Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fort Worth Rock Assembly II Recap

Fort Worth Rock Assembly II 
J&J’s Blues Bar
Sept 6, 7 & 8th

This past weekend, September 6th-8th,  a slew of Fort Worth music scene-sters got together to put on an EPIC show with 23 bands covering various iconic bands from 1965-1985.  The result- one of the best weekends in Fort Worth Music for 2013.  Music played for 8 hours, three days in a row at J&J’s Blues Bar complete with food trucks, and great memories.  There were plenty of sponsors, including Coors Light.  There were two stages, one outside with a huge Red Bull tent and beer bar, and the one inside J&J’s. 

Saturday 9/7
I arrived a bit early on Saturday, catching Sun City covering Velvet Underground.  There weren’t that many people in attendance at this point in the evening to enjoy this band.  They did a commendable job, and really conveyed the essence of Velvet Underground.  The female lead has a clear, precise voice and it resounded outside as she sang “Sweet Nothing”, by far the best song of their set. 

Back inside, Igneous Grimm covered King Crimson.  The first song, “I talked to the Wind” was by far my favorite.  I will definitely get in the know on both King Crimson AND their local tribute counterpart, Igneous Grimm.  More people had arrived and definitely enjoyed this performance.

Outside,  Siberian Traps started their R.E.M. set and they did an amazing job.  Tony Diaz, conceiver of the Fort Worth Rock Assembly event, bragged that Siberian Traps are Fort Worth’s best kept secret.  They definitely did R.E.M. justice.  One of the guitar/vocalists, Parker, confessed he didn’t know about R.E.M. before taking on this project.   Replicating someone else’s work, and learning a whole set of songs to perform, is definitely not an easy task!  One of the many reasons this idea is genius. 

I had to leave and go to work at this point, thankful the next day I would catch all 8 hours! 

Sunday 9/8
Sunday I arrived at J&J’s super early.  A couple of bands had dropped out, so they pushed the start time from 3pm to 5pm.  Probably best because no one really showed up until then anyways.

The Vatican Press started the day outside embodying The Clash.  Not only did Vatican Press cover great hits like “I Fought the Law”, but they did a few of their own songs toward the end which I thought were awesome.  I’ve never heard this band before, but they did play an original and I dug it!  They’re an old school punk band so it made sense why The Clash was their choice to cover.  Good to see diverse genres in the Indie Rock scene. 

Inside, The Frisky Disco was covering Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Hayden not only is lead vocalist, but he plays guitar and keyboard as well.  He is such a talented performer, very animated with a voice of a Rock God.  They covered songs like “Good Golly Miss Molly” where at one point both Tyler and Hayden got down on the guitar.  One lady in the crowd asked me after that song “They’re over 21, right?”  When I asked Tyler how old he is, he responded “22”.  She goes on to tell him how talented he is, goes on and on with me how she’s seen guys in their 60’s who have half the talent of these guys.  Frisky Disco, you got yourself a new fan that night.  One of the best was “I Put a Spell on You”; a great cover of a great song by a spectacular band!  Always fun to watch and at the end, they performed one of their rocking originals with Hayden on the keyboard, belting out “You can take away my home, but you can’t take away my heart.”  Such talent. 

Kevin Aldridge & the Appraisers played The Cars outside. Hearing them brings flashbacks to the late 70’s early 80’s, right?  They replicated the music of The Cars near flawlessly.  Top three were “My Best Friends Girl”, “You Might Think”, and of course, “Drive”.  Such a great set choice and Kevin & the Appraisers did The Cars justice. 

Next was Secret Ghost Champion inside covering The Beatles.  John Lennon came down from Heaven and took over the stage this night.  The microphone had that eerie echo to it that made it feel like Lennon was actually there in the room.  They covered “Strawberries Fields Forever”, “She Said, She Said”, “Hey Bulldog”, and “Dear Prudence.”  The crowd was getting thick at this point, and everyone was hypnotized by Secret Ghost Champions performance.  I’m sure watching the Beatles in their day was similar to the experience this night. 

The next act I caught was Panic Volcanic’s version of Deep Purple.  Panic Volcanic has an interesting set up with Ansley “The Destroyer” on vocals, Zach on bass and Chris on drums.  You read right, no lead guitar.  But with Zach’s skills on the bass, you’d never know it.  Besides, how can you get past Ansley’s voice to even CARE about the guitar!  This girl has a set of pipes like Janis Joplin, sharp like a knife and full of soul that comes from deep within.  Witnessing a Panic Volcanic performance is a treat in itself, but watching them cover a band like Deep Purple and pull off a song like “Space Truckin’” with such enthusiasm and pizazz is one of those moments you tell your grandkids about.  Zach announces that “It wouldn’t be Rock n Roll without breaking some rules,” so they played Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”.  The crowd applauded and screamed after every song, packed up against the stage.  Everyone was digging their performance.  .

Last band of the night, The Hanna Barbarians, took the stage inside and covered Rod Stewart.  Any performance of Rod Stewart wouldn’t be complete without a mullet wig and tights, which is what the lead singer sported.  The rest of the band donned wigs and printed tights as well.  There were so many good performances, but two of the most notable were “Hot Legs” and “Maggie”.  By this time the place was so packed and full of life, people were dancing, enjoying the Hannah Barbarian’s antics.  They put on a great show, as they are known to do. 

Rock Assembly brought everyone out for the pure love of Rock n Roll.  I discovered some new acts I hadn’t seen before. Every band put a great effort into learning the style of the band they covered but definitely gave it their own Fort Worth Indie Rock flair.  It was a good weekend for the Fort Worth music scene and I'm always grateful to be a part of it.  


Video and pictures on my Facebook Fan Page

Full line up with bands covered:

Friday Sept 6th
5pm - Big City Folk as TOWNES VAN ZANDT
6pm - The Diabolical Machines as THE BEACH BOYS
7pm - The Neptune Locals as THE POLICE
8pm - The Dangits as JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
10pm - We The Sea Lions as THE CURE
11pm - The Longshots as ELVIS PRESLEY
12am - Pablo & The Hemphill 7 as PINK FLOYD

Saturday Sept 7th
2pm - Ronnie Heart & Friends as E.L.O.
3pm -
4pm - Igneous Grimm as KING CRIMSON
5pm - Siberian Traps as R.E.M.
6pm - We'rewolves as CREAM
7pm - Whiskey Folk as THE VIOLENT FEMMES
8pm - War Party as THE KINKS
9pm - Lindby as DAVID BOWIE
10pm - Goodwin as THE WHO
11pm - Un Chien as JOY DIVISION
12am - Son of Stan w/ Nathan Brown as GENESIS

Sunday Sept 8th
5pm - The Vatican Press as THE CLASH
7pm - Kevin Aldridge and The Appraisers as THE CARS
8pm - Secret Ghost Champion as THE BEATLES
9pm - The Me-Thinks as CHEAP TRICK
10pm - Panic Volcanic as DEEP PURPLE
11pm - RTB2 as BIG STAR
12am - The Hanna Barbarians as ROD STEWART

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