Streetlight Manifesto at Fitzgerald's, 11/3/2013

Streetlight Manifesto Fitzgerald's November 3, 2013

If there's a current poster child for ska, it's Streetlight Manifesto.

The genre seems to be all but done with, barely relevant in today's musical world as it has become rare to see brass instruments onstage with guitars and basses. Despite fading from the mainstream, however, Streetlight Manifesto can still fill a venue and just about tear it down by the time the night is over.

Sunday night, Houston fans packed tightly into Fitzgerald's' upstairs area, which was so muggy from all the warm bodies that attendees just might have forgotten that it was a cool, breezy sixtysomething degrees outside.

Inside, everything smelled of sweat, and even the beer cans felt sticky as fans jostled around for space. But even though everyone lacked their personal bubbles, no one was upset about it. Instead, they all draped their sweaty arms over one another, smiling, singing and shouting along to Streetlight's upbeat and usually uplifting tunes.

"Fuck buying flowers for graves, I'd rather buy you a one-way, nonstop to anywhere," the band sang as fans chanted along in unison. "Find anyone. Do anything. Forget and start again, love."

For nearly 90 minutes, Streetlight regaled fans with stories of drinking Holden Caulfield; of rigged, existential puzzles; of Biblical allegories involving David and Goliath; of death and the afterlife, consistently espousing hope in the face of suicidal thoughts.

These were just a few of the topics touched on by the New Jersey-based seven-piece as the floor creaked beneath everyone's feet and fans crowd-surfed over each others' heads. Encouraging lyricism aside, a quick glance at the faces in the crowd made it clear that this music was touching more than just fans' eardrums.

Review continues on the next page.

Unfortunately, Sunday night's performance was a bittersweet one. The band's current trek is something of a farewell tour, with Streetlight planning to go on an indefinite hiatus once it's all done. Ten years after its inception, the group has come a long way from humble beginnings and, in an effort to preserve some of their enthusiasm, have to decided to hang it up for a while.

Here's hoping they come back swinging, because these guys seems to bring out the best in one another and in their fans.

Personal Bias: These guys have some pretty energetic tunes, so I was excited to see them live. I wasn't disappointed.

Overhead in the Crowd:

"Fuuuuuuuuuuck! Fire that kicker!" (In response to the Texans' loss.)

"I had alcohol poisoning last night, bro. I was in the hospital"

"That smells awful. Did someone shit their pants?"


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