This past Saturday night, Free Press Houston celebrated its seventh anniversary at Mango's with an assortment of local musicians whose styles ranged from loud, shrieking guitars (Golden Axe) to young, smart hip-hop (Fat Tony) and everything in between. Since we've been writing for Rocks Off, it's been a concern of ours that Houston musicians, as talented as they may be, have even more of an uphill battle to fight than artists elsewhere. So it was nice to see a packed standing room, back porch and front parking lot at the vegetarian eatery. Without local support, especially from younger fans, these bands wouldn't be able to accomplish anything. But Houston youth have stepped up, recognized the talent in their midst and is pushing these artists to continue. Houston's music scene is in a fledgling state, but it has the potential to explode if more people start paying attention to it, which seems to be slowly but surely happening. Although FPH could be seen as Rocks Off's competiton, we prefer to think that our publications work together, especially when it comes to music. Rather than trying to scoop one another on exclusives, we strive to help one another inform locals how much talent we have in our city. And there is a lot. So happy seven years, Free Press. We wish you another seven (at least). The party's lineup - Papermoons, Wild Moccasins, Young Mammals, Juzcoz, the Handshake, Woozyhelmet, the Mahas, Ceeplus Badknives and co-headliners Fat Tony and Golden Axe (the only performers the tardy Aftermath was able to see) - was diverse, as was the crowd, but nonetheless everyone was enjoying the party. Unlike the Washington Strip, Montrose is a place where, regardless of how you're dressed or what genre you fall into, you can have a good time. It's why we love the place. Scene kids, metalheads and hipsters alike thrashed and moshed to Golden Axe's hardcore riffs. The pit knew no genre and while it didn't last very long - most of Golden Axe's songs are only two minutes long - no one threw a fist, and everyone kept a smile on their face. Meanwhile, outside, Fat Tony set up quietly and hit the stage with Smash Bro. Though we wanted to catch his entire set, we respected the fact that he didn't try to pull any of the crowd away from Golden Axe. Instead, he set up, stood up, started rapping and people began to crowd. We recognized some faces in the crowd, a few of Tony's loyal fans, but saw a lot of new ones too (as we always do). Halfway through his set, the charismatic rapper pulled an inebriated member of the crowd onto the stage to give what we think was his impersonation of what Nickelback would sound like if the band had the balls to cover Frank Sinatra... which we hope to God never happens. For those who weren't there on Saturday, Summerfest tickets are still available. Several artists who performed at Saturday's party will be performing at Eleanor Tinsley Park on June 5 and 6. The Flaming Lips will be there too. Need we say more? Don't miss it this time.
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