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Just one day after being tasered and arrested in Houston, Two Gallants took the stage at Emo’s. Seemingly none-the-worse-for-the-wear, the duo still seemed pretty fired up (and their performances are characteristically intense to begin with). Langhorne Slim and his band had a bit harder of a time trying to work out the kinks of a borrowed upright bass, but both groups still put on fantastic shows. Meanwhile, the outside stage was home to CD release shows for the Lord Henry and the Lemurs with Loxly and Clap! Clap! joining in for good measure.
We arrived too late to catch Loxly’s opening set outside but Clap! Clap!’s sheer exuberance more than made up for it. In fact, Clap! Clap! may have well stolen the show from the headliners. The group was forced to work with keyboards borrowed from the Lemurs – theirs having been stolen only a couple days earlier – but it didn’t seem to slow them down a bit. The members bounced around the stage in a flurry of limbs and instruments while banging on anything in sight and, yes, clapping like mad. The only problem with the set was that few in the crowd seemed to moving, which was strange as Clap! Clap! straight-up dance rock was irresistible – the group coming off like a less pretentious and more fun version of the Rapture.
The inside of Emo’s meanwhile offered up a more folk oriented rock lineup.
Following the Trainwreck Riders, Langhorne Slim and his band (calling themselves the War Eagles) set up and plowed through a set of rollicking folk-pop. Having had the 90-year-old upright bass destroyed the night before, the bassist did the best he could with a borrowed instrument, but ultimately had to admit defeat in the end.
Trading the upright for a guitar, the group ran through the set as best they could, having to make adjustments to the songlist as they went. The problems with the bass left Slim to handle a decent amount of the songs on his own, but to his credit he didn’t let the frustrations restrain his stage antics in the least. After several slower acoustic numbers, including a couple of Neil Young-ish tracks from his new Engine EP, the group kicked it loose again with “Let It Flow.” Slim kicked and jumped around through the set looking like a much more animated M. Ward while the bassist did his best to thumb the electric like it was a stand-up. They closed out the set with a furious version of “I Will” that set everything right despite the difficulties.
The Lord Henry and The Lemurs headlined outside to a good size crowd that was more into their brand of rock than they had been into Clap! Clap!’s. The Lord Henry poured on the rockstar show thick, complete with a lightshow and smoke machine that seemed a bit grandiose for Emo’s. But the audience seemed to appreciate the spectacle as the group ran through the songs from their latest Zoo Palace.
The Lemurs lived up to their headline billing with one of their best shows. The group worked the keys to full effect as the fans proved who they had come to see by singing along to songs that were only just now being released on the Lemur’s debut EP.
Two Gallants finally closed out the night inside in a hair-flinging, vein popping fury. Tyson Vogel pounded away on the drums and sang through the veil of damp hair
covering his face while Adam Stephens’s screamed songs like “Las Cruces Jail” with an intensity that seemed to verge on a break-down. But the group isn’t all fire either, and the more mellow (though no less twisted) ballads like “Steady Rollin’” were among the best songs of the set. In fact, “Steady Rollin’” even prompted one fan to jump on stage from the crowd and join in with the band on harmonica. Stephens and Vogel were understandably bewildered, especially after their previous night’s assault, but they were both smiling as the bouncers quickly grabbed the fan and threw him back to the crowd.