Once in a while you go to a show and your favorite artist is playing. You think, "Dope! I get to listen to one of my favorites! What a night!" Well, on the fateful night of July 15th I got to do just that. BUT like sprinkles on my favorite pink donut in the morning, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards happened to be playing with a superbly talented lineup, including the bad ass punk rock stars fresh from China, Round Eye, and local punk staples, Punk Rock Project. Now I can write a love letter about all of the members of each of these bands I've had the pleasure of lightly getting to know through me incessantly annoying them before and after their sets, but I will summarize my love for these individuals by saying the people bringing you musical joy are just as fantastic as the sound they put out.
First up was Punk Rock Project, a collection of bad ass musicians that have been jamming for years. Several of the band members happen to be involved in setting up Houston's annual Punkfest, and consequently know their stuff. Much like anything good in life, their tracks are peppered with humor. My personal favorite track (because I am a massive dork) is accented with aggressive Wookie noises, making punk accessible to the nerdiest among us. The set was loud, fun, full of ois, and energetic, par for the course with performances of the past.
Next up, Round Eye imported fresh from China graced the stage of Spruce Goose. I admittedly never heard this group prior to their performance, and wasn't sure what to expect. Spastic dancing across the stage and frantic guitar rampages brought the noise in Spruce Goose to a new level. I am absolutely nothing if not a sucker for the sax, and the group's cacophony of sound featured, you guessed it folks, a skilled saxophone player. Their music seemed to be of a chaotic breed, with an eclectic blending of sounds that at points seemed disintegrated in the best possible way. Joyful anarchy if I've ever heard it. Did I start listening to all this group's music after getting to see them live? Can I get a hell yeah?
Finally rounding out a fan-fucking-tastic night, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards hit the stage. The group jammed to crowd favorites that have become new classics like "We're All Gonna Die," and, "Ghostbusters." They also rocked out with newer tracks hinting at what's to come on their next album, which may be in the works. You didn't hear it from me. TJ Robinson violently hit the floor, thrashing and evoking responses from the audience, pulling them into the groups set. If you ever want to go to a show where you become fully immersed, a Hans Gruber and the Die Hards show is the one for you. In case you didn't know, this band also has one badass sax player that brings out the best in this ska/punk/wild group. Although they are from Austin, we love them like they are Houston's own-so be sure to check out their next set August 4th at Skapunk Fiesta which will be at Rudyard's at 8 PM.
As a bonus, we are tossing this photo of TJ looking absolutely mad and fantastic for your viewing pleasure.
A final note on a show that was full of goodness, we love Live and Loud Productions for pulling together this lineup. The talent was out of this world, and the genius Johnae managed to flesh out a decent sized crowd for a Sunday evening. Be sure to check out her upcoming events here and stay punk Houston!
All images are by Nicole Sergent. As always, I will have a gallery of the event up in a bit-it's running a bit late because as much as we adore Spruce Goose as a venue, the lighting can be kind of tricky for photos. GO SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC.