Last week was a great week for local music (as if there’s ever a poor week in DFW), especially for the folks over in Denton who got a lot of love with the recent 35 Denton lineup additions and a jam-packed show at Hailey’s featuring Cutter, Vulgar Fashion, Zhora and headliners Blackstone Rangers.
First up at the Friday night jam fest was electro-punk duo Cutter, kicking off the high energy of the night and drawing in the crowd toward the projector-lit stage.
Alongside the creepy-crawly video loop behind them were ominous growls echoing throughout the bar from both members, channeling punk rock classics while adding a sophisticated layer of electro-synth and raucous drums.
As the venue filled up the boys kept the energy flowing and the feet moving, giving everyone the feeling that the night would be a festive one.
And dark synth-pop/noise duo Vulgar Fashion took the stage afterward in no time to make sure those feet stayed off the ground.
Almost immediately after the first sound the band made sure to interact with the crowd as much as possible, even moving around on the floor among everyone dancing and even dancing themselves. A veritable moshpit formed not long after where punk rockers The Atomic Tanlines were spotted among the fray in support of the set.
Vulgar Fashion’s performance was a prime example of short and sweet – even though it lasted only 15 minutes, the murmuring of the crowd afterward proved how well they connected to every listener.
In support of Zhora’s upcoming set, members of the previous two bands scattered around the floor, chatting with fans and sharing drinks all around. The bar top in the room next door packed up as the good times continued to roll and the energy became infectious.
Thankfully the lively pop stars Zhora did nothing but elevate that and turn Hailey’s into a full-blown dance hall.
Whether it was the lead singer’s Gaga/Geordi La Forge glasses, the mini disco ball brought out at the first track or spontaneous dance moves by every member of the band who fore go their instruments to succumb to the rhythm, the bar burst to life and had everyone riled up.
Maybe the drinks had a bit to do with it as well, but the floor-shaking vivacity was all credit to Zhora. The 90s kids were brought back in time with the group’s fun-loving harmonies and blasts of retro techno-pop, and even the punk rockers among the crowd couldn’t resist bouncing around and busting some moves.
Even after Zhora finished their tracks the keyboardist kept some hip-hop jams flowing to encourage that same energy that was instated from the beginning.
And dance everyone did, because up next were headliners Blackstone Rangers, fresh off the recent 35 Denton lineup announcement and ready to play what they say is their last show for another month (but don’t worry, apparently a new album is in the works, BSR fans)!
Blackstone Rangers is a high-contending group among the DFW indie music scene and carries a following of fans who are fiercely loyal and always looking out for the best.
Throughout the night not a moment passed by where a lyric wasn’t shouted from the crowd. Synths droned dreamily, drums crashed animatedly and guitar riffs echoed throughout without a pause. Several people who hit up the bar top were still feeling good around 1 a.m. as the group jammed on into the early morning.
Anyone who would have expected less from the group would be dangerously wrong – in the month’s time it’ll be before BSR’s next set, you can bet fans and newcomers alike will be counting down the minutes (and buying 35 Denton tickets to keep the support going).