Tim DeLaughter Talks the Good and the Bad of Preteen Zenith's Live Performance Debut
Tim DeLaughter and his new band Preteen Zenith made their live performance debut on Saturday night at the Granada Theater, where over 1,000 music fans converged for the first ever Gorilla Vs. Bear Festival. But it didn't go off without a hitch: A long delay before the band's start cut off some of Preteen Zenith's own set, while also up cutting significantly into the scheduled performance from headlining act White Denim.
Had Preteen Zenith performed last on the bill, such an issue would've been avoided. But, thing is, aside from a four-song sampler released a few weeks ago, nobody has heard any music from Preteen Zenith. So the band was given an earlier slot in the lineup.
Still, the anticipation for the band's performance that grew in the weeks leading up to the show. It only continued to grow early Sunday morning, as Preteen Zenith took the stage 40 minutes later than their scheduled start time.
The wait wouldn't have been a problem, except that the late start meant that White Denim's set length was dwindling with each passing second. Their eventual 20-minute set would have been shorter too, if it wasn't for White Denim lead singer James Petralli walking onto the stage during Preteen Zenith's set and speaking with DeLaughter.
After their exchange, DeLaughter looked stunned, and the venue's screen dropped in front of the stage, thus ending the band's set prematurely.
"[Petralli] justifiably comes up and says 'I've got friends and family here, too,'" DeLaughter told DC9 a few hours after Preteen Zenith left the stage. "I said, 'You're exactly right. I totally agree. You're justified and I apologize.' That's all I can do."
Petralli declined to comment on the exchange, but according to DeLaughter, there is no bad blood between the bands.
DeLaughter did, however, express frustration at the anticipation leading up to the show: "There was so much hype on this thing, it was unreal," he said. "This show was more internationally blown out about than it was here."
It's possible, though, that the band played into the hype: A very ambitious six-minute video preceded the set, which featured enough lights to fill every club in Deep Ellum.
The laser lights, the video projections, and the energy of the band indeed made the performance feel like quite a spectacle. But DeLaughter said the band had something huge planned during the last song that never came.
"I felt bad about it because the last song, 'Paling Patience,' was when something really so wonderful was about to happen that no one's seen before," he said.
He declined to give any further details on what exactly the band had planned during the song, but he said he will "save it for next time."
Overall, though, DeLaughter was apologetic that White Denim's set was fractured, and happy about how Preteen Zenith's performance went. He seemed to fit comfortably back in the position of the rock 'n' roll frontman after spending some time as bandleader in the Polyphonic Spree.
And as far as first shows go, he couldn't have asked for much better.
"I think it went really well for our first time to go through it," he said. "I already know for a fact that the energy in what we're producing is unparalleled electric-wise. I know we're onto something."