Montrose Winter Social: Festival of Sound Checks

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Photos by Barry Sigman
For more pics from the inaugural Montrose Winter Social, check out our slideshow.

The years spent organizing and attending a number of live music events have taught us several valuable lessons: 1) the line-up will inevitably change the second after being finalized and sent to print, 2) musicians -- especially young, inexperienced ones -- are generally not the most reliable or punctual beings, and finally, 3) most bands, left to their own devices, will sound check and tune for hours.

Rocks Off did see a few exciting performances at the Montrose Winter Social, held on December 3 from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. at various venues around the intersection of Westheimer and Taft, but in all, the sprawling thirteen hour event left much to be desired.

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We arrived a little after 3:00 p.m. and wandered into Avant Garden. Purple was supposed to be playing upstairs at 3:15 p.m. but the room was completely empty save a couple of lonely mic stands. Downstairs Wayword, a 19-year-old rapper from Spring (who looked more like a high school gaming nerd), was flowing like a seasoned veteran to interesting background tracks like the The Church's "Under the Milky Way". We sat through the entire set, entranced both by the performer and the non-stop dancing of a faux-hawked dude wearing the tightest brown cutoff shorts we've ever seen.

We could hear music drifting down the stairwell so we decided to check back for Purple or Black Cassidy. We hadn't even made it two feet into the room when our traveling companion whispered, "Ho-ly shit". He could have been referring to the singer's high-pitched vibrato, the fact that she's also the drummer (and a damn good one at that), or that she's only 19, but something tells us the comment made reference to the petite blond's appearance, described to us later as, "totally smokin' hot". Turns out it was Purple, a 3-piece band out of Beaumont, but we didn't find that out until the end of the set, despite asking half the people in the room.

At 4:15 p.m. we crossed the street to the VIP area at Sole Purpose for Thurogood Wordsmith, but the shoe store was empty and the stage was set up for We Were Wolves, listed a full hour earlier on the schedule. We couldn't tell whether they had just finished or had yet to start, but it didn't look like anything was going to happen any time soon so we headed back to Mango's. "Is this Sleuth or Peloton?", we inquired, but the bartender just threw up his hands in a "beats me" gesture. Our buddy snarked back with, "It's that band you expect to see at Cousin Sal's bar mitzvah." We stayed for a beer and then went back to Avant Garden for NOSAPRISE at 5 p.m.

At 5 p.m., there was no sign of NOSAPRISE. We waited around for 25 minutes then gave up, perusing the alleged schedule for the most novelly named band to see next. HOSPITAL at Numbers, 5:15-5:35 p.m. We can't say for certain that the keyboardist standing in front of a projection on a sheet and five head-bobbing hipsters was, in fact, HOSPITAL, only that whatever was happening reminded us of the Friends episode about Ross's "music". Back to Avant Garden.


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10 comments
jimmy john
jimmy john

This happened also at a July 4th mini-festival at Mangos. Bands were asked to move venues and would end up playing 4-5 hours later than their scheduled time to a crowd of about 4 people. Fans would show up at the scheduled time and the band would have to SOMEHOW find a way to reach their entire fanbase to let them know, "Oh yeah I know we are supposed to go on in 5 minutes, but we just got moved to a different venue and aren't sure when we are playing." If you are going to hype a show so hard, make sure the fans coming to support the bands can actually see the bands play at their scheduled time. Nobody wants to hang around to see band play at 12:30AM that was supposed to go on at 7:30pm. I hope whatever is happening in March finally works. Its disrespectful to the bands and disrespectful to the fans who pay to see them.

Eric Dean Sometymes
Eric Dean Sometymes

rule #56 no excuses play like a champion.And the majority of these bands did.March will be way better.And there is something tried and true to look forward to...The 2nd Annual Main Street Block Party.....

N/A
N/A

We couldn't all agree with this article more. All of us were completely upset about the lack of any control and we performed at Numbers!..Thinking it would be the most professional venue to perform at. This unfortunately was an unsuccessful attempt for a good mini festival. We loved the outstanding promotion from every single band in the festival. That was fucking awesome. We just hope not to deal with only performing 3 songs ever again even after sound checking the fastest. We were simply upset. It was very embarrassing for that to happen in front of our fans,friends and family. On to the next fest

Willburr
Willburr

I am in Infinite Apaches and feel very unfairly represented in this article. While our music may not be appealing to everyone who also enjoys The Shiny Toy Guns the scheduling issues had nothing to do with our punctuality or failure to soundcheck in an appropriate amount of time. All of the gear was backlined on the stage so that there would be minimal adjustments to be made between acts.  Your frustration with soundcheck and scheduling issues, bands playing late or out of order, was fully the fault of the promoter's inability to communicate to bands when they should arrive and when they were playing. We were told to arrive at 6:00pm and when we got there it was posted that we should have gone on stage at 5:45. We ended up getting on stage closer to 9:30. "chinaman is not the right nomenclature" 

Jeremy
Jeremy

sorry man but y'all weren't that great even if your sound wasn't similar to shiny toy gunss. and you played for too long.lol kinda had to step out for a while

Willburr
Willburr

Everyone needs to step out for a while to change that bloody tampon sometimes. Good thing our set was cut short or you would have had to step out for a longer while in the cold with that bloody mess. No need to apologize, its mother nature. And she is my homegurl.

JImmy Jam
JImmy Jam

Infinite Apaches rule Jeremy. Don't be mad cause they fingered your girls butt.

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