapleton @ Gas Monkey Live!, Dallas, TX

Chris Stapleton is not your common country singer.  He has spent years songwriting for the giants of the music industry but it wasn't until earlier this year that he penned his own album, a breath of fresh air titled, Traveller.  Stapleton writes about the simple yet complex things in life, you know, heartbreak and drinking whiskey.  But where Stapleton soars about the rest is his delivery.  Molded by the singer-songwriters of yesteryear, Stapleton brings a slow and steady approach with emotion dripping from his lyrics and a ferocity to his live performances.  Performing at the much smaller City Tavern earlier this year, as well as an appearance at Good Records for Record Store Day, Stapleton has clearly moved in the right direction, being nominated for multiple Country Music Awards and booking much larger venues.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The D.O.C.: "Straight Outta Dallas" @ the Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

There are shows and there are shows.  You're typical show may be special to a few, pleasing to some, and remembered by most.  But certains shows leave you in awe, give you all the feels, and are etched into the memory of everybody in attendance.  When a show like that comes around, it becomes a chapter in musical lore.  Almost a fairy tale.  When Tracy Curry, aka the D.O.C., of N.W.A. and solo fame announced a comeback show at the Bomb Factory in his home town of Dallas, the stars aligned and everybody in the DFW area knew this show was going to be huge.  Not only was this the D.O.C.'s first performance in over twenty years in Dallas, it was his resurgence to the rap scene that he had left a huge imprint on, before a tragic car accident took his voice away.  With a new voice and a new sound, the D.O.C. showed Dallas that he's not done yet and that a show like this can do more than bring fans together, it can bring a whole music community together.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grace Potter / Rayland Baxter @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Grace Potter, let’s see I know that Paris (Ooh La La) song, oh! and I know that “Medicine” song too but outside of that, what else did I know about Grace Potter?  Come to find out, not much.  So being the knowledge seeker I am and a big fan of the ladies performing rock and roll music, I couldn’t pass when I saw Grace was coming to town.  Rayland Baxter, an up and comer, and doing an admirable job, opened the show for Miss Potter and company.  I do need to give kudos to Mr. Baxter for covering one of my all-time favorite Neil Young songs, “Vampire Blues”.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Billy Idol @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Photo provided by artist
Some times, things just don't work out.  The week between the two weekends of Austin City Limits brought a plethora of unbelievable talent and shows to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  One of those being the sold out Billy Idol show at the House of Blues.  Having been to the House of Blues the previous two nights for Albert Hammond Jr. and Royal Blood, I thought I had a good knowledge of set times, solely based on the times of the doors and show that the venue displayed on social media the day of the show.  Some time between 7PM and 8PM, someone dropped the ball.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Royal Blood / Bass Drum of Death @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

You will hear from time to time that more is better.  While in most instances this rings true (certainly in Texas), there are definitely times where the phrase comes up short.  In the case of Royal Blood, the two-piece rock band from Brighton, UK, the notion that two members just can't cut the mustard, simply doesn't hold up.  When I think of two-piece bands, I immediately think of the White Stripes, the Black Keys (original, not the current live setup), and Death From Above 1979.  One cannot call it coincidence that Royal Blood are cut from the same cloth as these bands, as their sound is a blend of the three.  The rhythm and blues of the Black Keys and White Stripes and the raw, energized sound of DFA 1979. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Albert Hammond Jr. @ House of Blues, Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX

The last time Albert Hammond Jr. came to Dallas (1/28/14), he played at the House of Blues as well.  He played the main stage opening up for Jake Bugg, touring in support of his stellar AHJ EP.  I came just to see him perform, no offense to Jake Bugg, but it was not meant to be.  Mostly.  I came to the House of Blues at a pretty standard time, thirty minutes after the doors opened to catch Hammond, since he was the opening act.  But to my surprise, both acts were pushed ahead nearly 45 minutes and I missed nearly half of AHJ's set.  Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed.  So when I heard he was coming back to perform at the intimate Cambridge Room at the House of Blues, I was overjoyed and was going to make damn sure I was on time.

Monday, October 12, 2015

alt-J / San Fermin @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

Going into the nearly sold-out alt-J show at the South Side Ballroom, I really did not know what to expect.  I had heard really great things about the band but I had not give their albums a solid listening, only referencing their music based off radio plays.  If you are basing their music off radio-friendly tracks, you're really missing the point.  Most of their catalog would never see the light of day on the radio, a poor fact of 'popular' music.  But their music is much more than a popularity contest, as shown by the droves of people who came to see them perform.  Their music is about pure emotion.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Neon Indian @ Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

It's been a minute or two since we've heard much from Alan Palomo, aka Neon Indian.  Actually, it's been four years since his last album dropped and nearly the same length of time since his last performance in Dallas.  The former Dentonite who now resides in Brooklyn, has rode the chill wave with his two excellent releases, Psychic Chasms and Era Extraña.  With a new album scheduled to be released this month, the good people at Red Bull and Central Track brought Palomo and his band back to DFW with its last installment of the Sound Select series of this year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Five Finger Death Punch / Papa Roach @ Family Arena, St. Charles, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
So you wanted a high-energy, end of summer tour??  This bill certainly delivered.  Supporting acts From Ashes to New and In This Moment delivered a one-two opening act punch but the knockouts came from Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Motörhead / Saxon / Crobot @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
There are three certainties in life:  death, taxes, and Lemmy.  After being down and out for a bit, Lemmy and Motörhead made their return to St. Louis without nearly a hitch.  Now that we know that Lemmy is alive and well, let’s do a review of the show, shall we?  While the boys in Motörhead have certainly had some longevity in the rock and roll business, 40+ years to be exact, they are not afraid to introduce the world to some up and coming talent.  Crobot, a four-piece band from Pennsylvania, made their presence known with the first, opening slot of the evening.  Due to a late arrival by this journalist there are no pics of the band but I will tell you these youngsters did their job properly.  Crobot has the energy and sound of a young Rage Against the Machine with a touch of blues thrown in for good measure.  Give their song “Chupacabra” and tell me you don’t hear a touch of Rage and I’ll call you a liar.