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Kings of Leon: ...are still a band, and have been doing one-off festival dates here and there, and seem to be due to come around Houston again. Rumors that lead singer Caleb Followill was working on a country record never came to fruition, but the band's alt-rock twang would fit nicely with the Midtowners and burb-dwellers coming into Houston for the show.
Randy Travis: Travis's 1998 Trans Am comes barreling out of the backstage area, barely missing photographers and fans. Travis, 17 sheets to the wind on warm Bud Light from his dressing room, does a few donuts as the customary fireworks go off until the car sputters and stalls.
Clad in only jeans and boots, Travis jumps out of the car, smashes his acoustic guitar on the hood, saunters to the stage and performs his 2000 gospel-country album Inspirational Journey in full. Then he quietly walks back to the Trans Am and passes out in the front seat. Craig Hlavaty
October 27: Something Wicked at Sam Houston Race Park
By the time Tritonal had taken the stage at Something Wicked, the sun had set and so did the feel of the festival. The Austin duo's music is high-energy and, when you add in the big LED displays, the zombie nurses dancing onstage and a crowd that was super-excited about everything, suddenly the show felt special. No one would confuse it with Belgium's three-day Tomorrowland blowout, but for a first-time fest, it was pretty impressive.
In a land of DJs, the one band on the bill was bound to stand out. After a late start, credited by the group to some technical difficulties, Modestep took the stage for a set that was both familiar and different.
Structured like a typical EDM festival set, the group hit upon their original tracks and remixes, including Avicii's "Levels," Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction" and Rage Against the Machine's "Killing In the Name of." But the addition of live drums, guitar and vocals took things to a different place, one we wish more artists would visit.
It's unfortunate that Modestep's set was marred by sound issues, because based on what we could hear, the group has a lot going for them. Lead singer Josh Modestep wasn't afraid to voice his frustrations from the stage, although he never quite hit Rusko levels of displeasure. They promised to come back one day for a proper Modestep gig, and we're looking forward to seeing them again.
With a new album topping the iTunes Dance chart and a Lady Gaga collaboration on the horizon, Zedd is well on his way to being a titan in the EDM community. It was no surprise, then, that the crowd had swelled for his main stage set, which hit on a diverse group of tracks that included versions of M83's "Midnight City," Kanye West's "Mercy" and, most absurdly, the theme song to The Legend of Zelda (including animated graphics of protagonist Link).
Zedd brought down the house with his current single, "Spectrum," to what appeared to be the delight of everyone present. Cory Garcia
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