The Posies Played a Secret, Sold-Out Show in Denton Last Night
Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow have performed and recorded music as The Posies since the late '80s. Strangely, they had never played Denton until Thursday night. And with what they brought to Redwood Studio, people were rewarded with a powerful set and a sold out show. Roughly 50 people, including people from Dallas and Denton, as well as Bentonville and Norman, crammed into the studio space, with its wood panels and large rugs, as they got something more than a regular house show.
The Posies are currently promoting a new album called Solid States with pop-up secret shows throughout the United States. Keeping the shows small and intimate has allowed the band to tour economically while making diehard fans happy at the same time.
For the first time ever, the current incarnation of the band is a trio. Joined by new drummer Frankie Siragusa, Auer and Stringfellow play to subtle backing tracks featuring bass, keyboards, and spare percussion. Their 21-song, two-hour set featured a lot of material from Solid States, so they had to stick close to the pre-programmed map. Yet the band played more like they were aided by the tracks rather than restrained.
This is certainly a different kind of presentation for the power-pop mainstays, but Auer and Stringfellow still lock in beautifully with their vocal harmonies and guitar interplay. Classics like "Dream All Day" and "Please Return It" sounded excellent. No matter how small the crowd or venue, Auer and Stringfellow are not afraid to let loose, jump in sync, and give their vocal chords a good workout. Siragusa, who's been a Posies fan since the early '90s, plays closely (and effectively) to the parts the bands past drummers laid out.
The set had some technical issues (Stringfellow broke a guitar string during the first song) along with short guitar noodles of "Stairway to Heaven," "The Spirit of Radio," and "Blister in the Sun" for fun. Midway through, Stringfellow mentioned the deaths of former members of the band, bassist Joe Skyward (who recently died of cancer) and drummer Darius Minwalla (who died unexpectedly last year). "We miss those guys," he said. After playing a song in tribute to them, Stringfellow mentioned a silver lining happened when Siragusa joined the band.
As the band headed towards the finish line, they did have an extended version of "Burn and Shine" and finished with "Solar Sister," "Suddenly Mary," "You Avoid Parties," and "Coming Right Along." Definitely a fine finish to a well-paced set of new and old. Hopefully, the next time The Posies play Denton, it won't be as long as the wait to get them here. The band continues to bring rich, smart, and impactful power pop to their adoring fans, and last night, some lucky Dentonites got the special treatment from them.