If you do a tour for any length of time, you’ll start seeing the names of other bands on tour and start figuring out how close you two are in terms of routing. There’s always another band on a similar circuit or route or maybe they’re playing the venue a few nights before or after you’re there or sometimes you’re in the same city on the same night.
Last night as we were en route to get ramen, we noticed that Ted Leo was playing the following night. Ted is a friend of ours, and for this tour, Screaming Females other roadie, the amazing Rebecca, is out with him handling the merch. Not only that but our good friend Adrienne is playing saxophone and keys in his band. Marissa dipped into the venue and asked if she could leave a note for our friends. The club said “no” which makes sense, it’s only a secure venue and they’re certainly no way anyone could hold onto a note for less than 24 hours. This whole running a music venue thing is complicated work. Can’t have notes from one band to another left laying around, that’ll gum up the works.
After waking up, and exiting Ryan’s abode, we ventured out into the now very chilly Dallas air in search of breakfast. We found a spot and were en route when whom should text but Adrienne and Rebecca. The band got to dallas in the morning and they had time to kill before load-in so they joined us for breakfast. It was a very sweet, brief and tenderhearted reunion. Those two are thee best, and it’s great to see them in situation where they’re treated so well. Ted really knows how to take care of his people.
After some mildly tearful goodbyes and a stop at the post-office, we head out to Houston, the last city on our Texas tour. I know next to nothing about Houston other than A) the Astros were in “Bad News Bears 2: Breaking Training” B) It’s somehow just as, if not more, populated as Chicago and C) DJ Screw was from there. So was Project Pat and The Geto Boys. There’s a really great box about Houston Rap that is well worth any music fans time. If we had more time, I woulda suggested going to Screwed Up Tapes and CD’s, but we sadly don’t. We did find time to hit a rest stop with a jungle gym, to which Mike and Jarrett really took to the fun slides.
The White Oak Music Hall is a massive complex, with multiple theaters, and an outdoor amphitheater. So big in fact, there’s another band playing in the “larger” room—a band named Soft Pillow, whom have a tour bus and a big trailer. They played across the street from us the night before in Dallas. If anyone can tell me what they sound like I’d appreciate it. I don’t listen to music anymore.
The room feels like an alternate world. Or maybe what a music club would look like in one of those SkyMall catalogs. It’s clear this place hasn’t been wrecked up too much (well, someone did drive a car through the front doors a couple days ago in an attempt to boost the ATM, but alas…) Like, the bar is so minimal—one bottle of each liquor on display, no backstock. I’m pretty certain that they don’t have a lot of punk shows here…are there punks in Houston? I have no idea if they even understand what these bands are trying to do because the pre show music was like crazy loud death metal, then Cat Stevens, then a newer foo fighters song, and then “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton. I honestly wanted to pull the soundguy aside and say “hey, plug me in?” and drop The Whip mix on this crowd of rockers. While pacing around, I met fanclub member Erin and we had a cute and good conversation in which we both overshared about our personal lives, but it was all very kind and I’d like to think we were both empathetic to sharing so much. She like many Screaming Females fans is a kind and caring soul.
Low Horizon opened. Nice people, and it was their sixth show. They started the night off with some well executed indie pop. Solid drumming too. This room is loud as hell, which in the wrong hands, it can go south real fast, but for Street Eaters, they knew exactly what to do and bulldozed the crowd with a relentless salvo of True Wave. Marissa joined them for a cover of “Love Like Anthrax” again, and it was probably their strongest take on that tune so far. Before Screaming Females started, Jarrett looked at me nervously and jumped in my arms “It’s okay baby, just get your ass out there and play that rock music” Mike looked at me, and I said “I’m confident this is going to be a great set,” Mike responded “yeah, duh! We’re gonna rock this place to the fucking ground.” “SEE?! That’s the attitude I like to hear!” Rock it to the ground they did, opening with an explosive “Burning Car” and “Extinction.” I truly love hearing “I’ll Make You Sorry” and they really brought it with that one. The band also played “Something Ugly” and dedicated to fanclub member Pablo who showed up at four of our six Texas shows (Thanks Pablo!) before closing with “Deeply” and “Criminal Image.”
When all was said and done, we loaded out the music hall and crashed out with stage manager Ron, whom provided us with ample shelter and treats and many episodes of the Simpsons. Thanks, Ron. Texas, you were a blast. A big, loud, goofy, blast.