If you put 7 on the flyers, the bands show up at 8 and if the college isn't in session, no one shows up at all. Luckily it was a house show, and luckily it was a resident's birthday who was also planning a bash. The luck ran out when the house PA wasn't and I had to run over to a friend's and borrow his board and amp [thanks Russell]. When I got back, there was a porch full of crusties, a house full of musical equipment and about five people suckered in by the flyers. Time to rock.
Starsky began the evening with a few surprises: their set list was juggled quite a bit, a new song was debuted, and they played with a new additional guitarist. The new guitar (Gibson through Marshall) added depth to their songs, although not much interest. The surprise of the set was really the song that shone out – not a well crafted indie rocker or a revved up pop tune, but a jerky, deconstructed song entitled Anymore led by a repetitive bass line and sung by Trevor, instead of Zach. For the first time, that song clicked for me and I found myself lost in its erratic chaos.
The Hillary Step also juggled their set playing 2 song from the demo, and one new song as well as 4 or 5 from the just released CD, The Second Time Means Nothing (URININE 1999). After seeing the band over a dozen times, this set had the most heart – Brad Hodgson's screams were chilling, and Danny Mac's drumming was mind blowing (especially on the ultra-percussive new song).
As [DARYL] were setting up their equipment, an alarmed whisper shot through the house followed by an imperious "Do you live here?" that can only come from a cop. After rounding up resident Vince (who was playing Connect Four ™ in the living room) the cop said the neighbors had called because kids were throwing beer cans at the street signs from the front porch. No mention of noise though so [DARYL] sighed in relief and we waited for the cop to head back to Dunkin' Donuts. Instead the cop was joined by another from his litter and they began checking the ids of the folks drinking on the front porch. All of the illegals got away except for one confident soul who stuck around with his fake id. Bad move because the cop spotted it effortlessly and after a lengthy interrogation, the crusty fessed up and a call was made into the station revealing an outstanding warrant. He left the show in handcuffs. The rest of the porch crusties moved inside at Vince's urging and set up their camp on the kitchen floor.
Once given the okay, [DARYL] snapped into their straight forward rock and roll mixed with kitschy synth and an invincible indie rock swagger. Vocalist/guitarist and occasional keyboardist Dylan was enigmatic. Everything from his crooning with eyes closed to his assured fingering on the plastic keys of his Moog Liberation said that this guy is for real. The band as a whole seemed terribly together for only playing 4 or 5 shows and never out of their home state of Texas.
I was worried when the set started out slow and the audience was somewhat ambivalent, but when the band played the ultra-catchy Bottle Rocket they immediately won everyone over. By the time they closed with Petition, they had a room full of fans.
With the bands packed up, cords returned to their owners and everything accounted for, I thanked Vince for the use of his house and lead the 2 car [DARYL] caravan back to Kansas City (with a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts.) On the drive back I thought about the show, a dozen or more people watched each band, the cops only came once and all bands got to play. That surely rates as a success right?