About a week ago I attended Curtain Palooza 3.0 at (where else?) The Curtain Club with my trusty Wonder Twins by my side. As someone who grew up in a thriving original band scene on Long Island back in the 80’s it has been really cool to see and hear the sense of community among the bands here in Deep Ellum. And I have been lucky enough to find some winners amid a sea of sound-alikes. On the night in question the bands were NEW VOODOO, SOLICE, DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES, and ALTERFLESH. What made this even more special is that DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES and ALTERFLESH were being presented with their plaques for The Wall of Fame. The criteria for this is having fifty-plus people come out to several shows in a row, something that in 2014 ain’t easy by any means.
First up was NEW VOODOO, a band I heard but unfortunately did not see. They played a variety of cool covers ranging from VELVET REVOLVER’S “Slither” to ROB ZOMBIE’S “Dragula”. They opt to stay somewhat faithful to the originals, yet make them their own, which is the mark of a talented band. Later on I was able to hang out with the singer Dylan St. John who is definitely one of the nicest guys I’ve met on the scene here. His girlfriend Emma was also fun and I enjoyed speaking with them both. I’ve made it my business to catch them again, and you should too.
Next was SOLICE, who I had just seen for the first time a month before. Opening with “Sweet Escape” and then newer song “Heart of Stone” which is one of the ones I like most, they wasted little time getting this VERY large crowd going. It was a bit of a challenge for me to weave in and out of the people so I could keep one eye on The Twins at all times, and the floor was teeming with an electricity I haven’t felt there in a while. Other highlights included “Trapt”, which is a change of pace, and arguably the most emotional in the band’s catalogue up to this point. You can really feel it when Xtina Lee sings this song, and everyone seems to come together in a special way on this one.
Guitarist Juan Brittos, bassist Rob Pummill and drummer Ryan Matthews all mean business whenever they play, and it’s never more evident than on “Do You See It Now”. Juan’s solo also reached for the sky on this particular night, which helped make this tune the high point of their set for me. And in another bit of good news SOLICE is getting THEIR plaque on August 31, so expect Amps and Green Screens to be there yet again!
By now it was nearly ten and the place was even more packed. DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES had a LOT of fans present for this show. Once again I was in a situation of not having heard note one before the gig, but it didn’t matter; their energy was indescribable. And while all the bands were great, these guys just owned. Songs like “Faith Healer”, “White Russians”, and “Aphasia” showcased the talent at every position from singer/quarterback Keith Allen to guitarist/Tight End Ruvayne Weber to drummer/Defensive End Steve Smith, and finally bassist/Cornerback Barry Townsend and guitarist/Wideout Brandon Tyner.
Another monster jam was “Wandering” and “Junkie Logic” was an absolute beast. There was crowd surfing and movement just everywhere. This band knows how to whip a club into a frenzy and I expect a lot more to happen for DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES. Others in attendance told me that their show is usually high-energy but on this occasion they turned it up to eleven. Nigel Tufnel would be proud. I already knew Ruvayne, but I got to talk with Steve after the gig as well. Great guys, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
And now we come to the ALTERFLESH portion of the evening. Singer and host of the evening Dayvoh greeted everyone with, “Welcome to Curtain Palooza version 3.0!” and the band then kicked into “Megahub”, one of the only songs I was able to bone up on prior to the show. The stage was adorned with some things you normally wouldn’t expect at a rock show, from paintings that featured Asian themes and other spiritual things to a Buddha and an elephant. Don’t ask me, ask them!! Dayvoh repeatedly commented on how great it was to see so many people and how alive the scene in Deep Ellum is. Remember, I didn’t live here during the Dark Time, and it sounds like I arrived at the Right Time.
The band plays with conviction, and at one point in their set COLD’S own Scooter Ward came out to present them with their plaque, remarking how great this all was and that it reminded him of a time when local music mattered. Another cool point was Xtina getting up there for a duet on “Start Over” which brought some of the loudest cheers of the night.
The guys really seemed to be enjoying themselves on newer song “Into the Sun” which, for having never heard it, really stuck out in my mind. All told they were very entertaining, and it’s easy to see why they’ve come so far in a relatively short time.
Closing out the evening was COLD doing a special acoustic set, which was nice, but after an evening of rockin’ it was kind of anti-climactic. They sounded good, though, and “Stupid Girl” translates well to that format. All told, I had a lot of fun, met some outstanding people, and had some of the area’s best bands as the musical backdrop. The Curtain Club is definitely one of my favorite venues here. PLUS, I got to have another playdate with The Wonder Twins, which always makes the night ten times better. All four of these bands, NEW VOODOO, SOLICE, DAYLIGHT INDUSTRIES, and ALTERFLESH have something for everyone, and I strongly recommend going to see all of them. Curtain Palooza 3.0 was a blast! Bring on the next one!