Originally, I planned to venture to The Grotto for a rap show. Not wanting to deal with accessibility issues, I opted to head downtown to check out Queen City Music Hall, a newer venue in Fort Worth. I paid my five dollars and descended the elevator to the music hall, which, is pretty much a dance club with a stage. The dance floor still lays in the middle, and plush velvet chairs line the back walls with random bar tables and stools through out the floor area.
Jessie Frye Band led the lineup for the night. She and her band rocked out. She swayed, shimmied and swung her hair back and forth, charismatically engaging the audience at the right moments. With the music, it felt seductive. And the music soared up and down with hooks, melodies and inventive lead guitar solos. The drummer and bassist both looked like they were having fun. In a way, the band feels like what Pat Benetar would sound like today.
Olivine… Jessie Frye led with enthusiasm and rock and then two of Olivine’s guitarists start their set with three straight acoustic songs, sucking energy right out of the room. It didn’t help that the front man kept trying to engage the audience between songs. It felt forced. Also, I kept thinking, “So, Dashboard Confessional’s coming back.” I wanted to stay long enough to see and hear what they were like as a full band, plugged in, and I got Fall Out Boy. Nasally pop punk.
Queen City had an interesting crowd–parents, random clubbers attempting to take self pics while stupidly drunk, suit types (one of which looked like Al Pacino in Scarface, minus the machine gun and cocaine). The sound was great and no accessibility issues at all.
It was like a VH1 Story Tellers episode, where a group of local songwriters sat on a stage, played songs and talked about the stories behind the songs. One artist said, “If you know a songwriter, and you do stupid stuff, you’ll be part of a song.”
Halfway through a concert a day, and Fort Worth Library’s Third Thursday Jazz concert series had the largest crowd. Easily 200, 250 plus people sat in the grand atrium, at times standing cramped against back walls. I expected a couple dozen people chilling while the standard piano, sax, bass and drum players went through jazz staples. Oh, no.
This was an event. With cookies.
The musicians enthusiastically played Duke Ellington, Herbie Hankock, Miles Davis. The drum and bass solo received shouts of “yeah!” and a swell of applause. People in Fort Worth appreciate their jazz.
In front of me sat a WWII veteran in a wheelchair. He bopped along to the rhythm of the music, and at one point yelled, “The Duke!”