Houston Music

Katy's Point to Infinity Wins Spot on Lollapalooza Stage

This is one of those stories that can't help raise even the most cynical journalist's cockles a few degrees: Band fresh out of high school, with a disposition as sunny as its melodic brand of pop-rock, wins a spot at one of America's biggest, most important music festivals. Any Hollywood producer would pass because it couldn't possibly be true.

Of course it is. Point to Infinity, a four-piece out of Katy, will have 30 minutes in front of the Lollapalooza crowd at Chicago's Grant Park Sunday afternoon. Set time is 12:30 p.m. on the Google Play stage, where the likes of Gaslight Anthem, The Big Pink and Of Monsters and Men will go on later. It will be about their seventh or eight time to play in front of a live audience.

Point to Infinity is barely a year old, at least according to Facebook; they joined on July 28, 2011. But the band's nucleus of Joshua Adams (vocals/guitar) and Kyle VanDevender (guitar) have been friends since grade school and musically active since junior high. Bassist Richie Choung began playing at his church at age 11, and drummer Josh Cho is the latecomer among them. He started at 14.

"There's so much creativity, so many options," says Adams of being in a band. "You're not controlled. You can write music and do whatever you want, pretty much a free space for creativity. There are no rules, maybe some guidelines. It's also a second family."

Point to Infinity professes an interest in Buddy Holly, the Shins and 2012's other feel-good pop-rock story, Brooklyn's fun. The group's one recording to date, a demo of "Twitterpated" posted on their Facebook page, is certainly in that sweet, sock-hop-ready vein.

VanDevender estimates Point to Infinity has written about ten songs so far but will only play five in their 30-minute set; Adams adds the band is already heading in a "different direction."

The Shins happen to be playing Lollapalooza this weekend too.

"I'd love to meet the Shins," says VanDevender. "[Front man] James Mercer and their lady guitarist have done some sounds that I absolutely love, and I'd love to pick their brains on that, in a hopefully non-annoying fashion."

Of course a story this good has to have an element of comedy. Point to Infinity wound up at Lollapalooza because drummer Cho entered an online contest he thought might lead to a scholarship opportunity. Instead, it turned out to be a battle of the bands sponsored by dosomething.org, a Web site that encourages teenage activism and entrepreneurship, and VH1's Save the Music Foundation, which helps raise funds for cash-starved music-education programs in public schools.

First prize was a spot on the Lollapalooza stage. Cho forgot that he had entered, and never told the rest of the band, so they had no idea. Then one day...

"I get a call from Josh, and he says, 'Hey, I entered us into this contest like two months ago, and we won," recounts VanDevender. "[I said] 'Won what?' 'It says that we're playing this show in Chicago called Lollapalooza.'"

Adams confesses he even had to look up Lollapalooza on the Internet -- that he thought "t sounds like a sketchy bar or something.

"Then I go on the Internet, check it out and fall out of my chair."

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray