|These boots are made for backsliding|
The opening night of the Free Man, right next door to Adair's, featured irritatingly-capitalized rock band THe BAckliders. Yes, we went to another new venue! We liked the atmosphere and the staff was very friendly. There were apparently a few kinks in the kitchen service as it got backlogged by an influx of patrons it wasn't quite ready for, but we both liked the space. Nice and clean, good tables, and from what we heard, those who did get food enjoyed it a lot. In time, the Free Man could be a go-to Deep Ellum location.
So, THe BAckliders rocked the small stage. There was no cover, and about thirty people were listening when we were there. King Bucks keyboardist Chad Stockslager had also slipped into the Free Man between his band's sets to cheer them on, which is high praise indeed.
We had never seen THe BAckliders before. They played a fast-paced indie-power-pop set, with Pixies-esque crashing percussion and snarling riot grrrl vocals courtesy of singer Kim Bonner, who presented herself as the sultry vamp of the band, sexy boots and a yard of cleavage on display.
N was reminded of the band Helium, while R thought of X --- "though that may be too high a compliment," he added. Certainly the band featured X's fierce energy and hoarse screaming female vocals; the drum and bass were particularly strong. The guitar was slightly overshadowed by the other sounds, though we heard some bluesy rock and rockabilly riffs here and there.
On the final number, there was some showboating --- guitar played from a prone position, bass played behind back, that sort of thing. It was loud and riotous; Kim seemed to being giving it all her lung power, but we couldn't make out the lyrics; perhaps this is not typical for the BAnd, but rather due to a new soundsystem being put through its paces.
In sum: Alt-country framework, indie rock bass and drums providing the muscle, and screaming female vocals. THe BAckliders filled the space with their raucous energy and put on a fun show.