Words by Erin Devany // Photos by Garrett Smith
Normally, the city of Dallas remains relatively quiet on a Monday night. This week, however, there was an exception made for psych-rock group Dead Meadow, followed by two incredible and unique DFW acts – Sunbuzzed and New Fumes. With a mesmerizing stage presence and transcendent set, the ambiance was set for the group to pull the audience in and play music that many have been listening to for over a decade.
With a new album hot off the press, Dead Meadow has started touring all over the US to share their often buzzy, alternative sound. Dallas was one of their first stops and, hopefully a memorable one at that – especially with the full house they acquired on a Monday night downtown.
The show opened up with Denton favorites Sunbuzzed, a band we can best describe as music you’d charm a snake to. Lo Ramirez truly brings the noise every time she graces the stage, bringing a beautiful ring even to her most harsh screams. The band has also taken the brave step of replacing a bass player with a keyboardist, Daniel Serrano, creating a dynamic and haunting backing to their music. Ellie Alonzo, their drummer and, coincidentally, one of our spearheads and music masterminds here at Austere, keeps up with the tricky timing with ease and grace, adding even further to the band’s desert horror music. Last but certainly not least, Cari Elizondo switches between guitar, clarinet, and tambourine to round out their sound and keep up with the eclectic element of the band.
The room was still ringing once they finished their set, and barely had time to catch up before solo act New Fumes (Daniel Huffman) brought his own funhouse to the stage. With powerful and colorful projections behind him on an inflated backdrop, the wall of sound that he creates is bright, yet rife with elements of gloom; a combination that isn’t common, but immensely appreciated.
Electronic acts, especially since they are commonly solo, can be difficult in regards to holding the audience’s attention, but Huffman had no trouble keeping every aspect of his set intact and dreamlike. Once it was over, it almost felt like stepping out of a void we had been placed into while listening to the music.
Finally, Dead Meadow took the stage
delivering unto us their entrancing, psychedelic sound. The audience listened eagerly for each and every riff, breakdown, rise and fall that the band had to offer. This night being the first we had actually heard their music live, we were greatly impressed by the unique sound in a genre that often is clogged with copycats. City Tavern hosted a wonderful event, and the 20’s speakeasy feel of the place helped create an interesting dynamic for the bands and audience.
Here’s to hoping Parade of Flesh continues to bring high profile acts to Dallas, while allowing some of our local bands a shot at some exposure.