As we drove into Houston on I-10 I didn't know what to expect. I could see some of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ike from the highway. Lots of trees had been uprooted, some skyscrapers and buildings downtown had plywood over a lot of the windows and there was debris strewn every where. I'm sure that this damage is minor compared to the onslaught that Ike inflicted on Galveston and other surrounding areas. My thoughts go out to the people who were affected.
On a lighter note, I was there to see Tribella perform at Fitzgerald's, opening up for Houston buzz band Girl in a Coma. I had reluctantly given up a day of the ACL festival to come to Houston to see these ladies rock out. I thought to myself 'This had better be good!'
According to their website, Fitzgerald's is one of the oldest and widely recognized music venues in the greater Houston area. From the outside it looks like an old two story house that has maybe seen better days. The inside is cozy and dark, featuring both an upstairs and a downstairs venue. Tonight's event was in the downstairs venue, which featured a large stage and plenty of indoor seating with an spacious outdoor patio if you felt like experiencing some of the post-Hurricane mosquitoes. Our waitress at the restaurant across the street said she loves the place but is always afraid the floor might cave in, especially in the packed upstairs area. Seeing that the show was happening in the downstairs area with a wrestling (yes, I said wrestling) event being held upstairs, I hoped that tonight would not be the night for that to happen. Luckily it didn't.
Tribella didn't disappoint. In their short but sweet 45 minute set, they managed to bring an innovative and professional vibe to the stage, with the colorful lights providing a fitting backdrop for their multi-faceted sound. Singer and guitarist Sarah Glynn managed to crank out solid, catchy guitar licks while belting out intricate and layered vocals, reminiscent of Tanya Donnelly of Belly. Drummer Dena Gerbrecht kicked out the beat, peppering the songs with exciting drum rolls and fills, looking like she was having a blast the whole time. Bassist Rae Goldring, looking stoic on her side of the stage, rounded things out with smooth bass lines that complimented Gerbrecht's excitable drumming.
Glynn and company rocked the stage with a reckless abandon, especially on "WTKN," an upbeat number with echoing guitar crescendos and a catchy vocal line. "Saucer Eyes," with its infectious chorus and two-part harmonies, was a definite crowd pleaser. They closed the set with the riveting "Feel Feel," where Glynn sings "I take it all back/I take it all back" like she really means it.
The two bands in between didn't seem to fit the bill, with their thrash metal sounds and sometimes unintelligible vocals. My guess is that they were chosen because they were female-fronted and local. Girl in a Coma was great, but sounded kind of muddled and fuzzy compared to the clear, concise rhythms of Tribella.