When someone who has known you for years calls and says, “Hey, I think you should go to this show,” you go. You don’t ask questions, you pack up your gear and just go. That’s how I ended up at Scout Bar, in Houston, Texas for Lacey Sturm w/ Palisades, Stitched up Heart, and Letters From The Fire.
Watching the night take shape and the bands setup, I immediately noticed lead singer Alexa Kabazie. She’s hard to miss with her genuine smile and bad ass hair (shout out the the girls who wear their colors on the outside)! Listening to their most recent album Worth The Pain, it’s undeniable that Kabazie has come into her own. She doesn’t rage and she doesn’t sing; this one ROCKS. It was what happened afterwards though that solidified my adoration. I watched as Alexa and Mike Keller (founding member and guitarist) came almost immediately from stage to the back deck to FaceTime a fan who was laid up in the hospital.While checking out merch I had a minute to chat with Louis Miceli of Palisades about their self titled album released a few days prior. It’s always cool to watch a band that is riding a recent release high; they are amped and that shit is contagious. This band takes the stage and after spending the last 15 or 20 minutes getting to know them it all felt very Jekyll and Hyde. Gone was the well mannered Jersey gentleman who had just told me about visiting his grandparents in Florida as a kid. He grew up to be in a metalcore band that does the cool shit, like touring Europe. I was genuinely impressed with how they brought in all the raw pieces you can hear in songs like ” Better Chemicals,” and “Through Hell.”When an musician crosses over the invisible barrier dividing them from the crowd, you know it’s done with nothing but trust and appreciation. Seeing Alecia “Mixi” Demner jump from the stage to get up close and personal with fans was a testament to such. Stitched Up Heart released its debut album, Never Alone, this past June, and tracks like “Turn You On,” “Catch Me When I Fall,” and “Monster” brought everyone to their feet. This was the best possible primer for what Lacey Sturm was about to give us.
Lacey Sturm’s sound completely contradicts her appearance, and no matter how many times I’ve seen those black and white stripes take the stage I don’t feel like I’m ever prepared for how powerful her voice is. Between playful smiles, she and her husband, guitarist Josh Sturm, shared a set that sounded damned near perfect. Lacey reminds everyone that no matter where we are or have been, we are all in this together, and because of that we are never alone. Rock may be hard and it may be dark, but watching Lacey reminds you rock is love too — love of our stories, love of our scars, and the love of music.
On my way out the door I noticed all the bands of the night had taken time to visit with fans either before or after their sets. It may not seem like a big deal ,but it says so much about this line up and the love of what they do. I hung around myself to get a few fan shots and hear what they had to say about the show. Everyone agreed that the mostly female led line up was just what they had been missing in their rock world, and I can’t agree more.