War Party

“The storm starts when the drops start dropping,

When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping”

— Dr. Seuss


Thanks to the incredibly inconsistent weather patterns spring has laid upon North Texas, planning an event that includes any outdoor activity has proven to be quite ambitious. But the release show for Dreamy Life Records’ Group Therapy Volume 3 Compilation weathered the storm(s) quite nicely. Some 19 of the 22 bands that are included in the third installment the Fort Worth record label’s “Bands You Really Really Need to Know” compilation took to the two stages at Shipping & Receiving on Sunday. Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to throw the thing off course, the day was a resounding success.

The first squall of the day hit town right about the time the show was to get underway, sending organizers and volunteers into a bit of a tizzy. The carnival midway feel, complete with a dunking booth, balloon darts, and an arm-wrestling table, was getting hammered by the rain, and the 2:30pm start time was in jeopardy. Thankfully the storm passed and SAM of the Universe was able to kick off the show about 20 minutes later than expected.

SAM’s set and what followed was one of the best days of music Fort Worth has seen in some time. Sure, more than a few of the acts playing probably owe some royalties to classic garage rock bands such as The Oblivians and Coachwhips, but just as the compilation proves, this wasn’t simply a roster filled with two-minute punk songs. Tame, Tame and Quiet’s nod to ’90’s art-rock was one of the loudest sets of the day. Vincent Neil Emerson’s folk-blues flavored set got the crowd outside dancing while providing us with the line of the day: “You guys watch out for these critters,” Emerson proclaimed, as a couple of youngsters in attendance hopped up on stage and started dancing. Not long after that moment, the biggest tempest of the day hit and the crowd was forced inside.

Vincent Neil Emerson

As the storm continued, Tidals kept the dance party going, filling the S&R bar with its signature chillwave vibes. By the time the weather calmed, the schedule for the outside stage was thrown off by about an hour, but turned out OK. By the time The Fibs went on, it was completely dark outside. This played perfectly for the Fort Worth trio’s blend of shoegaze and new wave, providing a fitting backdrop for what was arguably the set of the night.

Tame, Tame … and Quiet

Mentioning every band that played would be exhaustive, but a few of the other highlights were:

-Vicious Firs and Fogg scheduled back to back inside was a masterstroke. The pair are two of the best hard rock bands the city has and both delivered the crowd two sets of headbanging and sweating your ass off.

– War Party’s outdoor stage-closing set proved once again why they are the alpha males of local doo-wop/slacker punk. Frontman/Dreamy Life co-owner Cameron Smith’s touching tribute to those lost earlier that day in Orlando served as a sobering reminder that we were all there to party and have a great time, just as those in the Sunshine State had set out to do.

Jake Paleschic

– The weather delay caused Jake Paleschic to move his show-ending set inside, providing a more intimate setting than was originally planned and allowing the crowd to cozy up to the singer and his three-piece backing band while they powered through tracks from last year’s outstanding Again, At Last LP.

Group Therapy Volume 3 can be streamed in its entirety here.