Scenes From Last Night's The Digital Wild, BLXPLTN Show at The Grotto.

In a word, Fort Worth bar-cum-venue The Grotto is best described as “intimate” — especially when compared to Dallas venue The Prophet Bar, where we caught Hawthorne Heights on Wednesday night.

But, even despite the scant crowd at last night's show in the venue when Fort Worth's Tidals kicked things off with its “future punk doom dub,” the simple surroundings proved to be pretty damn hip.

And, truly, the whole night played out like a kind of roller coaster of emotions.

Austin's The Digital Wild, used its headlining set to really show those in attendance what “trip-rock” really means. The band's sound is both loud and heavy, while at the same time retaining a meaningful, ethereal quality. Two songs in, the band played one of its more popular numbers, “I Love You,” and, from there, it was hard to know whether to cry or to be angry at whoever must have hurt these poor souls bad enough to write a song like this. In either scenario, dancing around like a drunken gypsy seemed to be the appropriate response from those who made it out to the show.

And that was a beautiful thing — especially following the rambunctious nature of BLXPLTN's set.

Before we go on, just know this: BLXPLTN is a punk rock band that's all about jamming out its political and social frustrations in front of the rest of the world. Its futuristic sound makes use of electric drums in a way that's both hostile and provocative in a “You're alive; get your ass up and do something!” sense. The 30 or so in the crowd really seemed to be into it, too: Everybody was on their feet, fists held belligerently in air.

After the set the band's bassist Jonathan Horstmann told us he felt especially loved this performance: “Austin people take it for granted because there's so much music and so much good music, that crowds don't really get into it,” he told us. “They're just like, 'Yeah, that was really cool and now I'm gonna see something else really cool.' Whereas, here in the Dallas area, it feels like people really appreciate the music. That's not to say that they don't in Austin, but it's vibrant, it's alive, and people seem excited about it in a different way.”

And that we were.

Sometimes, a small and intimate show is a nice change of pace. It can be just what you needed, like a bowl of hot soup on a cold Winter day — or, well, something like that. And this is especially true when the performers onstage really make you feel like you're seeing something truly unique and/or manage to take you on some sort of emotional journey.

Last night, we're happy to report, that emotional exchange indeed went both ways.
















All photos by Lauren Rushing.

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