Grand Opening with CoRE, etc. The Warsaw June 25, 2010
The Warsaw's grand opening on Friday night reminded Aftermath a lot of a trip to Super Happy Fun Land. On the one hand, some great bands took the stage and put on solid performances - Aftermath even bought a 500 Megatons of Boogie CD - while other performers' sets didn't even sound like music.
At 9:30 p.m., two hours after doors had opened to the public, Automatic Thrill took the stage and played to a crowd of less than 10, not including the four smokers hanging out outside. We were certain, or at least hopeful, that more people would eventually show up; instead this set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The Warsaw's sound quality was on par with that of Fitzgerald's - not very good, but tolerable - but it didn't have any chairs, barstools, couches or seats of any kind on which clientele could sit down and relax. Besides the bar, the club had one table, but no stools or chairs to accompany it. Aftermath ordered a drink and awkwardly set up shop, receiving a few dirty glances from the others in the crowd for taking the club's sole table.
Ten o'clock rolled around, and Aftermath realized we were sweating our balls off. Worriedly, we looked around to see what would be keeping us cool for the duration of the evening and saw... a few ceiling fans.
Concerned about the number of people that would eventually (and still hopefully) show up to see CoRE perform, we prepared ourselves mentally for a hot evening. We were born and raised in Houston, so hot and muggy isn't exactly foreign to us.
By the end of Automatic Thrill's set, the crowd had tripled in size, though it was still pretty pitiful for a grand opening. But everyone was hanging out at the bar, avoiding the front of the stage like the dance floor at a junior-high prom. If nothing else, whoever was in charge of the in-between-bands music had good taste: White Stripes, Vampire Weekend, The Dead Weather, A Perfect Circle and Radiohead all played while band members disassembled and reassembled their equipment.
We can't emphasize enough how much The Warsaw should look into getting some chairs, or a couch or something. Even a few bean bags would do. As is, one corner of the building has two ledges that jut out, which patrons can use as seats and footrests. And it only seats about eight people, and that's if they sit close together.
12:30 a.m. rolled around, and Aftermath decided to do another head count. One, two, three... 25 people, including two bartenders, four band members and two door(wo)men were inside.
A quick Google search of CoRE on our new iPhone 4 (yeah, we got one) made us wish more people had shown up to see what was sure to be, for lack of a better word, an interesting show. CoRE took the stage to a Nine Inch Nails-ish backbeat of drums and a flute, which was purposefully sharp at times, giving the upcoming performance an air of foreboding.
A woman walked out onto the stage, wearing only a bikini bottom, sports bra and a mask. She lay down on her side, and a man walked out from behind her, inserted hooks into her side and attached her to a conveyer belt. He pulled her up slowly and began spinning her around and around and around. Aftermath wasn't too bothered until she started bleeding, at which point we started hoping the woman would be put down, so we could politely clap and leave.
Instead, another man came out with hooks in his back. He was attached to the rig and given the task of lifting up with woman. If this weren't enough, two more men began tugging on the man with hooks in his back, one pulling his arms away from the stage and the woman, lifting her higher, the other pulling on the ropes and chains attached to his back. The drums became heavier, and the flute grew sharper.
Compared to the group's demo video, the performance was pretty tame; but it was still far from a typical Friday night. After the performance, CoRE's organizer approached us and asked us what we thought and if we had enjoyed ourselves. We couldn't put our thoughts into words, and "enjoyed ourselves" probably wouldn't be the best way to describe our feelings at the end of the night, but we definitely have a newfound respect for those who choose to participate in this kind of thing.
We walked out of The Warsaw a little before 2 a.m. wishing more people had showed, perplexed about what we just saw and (maybe) even a little turned on.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.