Sunday, July 24, 2011

26. Sunset at the Granada, 7/23/11

26. Sunset, at the Granada.

So, on Saturday (Day Fifty-Eight) we went to what was possibly Dallas' most hyped summer musical event: Gorilla Vs. Bear Festival.  Of course, it started at six p.m., so we thought it should more accurately be referred to as a "showcase" rather than a "festival" (which word conjures up visions of an all-day, multi-stage event), but what the hell, right?  Tickets were $30.  It was hosted by that local paragon of excellence, the Granada Theater.

We've talked about how much we enjoy this venue before, but it bears repeating.  The first thing that hit us as we walked into the 300-plus-strong crowd was how wonderfully cool it was.  They had installed a much more powerful A/C system, and management was rightly proud of it.  Some patrons were complaining that it was "chilly," but those people had apparently forgotten that it was seven hundred degrees outside and that crowded rooms get hot and stuffy quickly.  We were very appreciative of the temp. As usual the sound was loud, clear, and well-balanced; the staff, from the door guys to the bartenders, were uniformly friendly even as the lines started to form; and the food was good and cheap.  Lots of bar options, lots of bar staff.  People who like to host music fests: this is how to do it right.

So yeah, Sunset.  The band.  Originally from Austin, apparently, a trio of young fellows with two male vocals.  Loud power pop mixed with garage indie rock.  At least one of them seemed to be at home playing more than one instrument: they started with guitar, drum, and keyboard, but there were a few songs where the keys were ditched for bass, and someone also played the organ.

Next on the bill: Twilight.

A brief but energetic set included some very interesting noises: guitar shrieking, bass roaring, a drone suddenly punctuated by a rhythmic drumbeat.  The music was raucous, but like smooth jazz, there was a subtle and intriguing interplay between instruments that showed serious craft behind the rock.

All three of the guys were energetic and clearly were enjoying their time onstage.  R loved the drummer, commenting that he reminded him of Animal from The Muppets.
The band finished its last song and called out rather cryptically, "We used to be called Sunset!"

In sum: Crunchy and sloppy-sounding indie rock, but made by thoughtful, talented youths.  Music for the kids, driving around in mom's car on a hot night, drinking dad's beer, wishing they had a girl but not really minding because the music flows through their veins like a confidence drug.  We dug it.  As R tweeted, if they used to be called Sunset, we used to like a band called Sunset.

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