SXSW diary by White Shag’s Laura Mendoza, part 3
By Laura Mendoza
Thursday, March 13, 2014 – Day 3
Thursday was a SXS-Lola’s day in Fort Worth. We still had shows left in Austin the rest of the week so we decided to make the truck out to Fort Worth and back in the same night. No biggie. It’s like driving to Dayton or Battle Creek and back. It’s also really a gorgeous drive of rolling hills, flat plains, farms beyond the eye can see and if you’re driving at the right time, a very beautiful sunset.
We made our way into Fort Worth right at dusk and hit the joint we were playing at which was called Lola’s Saloon. Lola’s was the ideal bar to play in Ft. Worth, and according to Jamie who books, the best spot in Ft. Worth. The entire bar, floor and most of the walls were made of wood. If not, they were decorated with elaborate, sexy paintings and textured wallpaper. A glorious velvet painting of Willie Nelson hung next to the stage. There was also a huge patio in the front and one in the back as well with a second stage for outdoor shows. I would describe Lola’s as a classier version of the Old Miami but more a la honky tonk. We loved it. The owner, bartenders and sound guy were very welcoming and really nice also so we felt right at home.
Before we played, we decided to hit up the local taco joint around the corner called “Velvet Taco.” This place was amazing and could give Imperial a run for their money. Tacos were the story here at this spot and they had a long list of different tacos to choose from. I got the Taboulleh taco in a soft corn tortilla (as tacos SHOULD be eaten) and the boys got meat. These were really, really tasty. Hipster tacos, sans the extensive liquor list which I did miss.
We headed back to Lola’s after. There were 3 bands and we were in the middle so first was Fort Worth natives the Sex RYNOS. They were also a 3-piece and clearly huge fans of the Black Keys. I really think I enjoyed listening to them play much more than them singing. Their tunes were good but the vocals were too forced and as a vocal coach it kinda made me cringe at times. If you sound like you’re taking a poo when you’re singing, then you probably shouldn’t be singing at all. Aside from the vocals, they were upbeat, garage-y and riffy and the tunes were good.
We were up next. The stage was spacious enough so we could go wild but small enough to be intimate for the audience. Once we started, everyone came up to the front of the stage which was refreshing to see. These people were here to rock and rock them we did. After having played so many shows we were super tight as a group and creating on stage shenanigans was a lot easier. Plus, our physical stamina was up so we just kept pushing harder and harder towards the end of the set. They yelled for one more at the end, we obliged and then retreated to the merch table where we were greeted with high fives, fist bumps and pats on the back for a great set. Who wouldn’t want to do only this for the rest of their life?
Next up was Panic Volcanic. Bass, drums and vocals made up the power trio. The singer reminded me a lot of Allison Mosshart and the music in general was very reminiscent of the Dead Weather with sprinkles of QOTSA and Kyuss. The bass acted as the guitar and drove enough fuzz to make Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme pitch a fit of jealous rage. I definitely dug it. They were super riffy and had a lot of energy and were nuts on stage. I had to say to myself that Jamie did a really good job picking this band to play with us. We went together very well. I can’t wait to bring these guys to Detroit. You’ll love them.