Yellow Ostrich, Delicate Steve, and Ra Ra Riot at the Granada in Dallas, Texas on November 3, 2011.
This was my first time at the Granada in Dallas. I quite liked it. It is a small venue but there are several levels that allow everyone a good view of the stage. There is no barrier in front of the stage, so people who wish to be right up next to the bands can do so. It is a much better venue than the Palladium, although the Granada could not accommodate the numbers that the Palladium could.
All three of the bands that played that night I had personally never listened to, but I had a friend who was really keen on seeing all three bands. And I in no way call myself a music critic, just a girl who likes to attend a great concert and be exposed to new bands.
Yellow Ostrich is a small, three member band from Wisconsin and New York City. They are comprised of Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez. The lead singer is very young, at least to my old spinster eyes. I can tell he is just getting the hang of interacting with the audience. The feel of the music is very indie alternative, or whatever that means. I found the way the band made the music on stage to be very unique. The singer would record himself saying a few things, put that on a repeater, and then do it again. I am sure there are other bands out there that do this, but it was first for me. I applaud the band for doing this technique live and not just pulling it up on a computer as a back track. They also have saxophone and a trumpet accompanying the songs. The single “Whale” is a prime example of what I am talking about. Considering that they were the first opening band, their set was pretty long, maybe eight songs or more. And the ladies in the audience did not mind staring at the singer, as a few erupted with “You’re cute!” During one track, a member of Delicate Steve came out and joined in.
Delicate Steve was the next band. The band is based in New Jersey and the members include Steve Marion, Mike Duncan, Adam Pamela, Christian Peslak, and Mickey Sanchez. This band turned out to not be what I was expecting. They do not sing, it’s all instrumental. There were some harmonizing at different points, but this a purely instrumental band. I would just like to say that once I got into it, I found the band to be pretty kick ass. The crowd was definitely feeling their sound. I found the drummer to be probably the best part of the band. He clearly was beating the crap out of the drum set, and it set the tone for the rest of the band. There was one song that the band brought out a member of Yellow Ostrich to play the sax for. Whatever that song was, it was pure energy. They also lit the stage pretty dark, with lights only coming up from the bottom to illuminate the band members. The lead guy, Steve Marion, really tried to get the audience into the songs and it worked. If there had been a larger space around me, I would have embarrassed myself doing some sort of dance.
The main act of the night was Ra Ra Riot. It seems like they have a pretty passionate fan base. I found the ensemble to be pretty unique. The band is made up of Milo Bonacci, Alexandra Lawn, Wes Miles, John Pike, Mathieu Santos, and Rebecca Zeller and their hometown is Syracuse, NY. The two girls play cello and violin (which was blinged out). That is not something you see outside of a country band. Even before they went on stage, the high school boys in front of me were freaking out about the cello girl and how hot she was. I heard way too much about “cello girl” before they even got on stage. I found the music pretty mellow, danceable, but not hard rock enough for me to blast it out of the car while driving. The biggest issue I had with the set was that I felt the lead singer was mumbling and not singing loud enough. This may have been a sound issue versus a singing issue. I could not make out the majority of the words that he was singing. When he did get louder, it was easy to make out the lyrics. I also found the songs to be somewhat similar in tone and tempo. I wish there was a song that could have totally blown away the crowd, but it never came. Even with my issues with the vocals, there were plenty of people dancing around and enjoying themselves.
All in all, it was a good night to hear some new tunes from some new-to-me bands.**See more pictures from the concert below.**
Photos by Reanna Streater-Nunn