Sunday, September 12, 2010
Concert review: Smile Smile at Hailey’s (September 11)
The two members of Smile Smile, who were former lovers, give us a dose of honesty on and off the stage.
Smile Smile — “Truth on Tape”
DENTON Saturday brought a sticky decision for Dentonites: See Sarah Jaffe perform at Granada Theater in Dallas, or go to Hailey's for Smile Smile? Perhaps the Jaffe show made for a sparser crowd at Hailey's, but that didn't stop Smile Smile from putting on a great show.
Local rockers Pale Horse, who claim that they are from all over the DFW area, brought their southern rock swagger to the stage first, warming up the almost non-existent crowd for the bands to follow. Even though it must have been a little disappointing to play to a handful of people on a Saturday night, especially for their first show at Hailey’s, that didn’t faze the quintet. Lead singer JR Denson thanked the audience multiple times for showing up early.
Upon first listen, the band has some catchy psychedelic riffs, but through closer inspection, the band sounds somewhat similar to the Black Crowes – especially Denson, who has the tall, thin frame of Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson, as well as perfect voice for bluesy southern rock.
Following Pale Horse, Fort Worth band Titanmoon tried their hand at getting the crowd pumped. Aside from sounding akin to Mutemath at times (thanks to drummer Trey Ware’s impressive beats and lead singer Tyler Casey’s vocals), the standout song of the night for Titanmoon was a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” It was well done, and unexpected – a nice surprise to keep the crowd on their musical toes, so to speak.
After Titanmoon performed, Dallas duo Smile Smile showed Hailey’s why they are one of the most talked-about band’s in the Dallas area. The story behind the band has been one of intrigue since the release of Smile Smile’s last album Truth on Tape, which transcends to their stage show.
The two members of the band, Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme, were former lovers who had messy breakup. So they recorded an album about the dissolution of their relationship – together. What is refreshing about Smile Smile is their honesty on and off the stage. They openly talk about their breakup, their band, and their lives together.
Saturday's performance brought a playful banter, which allowed us to peek into the soul of the band. They have a sound similar to the Postal Service, and they played through many of their tracks from Truth on Tape. With Hamilton’s no-nonsense vocals mixed with Hirunrusme’s airy harmonies, Smile Smile creates a sound that is uniquely their own and hard to replicate.
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