The Tontons at Fitzgerald's, 7/26/2013
One of the bigger local acts playing the Houston stages these days, The Tontons headlined a Friday-night gig at Fitzgerald's before a who's who of Houston music scenesters at the near-capacity showcase.
Upon arrival, I realized that Austinites The Couch had already finished their opening set, but from what I heard around the room, they were a pretty good band. Sorry, guys. Catch you next time. Ishi ended up being a nice surprise, though.
Heading into the show, I had no idea what to expect of their music. Upon the first notes of the set, the Dallas duo's infectious sound brought life to the dance floor. JT Mudd and Brad Dale have been experimenting with their sound since 2006, creating some seriously fun and danceable pop tracks out of many different influences.
I couldn't help but be reminded of Ghostland Observatory throughout the set, specifically Mudd's Native American heritage and animated yet powerful stage presence, but their music was more on the indie side of dance rather than the ever-popular EDM.
It was a very smart idea for The Tontons to bring along such a fun act to warm up the crowd, and thanks to them, Ishi is now on many people's radars that love live music in Houston. I have a feeling it won't be long until they are back in town headlining a gig of their own.
The last time I had the chance to catch The Tontons, they were performing right before Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at Gulf Shores, Alabama's Hangout Festival back in May. After seeing them so many times in Houston over the years, it was really cool to catch them out of their element at such a large-scale festival. It also said a whole bunch about how well they're moving forward as a band. They deserve everything that's being thrown their way, and are doing an excellent job of serving as ambassadors of our great city while laying it down across the country.
Friday night, it was noticeable how far they have come here as well. I'm not sure the last time I've seen a local band sell 600-plus tickets to a show. Hell, some distinguished touring acts don't even come close to those type of sales in the same room. Thanks to an ever-expanding catalog of unique and inspired songs, it's no wonder why they are pulling such large numbers every time they play.