I’m one of those star charting, card reading, biker raised, metal-head from birth, hippie types. So for me to find the connection between the bands in this line up isn’t far-fetched, but it’s how accurate it is that has gotten me.
I traveled into space at this concert.
There is the obvious difference between watching a band play and having your senses touched, Vegas-lights style, all at once and in all the right ways. If you think about it too hard you’ll remember you aren’t in fact wherever, feeling whatever, but why would you want to stop it?
I’m crazy blessed because Scout Bar in Houston, Texas, is in my backyard and that means the local fans are people I have known for years. That wasn’t the case on this night.
People had come from hours away (that’s how we measure distance in Texas) and there were lots of them. Waiting outside for the doors to open I talked to people who had driven three hours to be there. When’s the last time you’ve heard someone say they drove three hours to spend just a few with a love interest or a family member? No, this is the devotion only music can inspire, and I heard it over and over again.
Once inside, I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with Roland Belmarez and got the dirt on what the hell was going on upstairs from Scout. The locals will be stoked to hear the powers that be (thank you, Aline and Thomas Wilson!) have heard them: near Saint Patty’s Day the Pub Level Grill & Lounge will open its doors to feed the music hungry masses.
He mentioned the DJ and brand new sound system, as well as a massive amount of TV’s they’re installing to appease us sports fans. This made my basketball loving heart happy, but what I can’t wait for is the menu. Music and good food in one location are as close to heaven as I will ever get while I’m alive. Pub Level looks like its gonna get me there.
Emerge and Hindsight were both surprising. When I look at still images of them or listen to them talk, they seem like the guys down the street (literally, they both are from Houston, Texas) if all the guys down the street were pretty and polite. Yet, the sounds these bands produce are anything but polite, they are undeniable rock.
Emerge kicked everything off in the best way possible, without warning and at full force. They have their single “Edge Of Eden” available for free on Reverbnation, and I highly suggest you take advantage of it if you haven’t already. Tommy Cole does something special on the drums in this song. It’s powerful and you feel it rattle your insides the way only live music can. They led the way for Hindsight and their lead vocalist, Brad Lambert. He has such a distinctive voice I could listen to them for days, but it’s how this band’s members play together that makes it something special to witness.
All systems are go. We have launch.
Gemini Syndrome is amazing to watch live. Lead vocalist Aaron Nordstrom is a captivating human to be around, but on stage he’s other worldly. Let me add: if you have the opportunity to catch the VIP Acoustic Pre-Show Experience for any of their current tour dates, do it, don’t even think twice. Just trust me and get there. As powerful as they are on stage, their acoustic sound is beautiful, there isn’t another word for it.
There are bands that put on a great visual experience and there are bands that lull you with their sound. Starset does both and that’s how you end up feeling as if you’ve left this rock. Everything looks and feels electric on their stage, from the lit panels flanking them to the bad-ass control board that lead vocalist Dustin Bates uses to govern all of it. You are plugged in and no matter how long you are there, it doesn’t feel like enough. Current touring members Jonathan Kampfe on the cello, and Siobhán Cronin with her violin, set this band even further apart from anything else you’ve ever seen before.
Their most recent release, Vessels, does an amazing job of bringing every bit of their live show with you when you leave. I added it to my collection within days of seeing them live. “Satellite” is great, as is “Monster,” but “Back To Earth” is my reentry song; we all have to come back at some point, and if so, I’m doing it to good music.
The two things I continue to have the most faith in are music and the stars, because the stars are the one thing humans can’t influence and music may be the only hope we have left of convincing aliens to ever talk to us.
Shows like this one replenish that hope.