I go to more than my fair share of shows in the metroplex area, and I’ve seen many a good show. It’s rare, however, to have a lineup where all the acts are truly great. That holds especially true as the number of acts on a lineup increases. This makes the show I witnessed at Lola’s this past Saturday evening to be even more amazing. It’s not just that there were no weak links on the lineup; every one of the bands truly reached a level of greatness rarely seen. To have a lineup of this quality is almost unheard of.
The evening began with The Cush. For those of you who know your local music history, you’re aware that The Cush features members of the successful 90’s band Buck Jones. The Cush now calls Burlington, Vermont their home, which is our city’s loss. This band is a must listen for fans of such shoegaze bands as My Bloody Valentine and Lush. The Lush comparison holds especially true to me due to the dreamy, beautiful vocals provided by Gabrielle Douglas on several of their songs. I can only hope that The Cush will be willing to make the trip to Texas on a frequent basis; they would be a welcome addition to our music scene.
After The Cush came Telegraph Canyon. This was my first time to see the band as a whole, although I did have the opportunity to see Chris Johnson do a solo performance at Adair’s over a year ago. I could tell from that one performance that he was a first rate songwriter, and the band’s performance proved my original hypothesis correct. Not only is he a great songwriter, but he has gathered together a group of great musicians to back him up. If it’s another year before I get to see Chris and Telegraph Canyon again, then something is wrong… with me!
The next artist on the lineup, Doug Burr, is probably my favorite singer-songwriter at the moment. It is rare to hear an album that is as beautiful and emotionally intense as On Promenade, but Mr. Burr has succeeded in such a feat. His set was filled with great tunes from that album, including “Whippoorwill”, “Come To My Senses”, and “In The Garden”, a song that works even better live than on the album. And that is quite an accomplishment right there.
I had seen headliner Dove Hunter on previous occasions, and although I thought they were a good band, I felt that they would have a hard time following the incredible Doug Burr. While I enjoyed the first few songs they played, it wasn’t until they played “What Turns Inside” that I fully got the band. And when you get Dove Hunter, the moment is not a light bulb going off over your head. No, the moment is more like being struck by lightning, with the music being a sudden jolt to your system that electrifies you and energizes you. Their music not only demands attention, but commands it. Dove Hunter is a band that must be seen, and even if you’ve seen them before and didn’t “get it”, then keep going back until you do get it. Because once you understand the appeal of Dove Hunter, their music will be like a drug that you crave, where you don’t just want the music, you need it. All the band members are incredibly talented, but I have to give extra special props to drummer Quincy Holloway, who manages to pull of some of the most unique rhythms I’ve heard, and he does so with fierce intensity that makes me wonder if he was summoning the ghost of Keith Moon. Simply put, this man just may be the finest drummer in the metroplex. Dove Hunter concluded their set with encore song “Cyclone Stare”, and before the song ended, bassist Chad DeAtley threw his bass guitar against the drum set and later Quincy started kicking around his drum set in true rock n’ roll fashion. It was an incredible end to an incredible night, leaving me yearning for more music from these fine bands.