photos by Richard Ramirez II and Ike Theriot
Houston came out in force Friday night to support the Wild Moccasins’ release of their new EP Microscopic Metronomes. Walter’s on Washington reached capacity before the second band, Buxton, even began to play. Many people who were turned away hung out in the packed parking lot anyway, just to soak up the scene and catch the sound bites escaping through the front door.
The Teenage Kicks greeted those early-comers who scored free pizza and a copy of Microscopic Metronomes with their ticket. By the end of their set, only a handful of EPs were left, the pizza was long gone, and the crowd was dancing.
Buxton was up next, and their following was huge. The crowd refused to move during the set change, chatting amongst themselves as they stood and waited. As a result, there was less of the jubilant dancing you usually see at Buxton gigs, and more of a jostle-and-sway as much as possible in the two inches of space around you. Buxton’s bluegrass pop has a more noticeably Southern sound than most other local bands. Zahiri and Cody of The Moccasins joined them for the last few songs of their set, to get the crowd pumped for the headlining shenanigans.
Co-frontman Cody Swann sounded genuinely touched and amazed as he thanked the sold-out crowd for their support. Greeted by enthusiastic cheers, The Moccasins launched into a new song, as vibrant and catchy as ever. Going to a Wild Moccasins show makes you feel like a latchkey kid watching The Partridge Family. You just ache to be a part of that happy, sparkly jumble of people, with their shiny clothes and beautiful mustaches. Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann sneak meaningful glances at each other while singing the catchiest nonsense refrains you’ve ever heard, with voices like sunny Florida oranges and big eyes like kittens in laundry hampers. They’re so cute you want to hate them, but their songs are so good you can’t. For the last song, the Moccasins invited the crowd to join them onstage to set off dollar-store confetti poppers and dance. Notable Houston musicians like Fat Tony, some Ton Tons and Young Mammals were among those onstage, grinning and singing along. You don’t find that kind of camaraderie and good vibrations among musicians in every city, and it’s a major reason why, lately, our scene is getting better and better with every show.
Review by Simone Kern & Alma Verdejo