Concert Reviews

The 2016 Westword Music Showcase in 22 Words or Fewer

The 22nd Westword Music Showcase, on Saturday, June 25, was one for the ages, featuring for the first time two main stages, as well as nearly 100 local bands who played hard through power outages and a short rain in the Golden Triangle. With so much to hear, see and do, the Showcase can be overwhelming, and can provide a different experience for each individual fan. To capture that sensory overload, we asked our writers to share snapshots of their Showcase in 22 words or fewer. 

Check out what they saw and heard below, and don't miss our slideshows of the national bands, local artists and people of the 2016 Westword Music Showcase. More dispatches and photos coming soon. 

One Flew West at the Church
Genre melding intensity ripped though The Church's speakers to knock the congregation to its knees, then up to the heavens with fists. - Eddie Barella

Bollywood Life at Vinyl
The crowd danced ceremoniously around the glowing apple on the front of his laptop as he dropped unique and memorable beats. - EB

Cult of the Lost Cause at Bannock Street Garage
A woman at the end of the bar can't even as expressed with rolled eyes and sighs — even as Cult of the Lost Cause flooded the space with epic, doomy sounds to push back summer. - Tom Murphy

Go Star at Dazzle
Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis + Jimi Hendrix + Music is the Healing Force of the Universe-period Muhammad Ali = GoStar kicking some serious kosmische science. - TM

Patrick Dethlefs at 100% Agave
A set so vulnerable that he seemed to remove the usual musical trappings between his own heart and those of the people in the audience. —  TM

A. Tom Collins mesmerized by writhing on the floor within crowd; returns to stage saying “this feels like a walk of shame.” — Chris Walker

Asked why he’s carrying a ripped-in-half donkey piñata with “Gerald’s girlfriend” written upon it, a man explains: “It’s for Dillon Francis’s set.” — CW

Asked whether the piñata was supposed to stay intact until Francis’s performance, he says, “Yeah! Until my friend Till fucked it up!” — CW
This year’s Westword Music Showcase brought to you by: kale chips, faux Ray-Ban sunglasses, trucker caps and pastel-colored shorts. — CW

Wheelchair Sports Camp took the power outage in stride, bringing the crowd out to the sidewalk for a live and unplugged show. — Bree Davies
The power outage at City Hall couldn’t stop Wheelchair Sports Camp from performing; their sidewalk performance was one of the day’s highlights. — CW

Great set by ATOMGA at La Rumba had the crowd dancing, followed by superhero musicians in capes at La Rumba! Who KNEW? — Patricia Calhoun

The Epilogues delivered to a jam-packed room. The acoustics and energy made the venue sound more like a cathedral than a church. — Emily Healy

The Epilogues, who are breaking up in August, will surely be missed by many. The band’s dynamic Church set was completely packed. — Jon Solomon

In/PLANES sang jazzy indie-folk harmonies and provided solace from the sun and main stages with a pleasant and perceptive crowd. — EH

Austin duo Black Pistol Fire powered through a gritty, beefy rock set, throwing in snippets of Led Zeppelin and early Fleetwood Mac. — JS

Black Pistol Fire rocked hard with pounding resonance to a foot-thumping, head-bopping, arms-folded crowd. — EH

888 played their alt-pop for early Showcase fans with a perfect unison of arms swaying and hands clapping. — EH

Opening with “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens),” Denmark’s New Politics fired up a fervent crowd and didn’t let the energy dip. — JS
New Politics singer David Boyd enters the crowd and stands on their hands. Back on stage, he gleefully shouts “We did it!” — John Nicholl

Church Fire: You can't see his face. She wails and stares. The crowd dances on the uncertain edge of light and madness. — Isa Jones

“Best thing ever” - overheard at the Silent Disco tent, where people wearing wireless headphones were dancing during the middle of afternoon. — JS

The Silent Disco tent provided Happy Hour entertainment to those waiting for Matt and Kim featuring listeners’ no-shame, expressive dance moves. — EH

Brick + Mortar’s psychedelic videos might have been the best of the day, especially the two hamburgers making out with intertwining tongues. —JS

A gal, possibly inebriated, napped during part of Plume Varia’s ethereal set that included a superb cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” — JS

HEALTH covering "Goth Star" by hometown homeboy Pictureplane created a feeling of momentary intimacy within the masses gathered at the outdoor stage. — BD

“This reminds me of the band that did ‘My Name is Mud.’” Overheard during near the end of HEALTH’s dark, murky set. — JS

Dressed as priests, SPELLS depraved the Church with probably some of the most wild and vigorous punk that’s ever been played there. — JS

Great to see the main stages packed, but always wish more people would venture to the clubs to see the locals! — Andy Thomas

The power went out, but it didn't stop Jen Korte & the Loss from playing a raucous acoustic set atop the bar. — BD

Jen Korte's set on the Stoney's bar top was filled with audience participation, haunting melody, and unbroken energy. - EB

When the power goes out, play on the bar. Jen Korte & the Loss turned a solemn room into an intimate, wonderful, brilliant singalong. - IJ

    A random guy from the crowd slips me a sticker that reads “OG KUSH” and whispers, “Secret of the trade.” — JN

Chef’Special Guitarist Guido Joseph is shredding a gnarly solo when a large, colorful butterfly flies on stage and flutters around him. — JN
Matt and Kim proved once again that it’s one of the most fun, enthusiastic bands ever. They made people smile and move. — JS

Matt and Kim made dildos and blow-up dolls cool for the masses. They sounded good, too, but really...that dildo, though. — IJ
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