#2: Gatsby’s Mansion, Denton, July 4 (“Heavy As Texas Fest”)
Since the band was hauling my drums from Houston (I live in Austin), I rode to Dallas on the Megabus, which contrary to what you may have heard was largely pain-free, if not as cheap as I had hoped. I got in around 3 PM and hung out downtown drinking coffee at a cafe while reading the great Scottish Gothic novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (recommended by my old friend Dave Urban, who was the rhythm guitar player in the first band I was ever in) and petting the owner’s incredibly sweet dog, Bear:
TOTES ADORBS! I wish I could remember the name of this cafe, because the proprietor was a TRUE AMERICAN HERO for having the only coffee shop open for business anywhere in downtown Dallas on July 4. I tried to find it on Google Maps, but the best I could do is figure out that it’s on Stone Place. Oh yeah and also this might help, it was right across from the 30-FOOT EYEBALL SCULPTURE
Dallas: keepin’ it weird! Also the coffee here was excellent, as was the caprese sandwich the guy made me.
Hang on. I know there was a reason I was in the Metroplex other than to sit around drinking coffee.
By the time the band scooped me up in Jamie’s truck I felt like I had been in Dallas all day, but we were still a few hours from load-in. So we drove up to Denton and spent a pleasant hour or so drinking cheap, cold beer (“Bud Heavy” for me!) and shooting pool at a sports bar down the street. After a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a padlock for the trailer and, let’s be honest guys, A LOT more beer than we were likely to drink, we set off for Gatsby’s Mansion.
This is getting kinda long already so let’s skip the part where we got lost. Gatsby’s Mansion is a house in a semi-light-industrial area of Denton. Cade Bundrick is the main dude who lives there and hosts the shows, and he and his crew have done a pretty nifty job of turning their garage into an awesome DIY venue, complete with soundproofing and PA. The show opened with Flesh Born and Cade’s band The Earth Dies Screaming playing in a “cockfight” formation. For the uninitiated, that’s when both bands set up at the same time and they alternate songs. Short songs. Lotsa screaming and shredding. I kind of wish that this set had been the headliner because it was completely badass. Like.
After this was the Austin instrumental duo Chipper Jones, who were just heading out on tour. I hadn’t seen them before and I rather liked them as well. The guitar player, James Lambrecht, does a lot of nice Ian Williams-type looping stuff. Quite pretty and a nice departure from the loud stuff that characterized the evening.
Baring Teeth, from Dallas, played third. Super cool tech-death. Is that a thing? I dunno. Baring Teeth rocked. Nice job guys.
JESUS CHRIST DID WE COME HERE TO PLAY A SHOW OR SOMETHING I feel as if this day in North Texas has taken my entire life up to this point!!! I would post a setlist but our set was so brutal that afterwards my brains were kind of scrambled and I don’t really remember what happened. I’m pretty sure we played at least these songs:
A Ruined Oak (new song!)
Get Your Dead Straight
. . . and that’s the best I can do.
This was one of the most intense sets I’ve ever played in my life- it was wicked hot, and we were playing a lot of fast stuff, and I look over at Melissa and it’s just HAIR and my arms are on FIRE and I’m a little scared. After we finished I took off my shirt, and Sam’s like IMA DO YA ONE BETTER and strips down to his briefs. . . and black socks. He then proceeded to hang out like that for WAY TOO LONG before putting on just his shirt and walking around with no pants like a five-year-old in an old grainy camcorder video. I said that it reminded me of the picture of Jord Samolesky from the Less Talk More Rock CD tray insert and had a nice conversation with some guys about the merits of various Propagandhi records, so that was cool.
Cade took us to Applebee’s where we shot the shit about various bands we had been in and ate whatever was on sale, and then we went back to the house and crashed out while watching Rick & Morty.
The adventure of July 5 was Jamie backing the trailer out of Cade’s winding, tree-intensive driveway. Which he did LIKE A BOSS! He’s a bona fide Texas pickup truck owner now, we’re so proud.
Altogether this show was a rollicking good time. I give Denton Independence Day FIVE STARS, A+++ would Omotai again! Thanks so much to Cade and everyone else at Gatsby’s Mansion for having us.