Stone walls, punk rock, and street brawls. Three Links in Deep Ellum had a little something for everyone on Sunday night as they hosted Rosegarden Funeral Party, Maestro Maya, and The Fibs. As the sun set over the Dallas skyline, I hoped that the slight drop in temperatures would help fill the venue, but this was not the case. Perhaps the late start – it was 9:30 pm before the first band took the stage – deterred the larger crowds. As the total of 10 people, most of which were in the performing bands, stood on the patio waiting for the show to begin, a fight broke out between two individuals across the street. That helped strike up some conversation and lighten the mood at the sparse venue. Even the blasting of classic punk rock on the PA couldn’t save you from hearing yourself think. It was a shame that the venue was so empty, as the three bands that played deserved a much larger crowd.
The first band to take the stage, The Fibs, started off the night with their darkwave sound. This was one of the first of a handful of shows the band plans to play together and it was a shame there were not more fans to witness it. Original members Preston Newberry (guitars and vocals), Rob Rux (drums), and Jen Red Rux (bass) seemed to have had a seamless transition with adding a second guitarist to the mix, Joel Raif. The band plowed through the 30 minute set covering songs from their only release to date, Hex Hex Hex, which was released in 2014 on cassette and digital. The dual guitars, accompanied by pedal-boards that were used to produce a gamut of different sound effects, made for a beautifully dreamy atmosphere. Jen and Rob held down the rhythm with flawless timing of upbeat grooves that helped maintain an energetic live sound. The band also threw in a couple of tracks from an upcoming album that will be released later this year. It has been a long time coming for the band and the new tracks made me excited for the upcoming release.
Up next was the psychedelic trio, Maestro Maya. The improvised set included guitar riffs run through a loop pedal and hypnotic vocals. Yes, you read that right. Everything that this group does is improvised on the spot and they are damn good at it. Still being the only person standing near the stage, I was able to immerse myself in the sound and get lost in the rhythm. Songs cued from only a single key, guitar riff, or pounding drum beat shows the immense talent of Josh Cinquemani (guitars and vocals), Andres Serrano (drums), and Jonahs Dower (bass). I got the opportunity to discuss the future of the band with Josh and Jonahs after their set. They discussed possibly composing songs in the future. But, whatever these guys do I have no doubt Maestro Maya will continue to leave crowds in awe.
To close out the night, Rosegarden Funeral Party brought their darkwave, shoegaze, vampire post-punk sound to the stage. This band absolutely blew me away. Seeing a group of musicians take the stage with the infamous underage ‘X’ marked on their hands could have a crowd thinking that they are about the witness another sub-par local band. This is far from the truth with this group. Imagine Joan Jett on vocals and guitar backed by a ferocious, bone chilling mix of atmospheric keyboards combined with a backbone of earth shaking rhythm, hypnotic dance grooves, and tambourine accents. That sums up Rosegarden Funeral Party. Leah Lane commanded the stage with an unreal vocal performance and well-structured guitar riffs, while Wil Farrier (bass), Mikka Vanya Brightheart (keyboard, samples), and Tate Christopher (drums), rounded out the sound with effortless performances. You could feel the joy of each and every performer on stage. These guys and gals have true passion for what they are doing and you can hear it in their music. Do yourself a favor and go listen to their release, The Chopping Block in its entirety and see for yourself. Also, if “Blitzkrieg In Holland” isn’t the perfect set closer for a band, I don’t know what is.
– Corey Smith
– click to enlarge photos –