Back To School at Jagoe House

It's a time for revival, and the Denton linchpin that is The Jagoe House inspired far more than just one definition of revival this past Saturday night. Some revivals took the form of a new audience, made of newly-transplanted students and freshly-initiated residents. Others were in the form of bands new to the venue—Day 4 and Samsara—playing killer sets that finally brought them to christening in the more-literal-than-intended waters of Jagoe House-brand perspiration.

On the other hand, there were some who stood to really redefine what can be thought of as “revival”: The Heavy Hands. Electric enough to defibrillate even the most jaded Dentonite, John Tipton and the Wiese brothers inspire something only comparable to a stimulant-spawned, rock-and-soul gospel revival. It was nothing short of a fire-and-brimstone sonic sermon, and though no holy rollers were in attendance, if there was any spare breath in the room, one can be sure there would've been someone shouting an “amen.” The Heavy Hands delivered, and those in attendance ate up everything from the hands that fed them.

A perfect counterpoint to The Heavy Hands’ claustrophobic adrenaline came in the form of an open, intimate follow-up by Eric Daino, the indelible frontman of local ska royalty the Holophonics. Though not entirely uncommon, his solo sets are a refreshing reincarnation for a passionate artist. Whereas some performers push the space to its limits and give little thought to between-song banter, Daino is a midnight preacher, spilling himself in every spoken word and woven lyric. It was quiet and the air opened up a bit, since many had vacated at this late hour.

Make no mistake, though—there was no lack of energy in this stripped-down performance. Nothing in life is created or destroyed; as such, the punk spirit that infilitrates the Holophonics’ sound was only transformed into a more subtle voice in Daino’s performance. In fact, without the distortion or the backing brass, there was revealed something even more raw, more vulnerable, in both familiar songs and new jams alike. Though his set was late and last, time held no bearing on the impact the sonic send-off had. The night eventually had to wind down, and even booze-fueled twentysomethings have a limit. This was the perfect nightcap.

Whether it was a sending of good vibes to new performers, or a passing of the torch to a fresh litter of UNT students and show-goers, it was a revival in every sense of the word. Beyond these words and photos, one only has to wait a short while to relive it.

Here’s to yet another season of Jagoe House shows and all the accompanying debauchery the house demands. Let every night be redefining.

Photos by Garrett Smith
Header image design by Jason Lee