Playing before what was probably the youngest and most family-oriented crowd the band had ever seen (save the odd crawfish festival), Buxton emerged from their studio sessions at SugarHill Studios Thursday night to headline Discovery Green and debut a handful of new songs from their forthcoming sophomore LP. A cool early-summer breeze coming through the lawn set the mood as the Saint Arnold's began to flow and the gaggle of children up front danced up a storm. The same kids were slamming to opener the Small Sounds like they were in a trance, so in ten or so years we just might have a new dance movement coming. You heard it here first. This was the first time a lot of people had heard Buxton away from venues like Mango's and Walter's On Washington, and the assembled were hushed and reverent. Compared to most shows we have seen on the green he usual family chatter on the lawn was almost nonexistent.
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Aftermath had seen Buxton outside before (Summerfest 2009) but this was a different band Thursday. Not in the sense of a line-up overhaul, because it's the same dude plus utility man Austin Sepulveda, but the sense that they seem to be getting gruffer and grander. The new work fit in well with the band's already established set, but you could still hear brawn in the still wet-behind-the-ears tracks. We still don't know what to make of that, but that's where we are after Thursday. Things have gotten tighter in Buxton's sound; people are falling into their grooves with time. Bassist Chris Wise does this thing where beats his bass in time like he is dancing with it. Lately drummer Justin Terrell has amazed us with each go-round, keeping the band galloping. We hadn't really been able to see him work unfettered until Thursday (his kit is usually obscured in smaller clubs), but he's a beast in the back. Singer Sergio Trevino has added a kick to his step onstage. Simply put, these guys are getting ridiculously good. Closing staples, the woozy "Doctor," "Boy Of Nine" and the carousing "Feathers" brought it all home as the sun was already gone from the horizon and a gigantic moon hung over the green. Ten more adults joined the cast of kids dancing, and it was like watching an Astros home run clear the Crawford Boxes. Hurry up and finish that record, guys.