Review + Photos by: Kayla Pitcher
Additional Photos by: Charlie Ackley
The 25th Annual Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase went down on Saturday, November 2nd 2013. For one night a year, Deep Ellum is transformed into a live music paradise with over 50 local bands on 8 stages.
The scene was just right for Dallas born and raised Catamaran at Reno’s Saturday night. A sprawling outdoor wooden patio, matching wooden coastal seating and exotic flora set the vibe for this psychedelic surf rock quartet. Stephen Glenn, Tom Theall, Alec Rosales , and Chris Escarfullery make up this up-and-coming indie rock four piece.
Catamaran is known for creating catchy foot-tapping tunes with a summery, beach-y feel that blends several genres while anchoring in surf rock. Despite the sunny tunes and good vibes the cold weather initially had a hold on the crowd, but with the fluttering guitars and shimmering synths it didn’t take long for the audience to warm up.
The set glistened with influences from the likes of Real Estate and Surfer Blood, incorporating fuzzy, distant vocals laid over steady beats. “All Around” is the first and only single released from the group, and was the undisputed favored track of the night, with ringing melodies, and catchy harmonies that conjured up the image of a warm summer day.
Catamaran is currently working on their debut EP, and you can catch them gigging around the DFW area.
2012’s Best Group Act and a 2013 Hip-Hop Nominee A.Dd+ showcased their seemingly endless rapping talents at Trees on Saturday night. A.Dd+ (spoken “Aye-dee-dee,” with the plus sign silent) are Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy who are known for their UGK and OutKast influenced progressive approach to hip-hop. The Dallas duo has built an organic and loyal fan base from their impactful lyrical grips and exuberant live performances. Onstage Slim and Paris are a powerful and cohesive pair. The enthralled crowd shouted the memorized lyrics and danced for the entire forty minute set. Near the end of the concert, with adrenaline at its peak, A.Dd+ demanded Trees turn off all of the lights. Waiting in the dark room amongst the anticipative crowd, white lights suddenly shined on a masked A.Dd+.
Disguised in Mexican freestyle wrestling masks and bandanas the duo elevated the passionate performance when they jumped down into the crowd starting a mosh pit. These two are in the zone and exude a spontaneous and supremely confident live demeanor producing a thrilling and memorable performance.
The floor at Tree’s swarmed in anticipation of the well-known and hyped performance from the 2010 and 2011, Best New Act and Best Electronic/Dance Act Ishi. The whimsical and multi-sensory live experience displayed by this folktronic outfit awed the audience with quirky dance sets, uplifting vibes, and a stimulating performance.
The shimmering synths and dirty funk beats seamlessly blended with flamboyant house rhythms evoked a high-energy dance floor, and is evidence to the infectious and well produced cross-genre sound that symbolizes Ishi.
Their first proper release in nearly three years, and the group’s sophomore album 'Digital Wounds,' spawned out of their deep love for John Lennon & Michael Jackson, was released back in April. Ishi was formed in 2006 between friends JT Mudd and Brad Dale with a vision to create a high-energy electronic sound infusing classic soul, disco funk, and organic folk music.
Now touring many accomplished EP’s, Ishi continues to share the stage with some of the most widely known indie and dance acts, and can be seen across the country and at major festivals including SXSW.