Streetlight Manifesto at Fitzgerald's, 11/3/2013
If there's a current poster child for ska, it's Streetlight Manifesto.
The genre seems to be all but done with, barely relevant in today's musical world as it has become rare to see brass instruments onstage with guitars and basses. Despite fading from the mainstream, however, Streetlight Manifesto can still fill a venue and just about tear it down by the time the night is over.
Sunday night, Houston fans packed tightly into Fitzgerald's' upstairs area, which was so muggy from all the warm bodies that attendees just might have forgotten that it was a cool, breezy sixtysomething degrees outside.
Inside, everything smelled of sweat, and even the beer cans felt sticky as fans jostled around for space. But even though everyone lacked their personal bubbles, no one was upset about it. Instead, they all draped their sweaty arms over one another, smiling, singing and shouting along to Streetlight's upbeat and usually uplifting tunes.
"Fuck buying flowers for graves, I'd rather buy you a one-way, nonstop to anywhere," the band sang as fans chanted along in unison. "Find anyone. Do anything. Forget and start again, love."
For nearly 90 minutes, Streetlight regaled fans with stories of drinking Holden Caulfield; of rigged, existential puzzles; of Biblical allegories involving David and Goliath; of death and the afterlife, consistently espousing hope in the face of suicidal thoughts.
These were just a few of the topics touched on by the New Jersey-based seven-piece as the floor creaked beneath everyone's feet and fans crowd-surfed over each others' heads. Encouraging lyricism aside, a quick glance at the faces in the crowd made it clear that this music was touching more than just fans' eardrums.
Review continues on the next page.