WORDS: GARRETT SMITH // PHOTOS: ELLIE ALONZO

Let’s get shakin’ with Homeshake and friends.

Despite the name of our friendly neighborhood openers, it was not so much a gnashing as it was a pinched-throat screaming that kicked us off. The love children of Deerhunter and Alabama Shakes, Steve Gnash belted out raw, down-home emotion with vocals that sucked us in, chewed us up, and spat us out in the best way possible. It was dream-pop-meets-southern-blues in the most unlikely of family reunions, with a show clothed in as much ferocity as the vocals. Suede blazers gave way to circle-shades in a musical sermon delivered by a raspy-voiced reverend, who with bluesy gospel worked the sardine crowd like a veritable Sunday morning revival.

   It may have been a Monday night, but church was in session.

Gnash himself even stepped into the crowd for a brief acoustic interlude interrupted by bullhorn – bullhorn interruptus? – only to rejoin the stage with his burgundy-clad band mate in a raucous, sensual performance that most openers only dream of performing.

When it comes to the second act of the night, balloons and bass were the name of the game.

Take a chunky staccato guitar gallop blended with some bouncing crowd balloons, and you get the crunchy intro to the second-up, Denton-local focal-point, Trai Bo. It’s rare to see such focus on delivering a spectacle, while still maintaining complex technicality in the musical performance, but this band can deliver a mathy riff as much as they can bop and pop balloons with the crowd.

Dallas, meet Denton – your younger, off-the-walls brother. Never without energy, never without love.

As their first time in Dallas, we just have to say that there could have been no better way to welcome themselves. Jazzy, staccato, off-beat beauty had us all bending the knee in rhythm to you, our modern day Khaleesi – none other than Homeshake.

Drum-driven, beat heavy levees were broken left and right by the angelic vocals of Homeshake and company – and the only interruption was the crowd cheering in awe. In awe because many of us, to be sure, would’ve thought this would be chill to the point of performance purgatory – after all, what better place to listen to such dream-pop than in a hazy living room, glued to a couch? – but alas, paradise was at hand.

Let it be known: one can blow out a Dallas venue with dream-pop vibes, and none would be the wiser.

Not a moment wasted, nor a calorie spared: this was a night where the hair of the dog that bit you will certainly be a part of the morning fare. There would be no lapse in flow, and no love lost, in this late night affair. For any DFW Homeshake fans, only a new nuance gained, and a few hours lost, for all those formerly couch-ridden listeners.

Going in, we wondered: how does this chill, smoky group translate to an entrancing, energetic performance? This intimate venue proved half the equation, with the answer to it all being a vibey, guitar driven symphony of frenetic feels and electrified sensation. Every riff is deliberate, and every pause confederate to the overall forward motion of the amped-up club vibe. 

So do you still think you can get the same from a living room surround-sound set up? Spend some time with Homeshake – at Club Dada or otherwise – and you might just find new heights for what such vibes that this dream-pop can find.

Until the next one,

// E & G

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