Streetlight Manifesto, the Supervillains, the Wonder Years, Dan Potthast Warehouse Live July 21, 2010
Ska/punk had a great night in Houston Thursday, with four bands each pushing the crowd until the Studio area of Warehouse Live became one sweaty heap of people moving to the music.
Although headliners Streetlight Manifesto have released some of the most complete recent ska albums, it still seems like the New Jersey band is in the shadow of genre heavyweights such as Sublime or Reel Big Fish. It's no fault of their own; it just seems like they came a little late to the party.
Thankfully, they're keeping it around. In addition, they brought a whole new group of people into the mix. There were a lot of youngsters in Wednesday's crowd - so much so that you could see parents carting them in like it was soccer practice. Between the heat and the mosh pit, it would have been nice if someone brought orange slices.
The kids, however, didn't need orange slices, not with Streetlight front man Tomas Kalnoky hurling water up into the crowd at full force. Let's just hope that kids who like ska have great hand-eye coordination. The band really put forth a great energy that can only be done with a band of that size. There is something about seeing a horn section move in, swinging to the music, that just makes you want to be a part of it.
And that's exactly what happened. The small area around the bar became one giant circle pit with just a few stragglers on the outside being able to escape it. If you got into one place when Streetlight went on, you were stuck there.
That's how the night ended, but it took Dan Potthast, The Wonder Years and the Supervillians to set the stage.
Potthast, who started playing with MU330 in 1988 (when Kalnoky would have been eight years old), didn't seem too fazed up there all alone. In fact, this one man with an acoustic guitar had more energy than some other artists on the bill. The best part of his set was his ability to include and make fun of the audience.
Sadly, when he played, most of the crowd wasn't there yet.
The Wonder Years would have done Kevin Arnold proud. (That's the kid from the '80s television show of the same name). Their pop-punk sound fit in perfectly Wednesday. and they did a great job of getting people ready for the Supervilians.
The Supervilians have two of the best things that have nothing to do with music going for them: A white guy with dreadlocks and drummer who can sing. Seeing them perform made Aftermath wish Bradley Nowell of Sublime was still around.
With all the bands that played it made for a great Wednesday night at the Warehouse Live. More importantly, the venue let everyone have a good time. The only time security was necessary was toward the end of the night, when they helped with people who were crowd-surfing.
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Personal Bias: Streetlight Manifesto made the band nerds in high school seem cool now.
The Crowd: Too many guys running around with their shirts off.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I'm going to ask that guy from Supervillians if he wants to smoke pot."
Random Notebook Dump: People really do yell "Free Bird!" at every concert.