On August 31st, I had the chance to catch five awesome sets at Trans-Pecos for the second-to-last day of the Summer's End Festival. Because there are so damn many great bands to get through, we'll cut right to the chase.
Old English System
To Old English System, I have to offer my sincerest apologies that I was only able to catch your last song. Truly. Because I really enjoyed what little I heard and wished I had experienced more.
Human People had all the charms you would want from an all-girl post-punk garage-rock band, and their performance was endearingly approachable. Even with a couple minor technical difficulties, they barely missed one angst-riddled beat.
What I really loved about them was how comfortable they seemed. It was as if they had just been outside drinking a beer when someone walked by and said, "Hey guys, you're supposed to be playing a rock show right now," and they shrugged and wandered in. It made for a really disarming atmosphere.
They're still a young group, but if they keep at it I see them doing some pretty great things. Especially the lead singer, Hayley, who had a great vocal style.
Our local homies Whitewash have been friends of the blog for a while now, and I've seen them live on a number of occasions without ever being disappointed. These guys just vibe well together. They've been playing a lot this summer in particular, and their sound has definitely gotten a lot tighter.
Whitewash have come a long way in the last year, and I hope their recent signing to Tree Machine Records will only fuel that momentum. They're playing a couple more shows in New York over the next few weeks, so make sure to check them out.
Altopalo have been absolutely on fire recently, and my mind is still a bit numb from processing the level of musicianship they have. Even with pretty much no vocals and the constant threat of a bass drum tipping over, these guys still managed to put on one of the best shows I've seen all year.
Their sound is just such a beautiful mix of electronic, jazz, soul, and rock. I truly don't know how they pull it off so well. Oh, and Mike Haldeman on guitar. I can't even.
Friend Roulette have been on my list of must-see bands for a while now, so I was very excited to see them (and can now say that I super excited to see them again). Such an originally interesting mix of chill, twisted, and danceable sounds that translate surprisingly well to a live performance. I could have listened to a set twice as long as the one they played and still would have asked for more.
The version of Friend Roulette I got to experience wasn't the full roster, but they still know how to rock out. They also made for a really nice complement to Altopalo, and the two bands should absolutely play together again.