White Denim - The Granada - 4/5/12

Categories: Last Night

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Deb Doing Dallas
White Denim
White Denim, Hundred Visions, Soviet
The Granada
Thursday, April 5

White Denim has a history of stealing the show for me. I first saw them what feels like one million years ago at Pastime Tavern. The Internet tells me this was actually 2009: I got there early to catch openers PVC Street Gang, but arrived just as they were ending. My friends had already started sipping the Kool-Aid, despite it being a Gorilla vs. Bear show, so I decided to skip the cover and listen from the bar. By the end of White Denim's first song, conversation was interrupted and I immediately got up, paid cover and scooted to the front.

Again, last summer at Gorilla vs. Bear fest, I spent the evening itching to see them, but became convinced no one could top the Shabazz Palaces showing that night. This was before the Preteen Zenith meltdown of '11, and before White Denim played a fast, late set that very literally saved the day.

White Denim has been over-described, but for me, they are exactly what I wish jam bands were. The Austin quartet may be all over the place in terms of genre, but they are focused in execution.

Not unlike punk bands whose aesthetic changes as they become more competent on their instruments, White Denim has tossed their JV charms for varsity tightness. You can hear it in their arrangements and those seamless transitions; you can see it in the non-verbal inside jokes they seem to trade onstage. James Petralli's voice has never sounded better, and the soaring "Street Joy" in particular was enhanced by his smart dynamic play.

The bros in tow were appearing in all manner of conversation, real and virtual, throughout the night. It occurred to me White Denim seem set to inherit the throne of Spoon or even Dave Matthews Band, in that they have evolved from scrappy jammers to filling venues such as the Granada in roughly five years, and crossed over in appeal. White Denim had an interesting combo, a fantastic set and a new audience. For the first time, they didn't steal the show. They didn't have to.

Notebook dump: The reason everyone in the audience was having a great time is because everyone on that stage was having a great time.

Overheard: "I just always want to be at this concert, man."


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4 comments
Guestlove
Guestlove

Isn't this supposed to be a concert review? ...Of the concert on the date listed? There are barely two words on White Denim's performance on this night, and they are vague at best. And what about the openers--not a single word?

Stop doing Dallas, Deb. UR DOIN IT RONG

Spiritof00
Spiritof00

Meltdown 2011?? Please explain. Sometimes I just get tired of journalist making comments that are down right rude and get away with it because artists typically have to take the high road and shut up.Like what ya like and get your info straight. Refrain from uninformed snide remarks and get in with it .

Deb
Deb

I think a meltdown was pretty accurate. That wait was lengthy, the video took forever, the crowd was momentarily won over by Preteen Zenith's music until they weren't. The show dragged on, the crowd became restless and many even left. Delaughter and his various projects have had a lot of fine moments in this town (and I have enjoyed them too!), that night was not one of them. GvB fest as a whole, was fantastic, and White Denim did their part to make that so. My point bringing it up is to say the force is strong with these kids, it was proven that night and it seems to only be getting stronger since.

Eric
Eric

Uh... I don't think that was the point of the article. Off-handed remarks are just that: Off-handed.

BUT, if you want to get into it... GVB-fest was awesome until the aforementioned incident threatened to kill the mood. If you don't believe me, do a twitter-rewind. White Denim made everyone happy again. What's wrong with calling a spade a spade?

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