White Denim & Cass McCombs at Fitzgerald's, 4/5/2014

The main expectation I had Saturday was that White Denim would sound and play the same as before. The first time I saw them they were only given about 40 minutes to perform, so I didn't expect them to play like they did here. I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but without question White Denim are a straight-up jam band. Ten-minute grooves, gritty vocals and improvisation for days was the last thing I expected.

If anything, I was leaning more towards the percussive indie side of things, especially since that's what I remember from their past performance, but after their two-plus hours on stage, there is no question that their style is much closer to Widespread Panic than to Arcade Fire.

Which is cool with me, but if a majority of Saturday's audience realized they were seeing a jam band rather than the hip, new thing, they'd question their music-listening habits. So here you go, White Denim fans, some news you didn't expect to hear: you like jam bands and you didn't even know it.

Now go check out Phish, moe. or Widespread Panic. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

But White Denim are not your typical jam band. They have this soulful, bluesy thing going on that almost reminded me of the Black Keys, but with more guitars and less of that disco thing that Danger Mouse made that band do on their last three albums.

What I really like about them was their want and need to keep playing. Even as their crowd dwindled throughout the night, they'd continue to play as if they were rocking their own garage on a Sunday afternoon. You could tell people were starting to get a bit tired, but they never stopped bobbing along to White Denim's infectious jams.

Overall it was a solid show. I think my music tastes these days lean closer to McCombs than White Denim, but both left me feeling pretty damn good inside. I know the rest of the room had a mutual perception.

Personal Bias: Improvisational music is better.

The Crowd: Swoop haircuts and cut-off shirts.

Overheard In the Crowd Something I never thought I'd hear at Fitzgerald's: "I love it when it's really crowded in this place!" I don't. At all.

Random Notebook Dump: I've finally figured out why they put the drummer in the back. It's because they steal the show if they're up front.


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2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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