October 3, 2012

Lubbock Music Fest 2012 - The Departed

This past weekend was a pretty huge deal for Lubbock. I know that Lubbock has a rich music scene and has for decades, growing legends like Buddy Holly, The Flatlanders, and many more, but I feel like state-wide, Lubbock isn't necessarily recognized as the music mecca it really is. I guess you can't compete with Austin, but the kind of music coming from West Texas is it's own breed.

So what was the big deal with last weekend? They have done it before, but it's been a few years. So I guess it was the.... reviving?.... I can't say first annual because that is wrong, there is no such thing as a "first annual" anything (my news writing professor would be so proud). Anywho - 2012 Lubbock Music Fest was last weekend. It was Thursday-Saturday and featured bands from many different genres of music, not just Texas Country/Red Dirt. I went to the Damn Quails at the Blue Light Thursday night and then The Departed played Friday night.

I have been looking forward to seeing The Departed at Lubbock Music Fest since I heard about it a few months ago. When I saw them back in June at the Blue Light, they put on an incredible show. It was the first time I heard any of their new music, but since then a little bit of it has been released with the recording of their new album, Adventus, that comes out in November, so I knew this show would be chock-full of new goodies.

Another reason I was so excited about this concert and the whole festival in general, is because Lubbock doesn't get stuff like this! Sure there's tons of music festivals all across Texas, but not within a 100-mile radius of us. I've heard rumors that "they" (I don't know who "they" is) are trying to turn this into Lubbock's version of SXSW. That's a huge task, but I'm just glad Lubbock is getting some attention.

Also, the last (or maybe second to last) time Lubbock had this festival was several years ago and Cross Canadian Ragweed played. I've written about it before, but it was my first non-arena concert and the best concert I've ever attended to date. It could/would/should have scarred me for life considering I was practically a kid in a swarm of drunk and/or stoned college students, but instead it opened my eyes to what live music is supposed to be and I haven't been the same since. I have always said that that was the concert that changed my life, so to speak, and made me realize my passion for live music at such a young age. So yeah, I was pretty damn stoked, not only when I heard that Lubbock Music Fest was coming back, but that The Departed was headlining.

But it doesn't stop there, my good friend/partner in crime, Skylar just so happened to win meet and greet passes and tickets to the show from 105.3 and I'll be damned if I didn't guilt trip her into letting me be her +1! So we went early and got to meet the band and take a few pictures. It wasn't anything phenomenal and only lasted about 10 minutes, but that's OK because the entire time I was trying not to be crazy Aunt Sue excited. I got the picture and that's what we came for anyway.

So the weather wasn't entirely desirable for an outdoor concert, but that wasn't stopping me. The crowd did kind of suck but that's because everyone thought it was cancelled. I just wore waterproof mascara and faced it. A little rain doesn't scare a few West Texas girls. It was totally worth it too because we had the full front row to ourselves and a handful of friends and devoted fans. Not that I would stand anywhere else if there had been 500 people, but it was a lot more comfortable. We watched Red and the Vityls play first (great band, check them out) then The Departed came on a little earlier than expected.

I'm so impressed that they will play in the rain to 50 people and put on as good a show as you'd expect for a packed crowd in perfect conditions. They started off with Rosalie, then they played a new one that I'm not sure what it's called, but it's amazing. Neely Yates from 105.3 told me about it at the meet and greet because they had played it in studio earlier. It's basically an in-your-face, shut-the-hell-up and quit requesting "Carney Man" and freakin move on song. I love it! They can do all the interviews in the world, but the best way to get their message out to their fans, ex-fans, and diehard-Ragweed fans is through a song and I think this one does it perfectly.

Then Seth played their new song, "Hobo," which I heard last week and already love. I tried to find it but those tricky people already took it off Soundcould. I guess they are pretty literal when they says "this week's preview." I think they played a few more new songs but I don't remember what they were. One of them I do remember Cody singing and he used that mic that makes his voice all cool... it said something like "she had flowers in her hair, she had darkness everywhere...." Yup, love it. They did a mix of old and new songs, with Cody, Seth and Jeremy taking turns. Everything new I heard I loved, and I wanted to hear more. It was all pretty rock and roll and a good change from the last album.

They even played a few Ragweed songs, the usual "Dimebag" and "Anywhere But Here," my favorite running/angry-driving song. And they wrapped up with "Skyline Radio" and "Time to Move On." I kind of think they did another encore song but if they did, I didn't write it down. I was too busy trying to help my friend Keely get a set list since her cleaning lady threw hers away.

The show was awesome. Even though it drizzled on us the entire time, it was never so bad we couldn't enjoy it. I would have stuck it out either way. If the band is willing to tolerate in the conditions and entertain you, why not let them? I've got nothing to lose. I was looking like a wet dog when it was over but I had a blast and I would do it again. I still went to Blue Light after for Rodney Parker and 50 Peso Reward, but half the people there were soaking wet too. To me the rain just added to the experience! Now I just need November 13th to get here so I can hear the rest.

This is one of my favorites Seth plays.

(Me and Skylar before and after.)

1 comment:

  1. | Lubbock isn't necessarily recognized as the music mecca it really is.

    That's because it's not really a music mecca at all. Unless you consider the wholesale proliferation of mostly cover tune bands, Lubbock's total sum of original artists are mostly uknown even to Lubbock itself. That's not so true for songwriters who frequent the Blue Light, but a fair critique of them as that many sound all too similar, too predictable, too commercial, might as well be playing covertunes. I think it's telling that you jump from the growing up of musicians from among Holly to over 30 years later the Flatlanders & then almost 30 more to the Departed. Lubbock is not growing up many artists at all. We're behind all other music scenes in Texas, and the problem is people here are too pretentious to admit we have a problem. You hear stupid things said like, "Austin wouldn't even have a music scene if it wasn't for the musician factory Lubbock has been supplying them with." I know the people in Austin hate flatlanders for that very reason. Instead of arguing we just need to let more original artists perform at venues and festivals. Forget the headliner concept of hiring some non-regional old baby boomer retirees to headline the festival everyone knows doesn't even contain regional music. Why call it the Lubbock musical festival at all? More songwriter nights everywhere!