Written by Garrett Smith // Photography by Erin Devany and Garrett Smith
Bubbles, bubbles, bicycles and trouble – this is where the night begins.
It’s a interesting emerging trend, these “anti” or alternate music venues. Specifically, though, is a sub-trend within that genre: namely, bicycle shops opening doors after-hours to host live music. We’ve seen it at Sprockets in Denton, and now, we’re seeing it at Transit Bicycle Co. in the Lower Greenville area of Dallas.
Tonight, Transit would be unlocking its doors for Springtime and the Changes’ Dallas EP release – third in its triptych melange of Golden Triangle release shows. And that sort of energy certainly filled the air: a natural blend of exhaustion and catharsis. It’s that kind of cocktail that often produces the best buzz; if you’ve ever seen the last show of any tour, then you know exactly the sort of celebratory exasperation at work here, and how all the pent-up energy, frustration, and hard work gets jam-packed into a frightfully explosive performance.
And that’s exactly what happened here. Everyone was at peak performance, from the tightly controlled rhythm section held down by Zach Walker and Ray Baumgratz, to the snarling guitar leads by Drew Kee, to the firey fits of our frontcouple Erin Devany and Charlie Debolt. And it would be an understatement to say that people didn’t hold back; no, they fired on all cylinders, they cooked with gas, they put the metal to the pedal –
You know what? There’s no good metaphor to use here.
It was violently impassioned; a cacophony of raw emotion channeled into a support group, if that support group were a cabal of thrashing limbs and bobbing heads. The show was communal in the deepest, most primeval since of the word – people were literally moved, and in current live music culture, that’s often not the case. Like a drum circle around the fire, feverish and ever-flowing, the performance – particularly on the part of Devany – demanded participation. This was not a group performing for an audience; it was a congregation of artists, in celebration together, led in worship by a mic-and-brimstone preacher.
To put it simply: screams and sweat ruled the night without rules; no boundaries between audience and stage (or if there were, they were abandoned with force), nor between venue and business. Beers were brought in like a potluck dinner, as friends and peers came together with greetings that would be just as at home at family Thanksgivings as they were here, in a humble bicycle shop tucked away in Dallas; where one set of celebrations ended, but surely – for both band and venue – there would be more to come.