Montrose Winter Social: Festival of Sound Checks
For more pics from the inaugural Montrose Winter Social, check out our slideshow.
Photos by Barry Sigman
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.
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.