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Rewind – Free Press Houston’s 8th Anniversary Party@ Fitzgeralds 01/29/2011

Rewind – Free Press Houston’s 8th Anniversary Party@ Fitzgeralds 01/29/2011
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By Ramon LP4

I know it’s bad form to toot your own horn but I think it’s a matter of empirical fact that our 8th anniversary party on Saturday night was the place you wanted to be and we delivered in spades! The place was packed (but not uncomfortably so) and people were having a great time. Diversity is what’s great about Houston so it’s wonderful to see a show that reflects that diversity. Sure, nobody is going to like everything they hear but the Fitzgerald’s architecture is perfect for a show like this. Check out one band upstairs. If you don’t like it, then go check out the one downstairs. If you can’t stomach either, just go to the back patio or the upstairs balcony and wait for one you do like. You get exposed to new stuff and you aren’t confined to one room. In short, those Polish folks knew how to build a dance hall back in the day.

My night started out late as I missed a good number of bands and just missed out on B L A C K I E’s performance but I was told repeatedly how B L A C K I E killed. My response? “When doesn’t he kill?” Roky Moon and Bolt were first on the menu and I have to say that, if all you’ve heard is the CD, you really haven’t fully experienced what this band can deliver. The ensemble this time had grown to include back-up singers and a saxophone and the band sounded as lush and full as a vintage Queen LP. Honestly, given the band’s penchant for smart compositions and arrangements, I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept growing into a full orchestra. Fun, energetic, and musically intelligent – they are simply everything that is good about rock and roll. And speaking of intelligence, Fat Tony was performing downstairs. Downstairs? Really? That’s criminal because Fat Tony drops some of the drollest rhymes you will hear and pairs it with a live performance that leaves no doubt where the party is. Party or not, this was one of those shows where if you stayed in one place, you’d miss out on something else. So I left Fat Tony and his crowd hoppin’ and ran upstairs to catch Propain who was just killing upstairs. The crowd was dancing and singing along and right about here is where it hit me how good the sound was. I mean how many hip-hop shows do you go to where you can’t make out what the rapper is saying? (Hello House of Blues – I’m looking at you!) Seriously, three cheers for the soundman and the 1918 architects because the room sounded great – full and clear. Meanwhile, back downstairs, Giant Princess was making the crowd jump up and dance no less than anyone else – the new material was great and kudos on the addition of the backing vocals.

When I went back up for Grandfather Child’s set, I heard one big dude who wasn’t thrilled by the trains not running on time say “Fuck this rock and roll shit, where’s Bun B!” I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not but it was 12:30am (the original time slot for Bun B to take the stage) but, to me, being an hour behind schedule is par for the course and so I didn’t think about this until a bit later in Grandfather Child’s set. Grandfather Child started out with some sweet soul laced with falsetto vocals that pretty much said “Don’t forget to thank us for getting you laid tonight.” Seriously, you can’t half-ass vocals like that. If you don’t feel it from your heart, you may as well just not even show up but Grandfather Child owned it. The rest of the set just took genres from rock, to folk, to blues, to gospel, to R & B and just turned Fitzgerald’s into a tent revival. A few people didn’t care much for it though. They were here to see Bun B and a small group led a chant of “Bun B! Bun B!” near the end of Grandfather Child’s set. Now presented with this you have a few options and I have to say band leader Lucas Gorham, played it pitch-perfect. They played two more songs then before they launched into their last song he addressed the haters, “Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love. If you don’t like it…then eat dick!” The band then launched into rousing loud “fuck you” of a closer that caused all the haters’ balls to exit their respective ball sacs and leave their owners to wallow in their shame. Well played, Lucas!

Last up was Bun B and the second he took the stage there was a crush of human bodies, hands reaching out, and such a racket of screams and hollers that you’d have thought some messiah had appeared from heaven. But Bun B played it cool. It’s kind of curious to see a rapper of his caliber and fame, play with so much humility. Not that he doesn’t command the room (he does) but there is graciousness in his style that is so unique and perhaps that’s because he knows he owes so much to his late partner Pimp C, but it also shows someone who is comfortable with their art, their city, and with their fans. There may have been a few hundred people there but Bun B turned it into an intimate house party and what better way to celebrate 8 years than with a college professor whooping it up with his students.

AND NOW, PHOTOS

THE BANDS

Everyone I spoke to raved up B L A C K I E’s performance but, sadly, I arrived too late.

Roky Moon and Bolt from the balcony

Rocky Moon and Bolt – sweating it up for the people

Rocky Moon and Bolt – now with backing singers and saxophone

Rocky Moon and Bolt

Meanwhile downstairs Fat Tony was killin'

Fat Tony

Fat Tony

Fat Tony – crowd shot

Fat Tony hittin' it so hard that he's down on his knees

Propain gives the crowd a shot at the mic

Propain

Propain – crowd shot

Propain

then it was back downstairs for Giant Princess

Giant Princess – so may keyboards so little time

Giant Princess – crowd shot

Giant Princess

Grandfather Child took the stage upstairs next to a crowd that ate it up.

Grandfather Child laid down an amazing set but

by the time I went to take a picture of Grandfather Child from the balcony, some Bun B fans (Irked that Bun B wasn't going on at 12:30) started chanting for "Bun B"

Grandfather Child's Lucas Gorham quelled the rebellion with an angry "if you don't like it, eat a dick!" then….

lead Grandfather Child into a loud and angry "fuck you" of a closer that caused all the haters' balls to exit their scrotums in shame. Match goes to Grandfather Child.

Omar Afra thanks everyone, wishes his wife Andrea a happy birthday, and introduces Bun B

Bun B descended on the stage and you could feel the crush of people.

Bun B

Bun B presses the flesh

Bun B – crowd shot

Bun B pretty much ruled the night.

 THE HOI POLLOI

Oh damn, now there's a man who knows how to treat a lady – dude takes her to an FPH event. (I hope the rest of you guys are taking notes.)

Lord Hightower reigns over the merch table.

Ahh, cellphones.

Dressed to the nines for the FPH's 8th

Bunnies for Bun B

Tyagaraja in the house

See if you can guess who won the best dancing award of the evening.

Not sure but I think these guys are playing Seth Rogan's buddies in his next film.

The Kids are Alright

COMPLETE SLIDESHOW

12 Responses to Rewind – Free Press Houston’s 8th Anniversary Party@ Fitzgeralds 01/29/2011

  1. Spencer Schyma February 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Pretzel: When crowds are comprised of people like you it makes me believe that Houston doesn\’t even deserve a good music scene. Grandfather Child are an extremely talented Houston group- even if you necessarily didn\’t care for their music you\’d recognize that. Do Houston a favor and stay home the next concert or else wake the fuck up.

    Reply
  2. Spencer Schyma February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Pretzel: When crowds are comprised of people like you it makes me believe that Houston doesn’t even deserve a good music scene. Grandfather Child are an extremely talented Houston group- even if you necessarily didn’t care for their music you’d recognize that. Do Houston a favor and stay home the next concert or else wake the fuck up.

    Reply
  3. Will February 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

    It was a lot of fun. Great night, great people.  Thumbs up to Omar for putting together a diverse line up of local bands that I get to see at every free press event. You always keep me guessing.  And one awesome headliner.  It was uncool for people to start chanting during grandfathers set, but it was kind of bitchy of him to start talking shit back. Ive seen plenty of great bands have people ruin it for the people who are having a good time, but it’s not uncommon for bands to get heckled for what ever reason. The band has to suck it up and instead of crying back, let your music speak for itself, and if they don’t dig it. There loss. 

    Reply
  4. ray1971 February 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    pretzel is right about that i feel ya bro

    Reply
  5. pretzel February 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    i support good music and local artist not punks that talk shit to the fans and get mad on stage becuz all the people dont wanna hear that shit thay playing …

    but uh shout out to b l a c k i e and the rest of the good bands but Grandfather Child can eat a dick with thay extra small tee shirts haha

    Reply
  6. JJ February 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Hmm, Pretzel? You must not get out much..and I’m thankful for it. It’s pricks like you that ruin all of the fun.
    So please, do us all a favor, stay home–continue hiding behind your computer like a pussy so that the rest of us can enjoy all that talented Houston musicians have to offer.

    Reply
  7. pretzel February 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    id rather watch justin Beiber then watch Grandfather Child how u gonna have the lead singer sitting down the whole show then ask for a water he is one lazy ass … people started saying bun b for a reason that means get off the stage and Grandfather Child got all mad there pussies started hurting !!!!

    Reply
  8. SC February 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Hahaahahaha owned

    Reply
  9. admin February 2, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Wow pretzel, sorry you had a hissy fit. Man, did you cry too when you didn’t get your Barbie dream house on your birthday too?

    Point of fact they didn’t take an hour to set up – the whole show was running behind. Clearly you need to get out to shows more – that is common for a show like this and that’s why the promoters were smart enough to build in enough time for such things. That’s why when you see set times for show like this they are approximate.

    Also, I didn’t realize that ordering water made anyone gay. Glad to clear that up. Geez, what are you five? Did the delay make you miss the city curfew or something?

    I looked at the time signature on my camera – you realize that Bun B went on at 1am right?!!! He was supposed to go on at 12:30am If anything Grandfather child made up time. Look, I’m sorry that your balls abandoned you because you couldn’t wait a full 30 extra minutes to sate you man crush on Bun B but the fact of the matter is the show ran very smoothly, Grandfather Child played a great show, and you are a diaper wearing baby.

    Jeez man, do you get like this at Justin Beiber shows too?

    Ramon Lp4

    Reply
  10. pretzel February 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    i was about to throw a beer bottle at that band before bun b …thay took a hour just to set up …. then that gay ass guy wanna ask for a water he a bitch

    Reply
  11. admin January 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Well, like the article said, I arrived just in time to miss B L A C K I E so, given that Thunderkunt played before him, it’s kind of hard to review them without my time tuner handy.

    You will be happy to know that one picture above(that of Lord Hightower) actually has two members of Thunderkunt in the background. So hopefully that will tide you over for now.

    -Ramon LP4

    Reply
  12. RLBeeman January 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    This is a great recap, but no mention or photos of THUNDERKUNT… ???

    Weak sauce.

    B L A C K I E was off the chain for reals tho!

    Reply

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