Top 5 Shows
1.) I don’t know how they do it, but the four Fort Worth dudes in the heavy pop-punk band Perdition have probably put as many miles on the road as any major-label band. And air-miles too. Perdition has toured Europe twice.
“The touring we’ve been able to accomplish so far is due to flexible employment –– or lack of, at times –– but also thanks to the incredible help and support we’ve received from various punk communities, promoters, venues, and bands,” said lead guitarist Alex Hickman. “We’ve felt a lot of love from people in other cities across the country who are essentially doing the same thing we are doing in Fort Worth. The same applies to our experiences in Europe” through Perdition’s label, Germany’s Gunner Records.
The band’s next tour kicks off tonight (Friday) at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666) and, over the next few weeks, will wind through Houston, New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, Atlanta, Durham, Nashville, and the Midwest.
The goal, Hickman said, is to “work on gaining notice and making new friends in those places” to tour some more, the implicit hope being to build a national and international following one show at a time.
Why tour, in the first place?
“I think it’s something every band struggles at, but it’s part of the essence of this profession or passion,” Hickman said. “The way I see it, we’re four guys trying to live the dream, traveling while playing music for people everywhere. We love Fort Worth dearly and always claim it as our home base, but people here don’t want to watch us every night of the week. Hence touring. Anyway, distance makes the heart fonder.”
Like pimpin’, touring ain’t easy. “We yearn for home every time we’re out,” Hickman continued, “and we can’t wait to get back to our own families and the weird, disjointed, tattooed, and sometimes inebriated family we call Fort Worth. No place like home.”
In the spirit of what he’s saying, tonight’s Lola’s show is sort of a coming-together of scenes within the overall Fort Worth scene. Along with the headliners, who are one of only a few local bands that seem to be just as comfortable at Lola’s and The Grotto as at house parties and D.I.Y. joints, the bill also includes three seemingly stylistically unrelated bands: Sonsofbitches, who are pretty hardcore and noisy; pop-punks Not Half Bad, who, as far as I can recall, haven’t played Lola’s in forever (if not ever); and a band that when west of 360 plays only Lola’s, the “loud and sucky” Me-Thinks.
Cover is $10-14.
2.) With the exception of maybe Bruce Springsteen and Rush, most rock acts that arrived in the ’70s haven’t mattered in decades, even considering reunion/county-fair tours. Learning that Chicago and REO Speedwagon are playing Sunday at Gexa Energy Pavilion (1818 1st St., 214-421-1111), I initially thought: “Cool, but Chicago and REO aren’t really Chicago and REO anymore, y’know? Haven’t been for ages.” But has the rosiness of selective hindsight blinded me? Am I assuming too much by believing that Chicago onstage circa 1975 was amazing based solely on corporate concert footage? And the same for REO in the mid ’80s? Maybe the new versions –– each band has only a couple of original members –– regularly deliver tighter, crisper, more creative, more energetic shows now than ever. I mean, all of those blond highlights and all that black mascara can’t be wrong, right?
Chicago looks only kind of like Chicago. The only remaining original Chicagoans are the three-piece horn section and keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm, author of “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” “Beginnings,” “Saturday in the Park,” and “25 or -6 to 4,” among other gems. The face of the band, bassist/vocalist Peter Cetera, has been doing his own thing since the ’80s (and Terry Kath died in 1978). At least REO offers us its face, vocalist/keyboardist Kevin Cronin –– the only original member (Kronin joined in ’72, a couple of years after the band had formed) is keyboardist Neal Doughty.
There’s no doubt that Chicago-’14 can cook, but can they cook like this?
And can REO-’14 cook like this?
There’s only one way to find out.
(The over/under on the number of African-Americans in attendance is 10.)
3.) Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival has come a long way in just a couple of years, going from a sort of backyard cookout to a major force in North Texas and in bluesdom in general. This year’s headliners, Robert Cray, Shemekia Copeland, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band, are serious, internationally renowned commodities.
Part of the festival includes a barbecue competition, and there are dozens of entrants this year, most from Texas but some from as far afield as Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Florida.
The event is today through Sunday at 1951 L. Don Dodson Dr., Bedford (817-952-2128). Admission is $7-10.
4.) Like The Hold Steady but countrified and more preoccupied with small towns than bright lights and big cities, North Carolina’s American Aquarium spins yarns about blue-collar life, framing them with mostly rowdy, clanging guitars and driving rhythms. Really good stuff.
With Fort Worthian Grady Spencer, American Aquarium plays Sunday night at Magnolia Motor Lounge (3005 Morton St., 817-332-3344).
5A.) Former stickman for Frank Zappa and ’80s synth-pop giants Missing Persons, Terry Bozzio is a legend, known for playing his massive drumkit like a piano to craft purely percussive suites –– let’s not call them “solos” –– and for touring the world giving clinics/concerts. He’ll be at McDavid Studio (301 E. 5th St., downtown, 817-212-4280) tonight (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. seated behind the world’s largest tuned drum and percussion set.
Tickets are $33.
5B.) Don’t forget the great shows written about in the Weekly’s print edition: Leon Bridges tonight (Friday) at Fred’s TCU, Clearfork Music Festival with The Black Angels, Bright Light Social Hour, Burning Hotels, and many more Saturday at Panther Island Pavilion, and Blood of the Sun Saturday at Lola’s.