It’s that time of year again, the season for parties vaguely associated with Christmas. Friday, it was the Cosby Sweater party/Piranha Bear art show at Shipping & Receiving bar. They had tunes courtesy of DJ Ronnie Hart, lots of truly awful sweaters and really good art.
They also collected clothing donations for the homeless. Piranha Bear always throws a good party.
Saturday it was the Back to Basics Kick Off Party at Red Goose Saloon. I’ve been meaning to check out a show at this place for years, and just never made it. It’s in downtown Fort Worth, in a spot that for many years housed Solomon’s Juvenile Shoe Store.
The show was up on the second floor, an almost hidden room up a rickety staircase where there were multiple Santas dancing with girls decked out in tinsel, while DJ’s spun hip-hop tunes. And a taco bar.
The event invite said the live rap performances would start at 9 p.m., but by 9:45 we still only had the DJ. The energy was building, however, and the dance floor crowd was bouncing like a trampoline. By the time the show started, it looked as if there would be an enthusiastic audience — always a plus.
Unfortunately, the Red Goose management delayed the live show because they were concerned the people dancing to the recorded hip-hop wouldn’t like the live stuff. It wasn’t until most of the crowd gave up and left that the show that was advertised went on, but it was too late. By 11:45, when Jesse Weideman and Robert Villanueva took to the mike (with DJ Ozmel on the turntable), much of the energy and many of the people had left. Fans don’t like to wait almost three hours for a show to start.
Jesse and Robert were great, there was nothing wrong with the flow or the music from Ozmel, but the sparse crowd that was left was hard to engage. Calls to the audience for response fell flat. Vocals were somewhat distorted (there was no real sound check at this point), so lyrics were hard to make out, but I dug what I heard. Under the best of conditions, rap is hard to understand through a house sound system.
By 12:30 the show was over and I made my way out to the street.
There is a need in Funkytown for more good hip-hop venues, and I love the space at Red Goose. But when artists drive in from Dallas, only to be given the runaround, it makes it hard to build up any kind of scene. This was the first in a series of shows, and here’s hoping things run smoother next time.