Sunday, January 1, 2012
Concert review: NYE Bash with Astronautalis, galleryCat, and The Rich Girls at Club Dada (December 31)
The night brought genres together that no one would think could work together.
The New Year’s Eve Bash at Club Dada kicked off the party long before midnight, bringing in throngs of people as soon as the doors opened at 8 p.m. Whether it was the promise of a free keg (while it lasted) or the enticing opening acts for local hip-hop phenom Astronautalis, the Deep Ellum club filled up early. The lineup was anything but uniform, as bands performed alt rock, '80s dance, Hall & Oates cover songs, and freestyle hip-hop. But audience members brought their dancing shoes for the eclectic evening.
Mystery Skulls started off the night with a rousing selection of upbeat electronic songs reminiscent of Chromeo. Front man Luis Dubuc (formerly of the Secret Handshake) has moved past his usual bubbly songs, taking a step towards more '80s infused dance numbers. He can’t stay still onstage, and his love for his new style was apparent. Dubuc mentioned that this was only their sixth show, and it was surprisingly successful and smooth for such an early run.
Once the keg had been floated and the energy heightened, the Rich Girls stepped onstage to share their fervor for the legendary Hall & Oates. The Dallas cover band represents Hall & Oates by not only effectively playing all of their hits but also by donning classic moustaches and sleeveless shirts from the era. They opened with “I Can’t Go For That,” which ignited the massive dance party that continued through their entire set. Hit after hit helped make the vibe worthy of a New Year’s Eve celebration.
Although Hello Lover was set up for a great show by the raging success of the Rich Girls, the connection just wasn’t there. Their alt rock style didn’t meld well with the rest of the night’s lineup, and it caused more disinterest than captivation. The band members did play their hearts out, offering predictable yet strong guitar solos and aggressive vocals that led to a short-lived mosh pit.
As midnight drew closer, galleryCat rushed onstage to play their pocket-protector infused hip-hop to the eager crowd. This was an anticipated set for many in the audience. Their uplifting lyrics and infectious beats seem to attract just about everyone, which encouraged lead singer Angelo Gonzales’ demand for crowd interaction. Their popular single, “Hip Hop Save Me,” really showed how much the guys enjoy playing their music and how far they’ve come.
Astronautalis at Club Dada (December 31)
The plan was to toast the New Year with Astronautalis at the beginning of his set, but sadly the countdown was missed entirely. Handfuls of people quietly toasted to the New Year and awaited the appearance of Andy Bothwell (aka Astronautalis). Bothwell instantly redeemed himself for missing the midnight marker with a roaring set from start to finish. His confident swagger and smooth tongue carried him through spitfire songs with ease, and listeners simply bobbed their heads during his rhythmic flow.
He performed his classic trick: asking the crowd for offhand topics and freestyle rapping a song that encompasses all of the subjects in mere seconds. The topics included a popcorn maker, his dad, taking his pants off, Wayne Brady, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Once again, Bothwell pulled it off, making freestyling look easy. This New Year’s Eve performance showed that he is easily one of the best hip-hop performers in North Texas.
The show proved to be a noteworthy NYE celebration, and most attendees were sent home with a positive outlook on 2012, or a raging hangover. Or both.