KXT's Summer Cut - Gexa Energy Pavilion - 6/1/12

Categories: Last Night

kxtfan.jpg
All photos by Mike Brooks
Flaming Lips fans
KXT's Summer Cut
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Friday, June 1

See also: The fans of Summer Cut.

"What the [expletive] is that?" - Gexa's finest usher, on the stylistic motivations of its patrons.

When the Flaming Lips come to town, people tend to shed their inhibitions. For the guy in the penguin costume and the girl in a coonskin cap hula-hooping her heart out, Friday night was more than an opportunity for self-expression; it was a jovial celebration of music, culture and a local public radio station whose commitment to independent music has been a blessing for this city.

The celebration commenced with an exercise in face-stuffing (because nothing says "jovial" like a steaming hot pepperoni pie) from Doughboy's Pizza, one of the numerous local food trucks and vendors present. It continued with the oddball reggae stylings of Ontario's Walk Off the Earth and their viral-as-hell Gotye cover, and continued with local darlings Telegraph Canyon, who, despite battling some minor sound issues, had nearly every early attendee singing in unison.

Never known for their enthusiastic live show, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah still managed to put on an enjoyable, if a bit rushed, set of endearing pop. With only 30 minutes to play, the Brooklyn five-piece stuck mainly to material from their self-titled debut (a good thing), and with the setting sun as their backdrop, offered a stunning rendition of "Details of the War." Fitz and the Tantrums, meanwhile, upped the energy. The six-piece ensemble included a heavy dose of sax and harmonica, a "Sweet Dreams" cover, and some serious enthusiasm from vocalist and part-time hype woman Noelle Scaggs.

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St. Vincent
When Annie Clark, otherwise known as St. Vincent, took the stage, the ominously dim pavilion went electric. She covered the Pop Group's "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" and stage dove during "Krokodil." The Lake Highlands product clearly enjoyed being home, reminiscing on her time at Gexa, "drinking boxed wine and smoking menthol cigarettes on the lawn."

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The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips were, well, the Flaming Lips. And by that I mean their show was a life-affirming spectacle unlike anything you'll ever see. Yes, Wayne Coyne crowd-surfed in his space bubble, the band entered the stage through a giant vagina, the stage was rife with balloons, confetti, dancing aliens, etc. As a long-time admirer, I expected all of those things going in. But after all these years, the Fearless Freaks still manage to surprise, and I've never left one of their shows not wanting to hug each and every person I see. Somewhere, that disgruntled usher and giant penguin probably felt the same.

By the way: The Pop Group's Mark Stewart once gave a dish scrubber to Annie Clark and said, "This is what's become of punk."

Personal bias: I am a Flaming Lips fanboy. As such, this review most certainly is biased.


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7 comments
CTRL+ALT+DEWAYNE
CTRL+ALT+DEWAYNE

The sound was fine on the floor. The sound on the lawn has always sucked since they built that place, at least without the help of psychotropic substances.

Can't expect a non-profit radio station to have some giant street team handing out materials etc, but it seemed a little unusal not to have an mc or something. But sets were changed super-quick, which was nice.

St. Vincent was excellent, even after a year full of touring, crowd surfing about 50 ft away from the stage w/o missing a note. The Flaming Lips were awesome as usual, always living up to the "shows to see before you die" hype. There's no reason they shouldn't be playing here every year, as Wayne said, they live just up the road. 

Overall, nice job KXT. Please do it again next year.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

No offense, but were you actually there?

The sound was DEPLORABLE for all but St. Vincent and Flaming Lips.  It was not a minor problem; it was catastrophically bad mixing/balancing.  I'd love to know what Fitz and the Tantrums actually sound like.  As it is, all I know if that their rhythm section is pretty good.

I don't think St. Vincent was very well received at all.  Maybe I just didn't like it.

The Lips put on a great visual show, but did the extended jams and instrumentals really do anything for you?  I was hoping to hear more actual songs.

Markusson
Markusson

Kind of a weak review here. I think this festival brings up lots of great points to discuss, both good, bad and irrelevant regarding our public radio station and community.

Can a "festival" be on a Friday, after work, starting at 5:30? Why didn't KXT have it on a Saturday; money, band scheduling? Too few were able to see the opening acts.

Surprised to see zero KXT presence. If they're about the local, community thing, I'd think they would have the foresight to get up on stage; thank the audience, MCs during set breaks, ask for more donations, give their DJs a "face" to us. No branding, no commemorative concert posters (what's Dallas' adverseness to show posters?), no stickers, no tees, no "street team" or volunteers, donation buckets or shit like that. Every single day they pander to the fact that they're local. There was nothing "local" about Friday night other than booking some bands.

Where was Slavens, Kozera or the lame-o who keeps playing DMB and Green Day (both on this Monday morning...)?

Ticket cost was pretty high and there were a ton of empty seats. Though, by the time St. Vincent and Lips came on, most were standing and it "looked" more full. But if KXT is a non-profit and for the greater good, I just think $65 for the front sections is a lot of money (which is what I bought b/c I'm a big SV and FL fan). $45-50 for other reserved seats for a "festival" that starts after work on a Friday? An all-day affair on a Saturday, I can understand. Should have been $40 for reserved, $20 for lawn. Come one, come all.

St. Vincent's set was outstanding. For those of us who've only seen her in smaller venues (Granada, kessler, clubs, etc.), I was a bit curious as to seeing how her set would go. It was still a bit light out, some audience still trickling in but she absolutely seemed to captivate everyone. The stage dive was sick as hell. She is truly a musician and changes what you think you want to hear. She takes her music to various places and you're left mesmerized. I don't know whether to think she's an angel or a demon, and she knows it.

I thought Starplex/Gexa was supposed to have lower concession prices this summer, no? Still the same $9.75 for 20 ounce swill, $12 for 24oz can and yes, the greatness of a Shiner being an "import" at $14 can. So fucking cool. Next time, I am bringing in my Franzia Rose' like Annie Clark.

I wouldn't mind seeing more KXT community outreach in terms of shows. Actually doing their own thing. Instead of piggy-backing on a "hot" band who rolls through town and say "hey, we play you" and start playing their song that week. Sammons Park, the new amphitheater downtown or even working with Dallas Parks (Exall...) to put on some good little gatherings and events.

/end coffee rant

Aaron Barker
Aaron Barker

she said it was a Sid Vicious shaped pot scrubber and what about Erica Badu. Didn't she show up for "Dark Side Of the Moon" with the Lips?

Zach
Zach

Seriously? Deplorable? The acoustics may have been poor where you were sitting, but I watched all five main stage acts and never once had the same thought as you.

nimbusthegreat
nimbusthegreat

I heard the same from my roommate who went on and on about the sound issues. Maybe next time the organizers will realize that the lowest bidder sometimes isn't a bargain at all. Hire professionals.

DeLaNate
DeLaNate

 I agree that the lack of KXT presence was a bit odd, but I was able to buy a KXT Summer Cut t-shirt, so they did have tees.

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