Top 20 Concerts: From Kanye to Brahms, with tons of locals in between
Published: December 30, 2013
The J. Wesley Haynes Trio performing Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ • March 27 • 502 Bar
The trio has been polishing their rendition of Kid A for well over a year now, meaning their performance at 502 for Indie Jazz Night was a thing of high precision. It also proved a fascinating deconstruction of the classic album, with the trio accentuating little touches like the polyrhythmic shuffle of “Morning Bell” and nimble bass work on “In Limbo” for maximum effect.
Tony Romero and the Spiders 5 • June 7 • Hi Tones
Compared to the typical stodginess of most jazz shows, the Spiders’ set at Hi-Tones was a complete shit-show (I mean that in the best possible way). The crowd sloshed Lone Stars on stage and egged on each soloist, the band responding in kind, playing their guts out for three solid hours. If only more jazz could be this punk rock.
Marriage • Oct 26 • Hays Street Bridge
Marriage is an Austin-based “drum ensemble” that recently played as part of the Resonant Interval concert series. The band placed contact mics on the bridge itself and used its beams as percussive instruments, along with many stand-alone drums, a drum kit and the usual guitar/bass/keys setup. It was raw and electrifying.
Michael Sharp • Nov 29 • The Ten Eleven
Mike hits the stage alone, sitting on a drum stool in front of a small wall of amplifiers, with his Telecaster and a few effects. From the first note, the room swells and expands with a rhythmic soft chopping of tremolo and delay. Every few measures, the loop repeats, and Sharp skillfully dances along the fretboard, adding layers upon layers of his kraut, psych and folk-infused guitar madness.
Vetter Kids • Anytime • Anywhere
Since the introduction of bassist Richard Garcia (formerly of Yes, Inferno), this band has become a well-oiled engine of hot rock. The trio is tight, energetic, infectious and incredibly fun. They smile the entire time they play, ham it up with the crowd and crank out masterfully arranged songs that are just as catchy and poppy as they are heavy. Absolutely one of the best bands San Antonio has to offer.
Ghost Police • Anytime • Anywhere
Ghosts Police is another SA band that keep one-upping itself with incredible energy, killer punk/hardcore songwriting and a confrontational, in-your-face stage presence. Frontman Steven Remigio plows through the crowd (usually half-naked) screaming about who-knows-what and the rhythm section bangs out incredibly tight blasts of fury and anger, all while guitarist Cameron Taylor noodles away at discordant and dissonant melodies and chords.
Deer Vibes • Mario and Michelle Trejo’s wedding • May 4
There are few bands that are appropriate to play at a wedding without being utter cheese. Deer Vibes is one of them. Being both jovial and somber, romantic and introspective, DV was the perfect band to play at the wedding of my dear friend (and bandmate) Mario and his wonderful bride Michelle. Besides the occasion, Deer Vibes is an incredible live band whose compositions are astonishingly lush and filled with energy and emotion. Go buy the Ventura EP. Now. –