Sunday, August 15, 2010
Concert review: Trees’ one-year anniversary (August 14)
If Trees’ anniversary show was any indication that a musical revitalization of Deep Ellum is coming, then get ready.
DEEP ELLUM When Trees closed in Deep Ellum in 2005, it felt like the final door had been shut on the Deep Ellum music scene. The streets were emptier and music rarely filled the air. When the legendary venue re-opened in August 2009, the hope that there could be revitalization in Deep Ellum had returned, and with that hope came music.
Saturday night, a year after Trees had its grand re-opening, the venue celebrated its first birthday with a house so packed that patrons had to stand outside in line to wait to get in – a rarity in Deep Ellum unless it some major touring act stops by.
And while the doors technically Saturday at 4 p.m., the shenanigans didn’t take place until later in the humid summer evening. The lineup for the venue’s anniversary show was local band The Phuss; progressive/alternative local rockers Moving Atlas; secret guest, heavy metal fusion rockers Otep; and Texas progressive/metal band Fair to Midland – who headlined the show. The bands rocked the venue, which was almost full to capacity, but one band’s performance stood out from the rest moment they took the stage: The Phuss.
This local trio of musicians have been through the ringer over the past few months since being dropped from their label, Battle Flag Records. As a result, controversy stirred from their song titled “Preacher, Preacher” – which sounds eerily similar to a Marilyn Manson track. But The Phuss held their heads high during their performance on Saturday (even though they had no albums or merch to sell).
It seems being burned by their record label has made The Phuss even more bitter and angry, which has the possibility to lead to good music and great shows. You could feel lead singer/guitarist Joshua Fleming’s disgust over being dropped from the label with each song performed, heavier than the one preceding it. At times it felt like mayhem would break out at any given moment.
Their devil-may-care, go eff yourself disposition was alluring: Fleming screamed into the microphone with undeniable energy and attitude that demanded the audience to sit up and take notice of The Phuss. And how could you not? In between Fleming’s lyrics – dripping with distain – and drummer Trey Alfaro’s drumstick juggling, no one could deny that The Phuss brought the rock to Trees.
After The Phuss, Moving Atlas, Otep, and Fair To Midland, it is safe to say that if you didn’t leave Trees half deaf Saturday night, you didn’t rock hard enough. And if Trees’ anniversary show was any indication that a musical revitalization of Deep Ellum is coming, then get ready. Things are about to rock.