Now Trees is a great venue that generally has great ticket prices and an open floor with a lifted stage so views are usually good anywhere. You can park right outside the door for $5, which is a lovely bonus as well. It is not a large venue, but it does host some major acts.
This was an interesting night overall, the listed start time for the first act was 7:30 PM, so when they had still not started at 9 PM, I was less than thrilled. I have no idea whether this was due to the artist or the venue, but I was not the only one that did not enjoy the wait. Dear Trees, when there are only fifty people in your open room patiently waiting for a long delayed show, there is NO NEED TO PUNISH THEM WITH SUB ZERO TEMPS. I am well aware that I am a col- natured person that faithfully carries a sweatshirt with me when needed, but on a 90 degree Texas day and in a standing room only venue, I thought I would be safe. Unfortunately, my friend and I shivered miserably and watched people huddling together and pulling up their hoods while simply standing unentertained for two hours.
When Yellow Ostrich did finally take the stage I was cranky and ready to go home and defrost, which is not fair to them because I specifically got there early to see them as a fan. This three member indie group out of Brooklyn has been steadily gaining momentum for the past year. I had the chance to see them last year when they opened for Ra Ra Riot and really enjoyed it. Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez officially complete the band roster now and they put on a great show. There were a large amount of people there specifically to see them. I enjoyed the music and I really do like Schaaf’s lyrics and vocals. Micheal Tapper impressed with his constantly changing instruments. I definitely recommend giving them a listen as their popularity and musical evolution continues to move forward.
After Yellow Ostrich’s set, my friend and I were lucky enough to be trapped next to an obnoxiously loud pair of gentlemen that rudely attempted to let the sound guy know that they were huge fans, that they were extremely disappointed in the show, and it was substandard. To the sound guy that was subjected to this ridiculous accusation and the request to pass on to the group that they, as fans, said they should do better…kudos for politely refusing and walking away from the potential continuation of douchery!
The second act Damien Jurado was completely unknown to me, and when he walked out on stage, just him and his acoustic guitar, I was confident this was not going to be a rousing show. It was not, but is was still a good one. While his very folk-styled music was somber, his voice was beautiful, and his self depreciating humor he used as to interact with the audience in between songs was really charming. If you are a fan of Nick Drake or maybe even Iron and Wine, then Damien is worth a listen.
Finally, Sharon van Etten took the stage with her band. She is currently touring in support of her latest album Tramp. Tramp is listed on Amazon as a critic’s pick for one of the best albums of 2012 and also received high praise from iTunes. This was what got my attention and prompted me to check out her live show. Her style is pretty firmly folk, but she does a lot of work with The National, so fans of them may want to try her out as well. I had not listened to much of her music before the show, but seeing her live was a very different sound. She has an absolutely beautiful voice. Of course, with this style of music, there was no stage setup or fancy lighting, just her and her band, which consisted of a drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist. Overall, it was a beautifully talented and understated performance that really showcases that musical talent can be truly impressive thing when the artist voice is what takes center stage.
Review and Photos by Reanna Streater