Long live rock, I need it every night

Monday, September 22, 2008

White Denim at ATX Converge

The ATX Converge show at Mohawk was the place to be on Friday night. The evening featured an eclectic lineup of some of Austin's best acts: Belaire, Black Joe Lewis, Freshmillions, and my favorite live band, White Denim. When I arrived the place was packed and there was a line down the block to get in. I was worried I'd get shut out so I quickly started formulating ways to sneak into the club. Fortunately, I got in and met up with my friend Callie (aka Show Lush) as Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears finished up their set.

Belaire took the main stage next and did what they do best: melodic synth pop. The biggest compliment I can give them is they're both catchy and unique. I was doing my dorky head bob to each song but never thought "Oh! they remind me of so and so." Usually within 5 minutes of listening to a band I can name 3 or 4 other bands that share their sound. Not with Belaire.

While Belaire put on a good show I was really just counting the minutes until White Denim went on. I assumed they'd play the main stage but towards the end of the Belaire set, a friend texted us to hustle to the indoor stage. It's a good thing because it filled up fast (Thanks Amber!).

After a quick soundcheck the lead singer, James Petralli, just looked at the other guys, shrugged his shoulders, and said, "Ready?" Then they launched into their set at 100 mph. The first 20 minutes were the most fun I've had at any show this year. Rolling Stone says "the band combines the Stooges' raw power, Hendrix's psychedelic flourishes and the White Stripes' stripped-down blues rock". Yeah, that's about right. As they play you're compelled to do a little hip shake and ass wiggle. I bounced up and down so much that my calves were killing me the next day. Here's a bit of the show. The video quality is pretty bad but you get a sense of what it's like at a White Denim show.

As you can see, this power trio plays raucous blues-rock, rattling garage rock, whatever you want to call it. Songs such as "Shake, Shake, Shake", "Darksided Computer Mouth", and "All You Really Have To Do" make for an explosive live show. My only complaint is they didn't play "Let's Talk About It". Maybe it'll make it onto the set list this weekend at Austin City Limits. Other than that, it was another fantastic show. After being blown away by them last month I was prepared for a letdown. Nothing would compare to that first show, right? Actually, this show was as good as the first. They displayed the same raw power and the smaller setting worked well. There was a mutual symbiosis going on. The band fed off the fan's energy and vice versa, like Clownfish and Sea Anemones.

White Denim and fans

Interesting tidbit: During the show I took note of the cool Minnesota Twins shirt James Petralli was wearing. I later learned the band has a lot of ties to professional baseball. Petralli had a grandfather that played for the Washington Senators, as did Josh Block, the drummer. Weird, huh? Plus, Petralli's father was a catcher in the Major Leagues for 12 years. I wonder if George Brett ever told him any funny poop stories. Bassist Steve Terebecki apparently has no relations to professional athletes, but word is he's a killer on the hand ball court.

Finally, I tried for a witty title, a funny pun, something. I came up with nothing. All I had was "White Power" but the last thing we need need is people thinking we support skinheads. If I missed an obvious title, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

Uh, you don't say, "Petralli's father was a catcher in the Major Leagues for 12 years." you say, "Geno Petralli's son is in a band called White Denim." He played for the Rangers! We loved him! My sister played with a Geno Petralli glove! He had a cool 'stache! He was displaced by the great "Pudge" Rodrguez. Sigh.

I love Geno. I might go see White Denim based on the fact that I might catch a glimpse of him. Plus, they sound like they are really good. Do they meet my "no screaming" requirement?

Jumbo Slice said...

He did have a glorious 'stache. Apparently, James was a pretty good player before becoming a rock guy. And his younger brother (maybe it was his cousin) got drafted out of college. Anyway, yes, you should check out White Denim. Maybe not at ACL since you'd have to pass up Gnarls Barkley and The Raconteurs. Those bands are going to play Austin a lot less than White Denim.

I wouldn't saw they scream. They might yell, holler, or even hoot occasionally, but no screaming.

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy some good hoots - I will check them out if The Raconteurs are too crowded...or if Mr. Zoe wants to.

Unknown said...

suggested title: "the most perfect double-tapered shit of my life"

showlush said...

Who you callin' a clown fish? 'Cause South Dakota is likely to raise some hell if you're callin' her man a clown fish. ; )

Another great show. Can't wait to see what they bring to the table on Sunday.

Potsy said...

I'll bet White Denim will be better than the Rock-cant-tours.

Anonymous said...

they actually did play "let's talk about it" during that set.

Jumbo Slice said...

Really? They did? I must have missed it b/c I was too busy touching myself.

Anonymous said...

Okay so last spring i drove from orlando to st. augustine (florida) to see them, not sure what to expect and it was by far the best show i have ever been to. ever.
I was completely floored by the energy in that room, and how even people who had no idea who white denim was, were jumping around dancing and having a blast. not to mention they as people were great. we had got there pretty early and talked to them a bit and they were so stoked we had drivin so far to see them. anywho, since then i've been keeping a steady flow of white denim in my life. this show seem awesome and i cant wait for them to get back to florida. Anyone who has the chance to see them, oughta do it.