Trampled by Turtles at Fitzgerald's, 5/2/14
Houston has come a long way in terms of live music over the past five or ten years. Once a place that many national touring acts would avoid, our city has grown into a hub where bands not only play, but enjoy performing for us. It could be the ever increasing population of our fair city, or just the fact that seeing live music has become much more of a hip thing to do, but whatever's the case bands are coming to town more than ever.
Photos by Jim Bricker
And not only are the bands coming, but so are the crowds. Our shows are not only increasing in attendance, but are regularly selling out. It used to be pretty far and few between where you couldn't buy tickets at the door to any show, but now you pretty much have to get your tickets ahead of time to guarantee entry whenever one of your favorite bands come to town.
Two years ago, a band like Trampled By Turtles, who headlined Fitzgerald's Friday evening, would generally see a fair amount of success, but would come nowhere near a sell-out. Now, there was pretty much no question that it would be packed from front to back without a ticket left to give away.
And that's good for showing bands the love that they deserve. They are giving their all for us day in and day out, despite being road-weary and tired, so why not show them that they're doing it for a reason. Houston was bit late to that party, but better late than never.
And that brings us to the back of the crowd at the super early start time of 8:15. While that seems like a weird time to see a band on a Friday night at Fitzgerald's, the unfortunate double booking of the oft-quiet, all-stringed Trampled By Turtles upstairs matched by the vociferous noisecore meddling's of Dillinger Escape Plan downstairs forced the quieter band to play earlier. While we all like to see music later in the evening, it was a fair compromise to actually get to hear TbT's set.
And thankfully we could hear it, because it was a burner. The crowd was already rowdy at the start of the set, and that only carried on through the rest of their performance. Actually, during some of their fast-paced newgrass tunes like "Darkness and Light" and "Wait So Long" while all the young professionals were hooting and hollering, stomping their nicest pair of boots away at Fitzgerald's wood floor, you'd question which of the two shows was louder.
But while it was fun at points to have so many intoxicatingly rambunctious dudes stomping away, it was unwelcome during TbT's slower-paced folkier material. A favorite of many a fan, "Alone," was spoiled by those trying to shout over the song to tell their friends about their day, and "The Calm and the Crying Wind" was ruined just the same.