5 hours of sweat, moshing, and Rock and Roll
Coming off last year, I don’t consider it controversial to declare that Pearl Street Co-op is currently UT’s premier DIY venue. The co-ops in general are uniquely suited to shows, with big open areas and a surplus of residents to help run them, Pearl Street has excelled in booking great acts for their space.
As such, the absence of Pearl shows is felt quite heavily over the summer, and it makes their return in the Fall all the more anticipated and momentous. This Fall’s kickoff show, ‘Dolls Vs. Soldiers,’ lived up to the hype and perhaps elevated Pearl to a new height of myth and prestige as the venue hit capacity exceedingly early and a swathe of prospective concert-goers kept lining up around the block.
All of the bands fed off the energy of the packed crowd, delivering raucous performances complete with jumping off kick drums, crowdsurfing, and even a fire alarm going off. The first band, setting the bar high with their heavy psych-rock, was of course...
Rocking Chair Reality Room
How can a band be simultaneously goofy and really badass? It may seem impossible, but come and see Rocking Chair Reality Room--awash in red light, frontman making crazy faces in his monk outfit, and drummer hammering away at blast beats--and I think you will believe. I hope other co-op bookers take notice and bring them back to campus again this Fall. For now I am content with their dose of songs about pirates, insane drumming, and heavy riffs.
Follow Rocking Chair Reality Room: https://linktr.ee/rcrr
Q: “Can I have your bra?”
A: “No, it’s my girlfriend’s.”
A photographer knocked into the stage, a song about ice cream, and polling the audience on their favorite type of bread--campus heroes Shivering Demons brought all of this to Pearl with their expected volume, ardor, and flair. The band has reached a certain level of stylish excellence, marked by the fact that their frontman yelling through a megaphone while wearing a soldier’s helmet and a bra reads as a pretty normal thing for them. My advice: keep an eye out for a halloween show with them--they go all out with their costumes.
Follow Shivering Demons: https://withkoji.com/@shiveringdemons
This self-described ‘90’s alt rock’ sextet was the night’s newest addition to the Austin scene, and they show a lot of promise. I found it charming that guitarist Jack Ryon brought the same level of manic energy to this act as he did to his stint with now-dissolved noise rockers Bodyplan. The large ensemble is a nice twist to the alt rock formula, and I think it will lead to some dense and unique instrumentals on their upcoming debut album. They have a lot of room to grow, and I’ll be looking out for more of their shows this fall.
Follow Stalefish: https://linktr.ee/stalefishhhhh
It’s only been about a year and a half since I first saw Die Spitz (at Pearl, in fact), but they’ve quickly emerged as one of Austin’s biggest DIY success stories, with a tour opening for OFF! already in the books and another with Amyl and the Sniffers coming up in October. As their potential last show ever at the co-ops, I’m glad they left us all with a memorable set, going from dancing to Latin jams for Mexican Independence Day during setup, to an introduction from ‘J. Robert Oppenheimer’ (who was unsure if ‘he’ should have an accent), to crowdsurfing and a packed mosh pit.
And of course, the fire alarm went off.
But after escorting everyone outside and a quick “we are so back” from bassist Kate Halter, the show was back on like nothing had happened, and we even got to see the debut of a new song featuring drummer Chloe Andrews on acoustic guitar.
While I’m sad to see them potentially not return to the co-ops, I’m very interested to see how Die Spitz grows as a band, adapts to the bigger venues and shows, and changes their style as they release new material. I feel grateful to have gotten to see the band at this point where it feels like they are in the process of all these developments at once, and I’m excited to listen to their next record.
Follow Die Spitz: https://linktr.ee/diespit
For the fifth and final hour of the night, Austin's 'dream grunge' band Farmer’s Wife took the stage. Their set was a unique experience--it felt like the smaller group that stayed after the fire alarm was particularly tuned into the music, and the band seemed to be very comfortable, like we were watching them rehearse; even when lead singer Molly Masson posed on top of an amp or got down on the floor, it felt like she was doing it just for herself. It was a special kind of energy I hope to see from more local bands in the future, and it definitely puts Farmer’s Wife on my list of go-to bands for this Fall.
Follow Farmer’s Wife: https://linktr.ee/farmerswife_
‘Dolls vs. Soldiers’ was a great showing for Pearl and a promising start to the semester for concerts in West Campus. Be on the lookout for the lineup of the next Pearl show on October 27th and be sure to get there early, because Pearl doesn’t just fill up fast--it also hosts all-killer-no-filler shows that have a good shot at sending you home with a new favorite band and a 100% chance of giving you the gift of sweat-fortified DIY collective effervescence, which will always be a treasured commodity among us music lovers at KVRX.
Follow Pearl Street Co-op: https://instagram.com/pearlstreetcoop
Follow the theuncooperativecoop (West Campus concert flyers and announcements): https://instagram.com/theuncooperativecoop/