The 10 Best Acts at Houston Whatever Fest

Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Andrew W.K. was a revelation. He came out, trademark grin firmly in place, and immediately told the crowd he was "not a musician." He's a known party inducer and he was exactly what Whatever Fest needed the moment he was booked. He ran through the hits in a frenetic set that featured audience stage-dives and mosh pits. "Ready to Die," "I Love NYC," "We Want Fun," "Party Hard," "I Get Wet"...he played them all while his hype man extraordinaire, Blakey Boy, revved up the crowd.

The energy and good vibes were contagious. It seemed everyone in the crowd was smiling just as widely as the man himself. I was impressed by his piano playing skills as attacked the keys like a modern-day Jerry Lee Lewis and played the craziest version of "Rhapsody in Blue" I've ever heard. Andrew W.K. is a lot of things -- quick-start-party-starter, motivational speaker and Village Voice writer among them. He is also definitely a musician. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

Photo by Jack Gorman
The recent HPMA winners for Best Modern/Alternative Rock turned in Saturday's most energetic performance, even though it was during the early afternoon. The five-piece band worked the small crowd into a sweat even in the air-conditioned comfort of Warehouse Live, highlighted by their mustached mad man of a bassist, Bob Lane.

His bushy reddish hair and impressive handlebar mustache bounced all over the indoor stage of Warehouse Live's Ballroom. Adrian Grammar's vocals were crisp and Zak Weather's guitar solos were played with perfect passion; it's just a shame that the weather prevented more people from seeing them. JACK GORMAN

Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
The festival gods tested Cheap Girls on Saturday afternoon. A trademark Houston thunderstorm bore down on downtown, setting the outdoor schedule back a bit and forcing the audience and the Michigan-based band to endure both the delay and the humidity. As the festival's two outdoor stages faced one another, the music from them alternated, so we waited patiently for the Girls to follow a Passion Pit DJ set that was ten minutes too long

Once they got the green light, they sped off with straight-ahead three-piece rock and roll. Brothers Ian (bass and lead vocals) and Ben Graham (drums) and guitarist Adam Aymor endured the difficulties with Herculean might to get to the easy part, delivering their well-crafted songs to an adventurous audience. Their solid set included "Communication Blues," "Knock Me Over" and a drum-driven "Ft. Lauderdale." JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
When Houston's premier music festival announced its 2014 lineup, the punx were united once more in their anger at its perceived failure to book any legitimate punk acts. But fans got their long-awaited chance to soak up some old-school punk at HWF, which scheduled Dwarves and the Queers within a couple of hours of each other. The former group has been active since the mid-1980s and was appropriately snotty, never mind the years.

Vocalist Blag Dahlia carried on about how incredible the band was between every song, which included favorites like "Everbodies Girl," "Demonica," "There Better Be Women" and "Free Cocaine." Houston's punks showed up in Bad Religion and Black Flag and Screeching Weasel tees, and partied with Dwarves like it was 1989. Blag almost seemed appreciative, staring right into the crowd and saying, "this is one!" JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

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Location Info


Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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I am sorry I missed this. Price seems fair to me - dwarves, queers, mutemath, blonde redhead would be $20 at Fitz or Warehouse with an unknown opening band.

Shame from your review that Bobcat Goldtwait did the same set from his Comedy Central/HBO special 5-6 years ago.

Patrick Stevens
Patrick Stevens

inexpensive tix, beer for $6 or less, interesting use of the venues. Andrew WK was a blast, the Dwarves and The Queers killed it as usual. Unfortunately, it was the same weekend as Mayhem. 2 days at whatever fest (general admission opposed to seating a bonus) still cost less than a single show at the woodlands. I will support that any day of the week

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

ok so you have 5 weeks notice for Yes, Indeed! September 13 @ Continental, Houston!

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

Dang, my blog is gonna be "8 standout acts of WHATEVER!" You beat me to it!

Nue Wayv
Nue Wayv

Yes like 73 ppl went out to Whatever Fest this weekend, terrible weekend to book that and with short notice too, feel bad for the ppl that made it happen

Mike Leonard
Mike Leonard

Who are these people? Whatever! Don't think so.

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