[REVIEW] Are We Chameleons? Home By Hovercraft Live Release

Review/Photos by: Taylor Prater

You’ve probably heard all about it the past week, what with the constant hype surrounding Home By Hovercraft’s upcoming LP Are We Chameleons? at last slated for a March 12 digital release.

The band itself has garnered significant attention as one of DFW’s most innovative live acts, with a following committed to every word sung, every note played.

With that, Saturday’s set at Dallas’ Club Dada was sure to be explosive.

You want melodrama? What better way to start of the night than with Bethan, a 5-piece Dallas ensemble that describes their sound as just that.
Lead singer Jessi James’ croons into her retro gold mic brought Dada back a few decades with a modern film noir feel (think Amy Winehouse with a dark growl and indie attitude).

You want a classic singer/drummer/guitarist/bassist lineup? You got it, but Bethan’s gonna do it their way and mix things up with some classic violin paired with eclectic keyboard. 

A match made in music heaven for Home by Hovercraft fans who are nothing if not familiar with a little dramatic flair.

Keeping up with the original quirky vibe came Datahowler’s set with some new music of his own, courtesy of his newest EP Crystal Gazers released in January.

Dallasite Ross Edman can surely work a crowd and has shown time and again his genuineness, from performances like his DOMA set in November and what will be the one at 35 Denton later this week.

The dude can beckon up a crowd.

His performance at Dada marked his first after his EP release, which he self-dubbed his own “album release show” following cancellations of the originals.

One thing that is significant of Datahowler shows is the infectious energy reverberating with every new element he introduces in each track. You’ll find that same outer space energy spreading throughout the venue, transporting listeners to different encapsulating dimensions.

Every track has a seamless flow into the next with some kind of important tie – the latter a tribute to Edman’s late grandfather, a jazz sax musician.

Edman’s upcoming set at 35 Denton is his last planned for some time, so do whatever you can to make it out and get your fix of some solid electronica.
The deep, brassy murmur of Seth Magill’s tuba broke up the quick break that punctuated Home By Hovercraft’s appearance, followed rapidly by the sound of accelerated, vivaciously-poppy keyboard.
Hopefully you liked your spot if you were at the show, because the moment the group took stage there was no moving around. Dada was jammed and bursting with an enthusiasm equally shared on stage and off.
Remember the dramatic flair mentioned in the previous two performances? Let’s take that and multiply it by 5 for every theatrical member of the group. Let’s bring in the foot-stomping, the enthusiastic bounces, the swaying that gradually developed into a crescendo that enveloped the whole club.
Let’s talk mandolin, violin. Let’s talk step dancing, an element as important to Home By Hovercraft as a guitar to virtually any rock act in the world of music.

You want traditional? You’ve been in the wrong place all night.

It’s hard to want to stop after 30 minutes when a crowd that animated stands before you (the word “stands” being used very lightly), so Dada got all eleven tracks in a gloriously infused 80-minute set.

Even beautiful ballads like “Modernized” and the flowing “Waking Sleeping” helped keep the intrigue with a softer flair. But the standout of the night, the group’s encore track called “Piranha” set the bar at its peak height way above the Dallas skyline.

So even at 1 a.m. after the set ended, the Home By Hovercraft welcomed the swarm of fans grateful for the long-awaited night.

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