Sunday, July 17, 2011

22. Bravo, Max! at Club Dada, 7/16/11

22. Bravo, Max!, at Club Dada.

On Saturday night it was Day Fifty-One of the Project.  It was also the one-year anniversary of Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, and five bands played at Club Dada.  For ten dollars, we saw four of them and ate some free cake.  The event was very successful.  There seemed to be over 250 people there at all times.  This night brought us to a total of seven shows in two days.  Our notes looked a little ragged at the end of the evening, I'm afraid, so bear with us.

The first band was indie-folk rock band Bravo, Max! (Punctuation as in original.)

Best Dallas sextet named after a children's book.

We arrived just as Bravo, Max! took the stage, six musicians (though their website lists only five) who between them play drums, guitar, bass, harmonica, accordion, tambourine and what appeared to be a Lowebro.  They presented a rather motley group, perhaps as if the affable lead singer of a laid-back folk band accidentally fronted a Pearl Jam cover band and brought along his geek-chic friend and her accordion.  But they worked well together.

They started off with an almost Pixies-like sound, all yelping lyrics and searing guitars, but soon settled into a sort of heavy Uncle Tupelo.  The indie college sound meets folk rock.  A slight reliance on a constant clatter of percussion, from tambourine to handclaps.  Their big song "Hailey" was enjoyable.  The next number, a somehow off kilter cover of "Cecilia," had singer Johnny Beauford sounding a bit like Paul Simon, but it lacked the fun and exuberance of the original.

The band certainly had its share of fans who showed great enthusiasm.  While we liked what they were doing, we were not exactly blown away, sharing the opinion of Some Guy at the bar that the band seemed as if they were just going through the motions on stage.  R had heard a lot of good things about them, so thought perhaps he had gone in with expectations too high.  We both enjoyed the last song, which had an energy to it that until that point seemed to have been dampened.

In sum: We liked Bravo, Max! but did not come away new fans. Perhaps we did not see them at their best, in the hot, under-staffed Dada which seemed to be straining to accommodate the large crowd.

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