Friday, September 22, 2006

A Night at the Fly: The Drawing Board

It's a Thurday night and one of my favorite local bands is playing, so I ventured southwards from the quiet burgh of Pflugerville into the heart of the Red River District and into a place I have only passed by before, The Red Eyed Fly. Actually, I was greeted by a group of people standing outside the door, one being Drawing Board guitarist David Vassallo, waiting for the manager to come and open the place up. Some more people showed, as did other band members; during the down time. After 10 minutes or so, he showed up and unlocked the doors. This meant that the set would not start at 9 as promised, as it was already 8:45. As they set up the equipment on stage, I grabbed a soda (no drinking on school nights, kids), found a place next to a tree and took in the slowly gathering crowd, which seemed to be mostly friends. I can only assume that was the case, but the band members were interacting with numerous people in the crowd like they knew them.

This is were it gets kind of weird. I saw a woman with a nice camera. She looked intent on getting pictures of the show, so I approached her and asked if she posts those pictures anywhere in particular. Wouldn't you know it, it turned out to be keyboardist Dave Lewis' mother. We had a good discussion on what Joe and I do here and how we having been talking up the band. I hope she got some good shots. Can't wait to see them.

After a brief sound check, the show got under way. Lead singer and guitarist Justin Tapp, in my opinion, had a serious Jon Heder look going on. The band as a whole looked the typical high school/college friends garage (or bedroom, where they record their music) band. Their sound was anything but typical. It was remarkably solid. No one part over-powered, resulting in a great sonic mix. The rhythm was tight (provided by Justin's brother, Brandon), and the vocals were not drowned out by the instruments. Were those vocal harmonies I heard as well? Thet sounded very Beach Boys-esque. Who else incorporates those little xylophone type instruments you used to play in elementary music class into their songs?

Not knowing much beyond the songs posted on The Drawing Board myspace page, I found myself enjoying every song. Catchy hooks and smart lyrics kept my interest. A variance of styles, from bouncy pop to straight-up guitar rock to almost thrashing out (which they finally did at the end), made the performance flow. They let loose on a few new songs, one which has bassist Adam Luikart take the lead vocals. For such an unassuming looking guy, he can sure handle a bass and has a solid voice. The band looked like they were having fun up on stage and I think it translated well into their show.

I will see these guys again. I will continue to talk them up to anyone who will listen. Anyone in Austin (or anywhere for that matter) who reads this, tell your friends, go to the next show, get their music from their page.

My apologies to the band for not introducing myself. I was feeling a bit allergenic by the end of the show and I noticed the business of tearing down and friends greeting was all-consuming. I will do it next time. Also, my apologies to the other bands that played tonight. Due to the allergies, I had to cut my evening short and did not get to see much past the opening of the second band.

I think I have exhausted all the pictures and songs. So no pictures tonight, but I will repost all the songs I have. Thanks for the CD.

Every Moment
The Writer
It's A Lie
Haven't We Been Through This
Something I Can't Have


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