Ghost Wave, Idiot Glee, Fat Tony and Antwon on Friday at 35 Denton
We who live here know it already, but, surely, part of the fun of 35 Denton is hearing acts far and wide proclaim, “Texas is pretty cool!” throughout their sets. And, all night long on the festival's Friday night, Texas continued getting all kinds of love, shout-outs and praise.
Hey, we welcome it all — especially when that sentiment comes from an act like Ghost Wave, who traveled all the way from New Zealand to play before a near-capacity crowd in J&J's basement last night. It helped, of course, that the band's lo-fi, beach-tinge rock too charmed, but, this time, when frontman Matt Paul closed out his set, his thanks didn't seem staged.
“Thanks for letting us play your country,” he told his J&J's audience. “You guys can come to our country, too! But I wouldn't.”
Influenced by sexier sets elsewhere — or maybe just the pizza upstairs — the space cleared out just before Idiot Glee finished setting up for his following show in the parlor's basement. Laden with technical issues, the one-man band's show got off to a rough start, but eventually settled as Idiot Glee serenaded his thin crowd with his pleasing synth-pop sound.
Later, the sunny vibes continued over at Hailey's Club, where Houston rapper Fat Tony mostly concerned himself with helping the college kids in attendance start their spring break off proper.
“Spring Break Forever!” Tony shouted throughout his set, during which he also showed lots of love to Denton.
Joined by his DJ, Tom Cruz (not to be confused with Com Truise who headlines The Hive tonight), it's hard to call Tony's set anything but a party. And, hey, what's a party without a crowd-surfing cat, right? The cat, fortunately, wasn't in anyway injured as it was passed around the crowd — but it really did look pretty damn terrified there for a minute, which is probably what prompted outrage from the couple of crowd members who scooped up the cat to let it back outside.
But moods weren't damped when the special guest left. Instead, the set just turned into a dance party as Cruz dropped various tracks and Tony danced with a mob of women who bum-rushed the stage for a little booty-clapping.
The night's final performer, Antwon, too showed love to Texas during his set. Unfortunately, much of the Fat Tony crowd left before the California rapper, performing his first-ever Texas show, got too far into his set. As a ploy to get the crowd more into his set, Antwon followed Fat Tony's suit, inviting the crowd to join him on stage. It was fairly awkward, though: As the stage filled, Antwon looked mostly uncomfortable and largely stuck to a single area that he formed for himself by kicking some drinks off of the stage. But when those on stage cleared out, Antwon seemed to have found his groove.
Not unlike the festival itself, really.