Sound: Imagine holding a concert in your living room. Crazy, right? Yeah, house shows are common all over the country. Now imagine a band like Periphery playing in your living room, with more kids than your living room can hold. They've spilled into your kitchen, your den, your bathroom, and there's still kids who can't even fit who are in your lawn and your backyard. This was the scene on Thursday, March 3rd, at Houston's House of Creeps.
Wait, it's 2011 and Periphery are playing in a house? Yeah, we'll get to that in a little bit.
I don't know how many of you have actually been to a house show, but let me tell you, it's great. Sure, there's some cons about it. You might be limited on moshing space (that didn't stop us), you might be limited on crowdsurfing space (again, that didn't stop us), and you may be in a sketchy neighborhood (I thought we were going to get mugged when I got out of the car).
But the pros definitely outweighed the cons in my opinion. Being that the show was in someone's living room, the crowd was literally face to face with the band. That just makes the experience that much more personal. And the sound was surprisingly clear. I've seen much bigger shows where the sound can get muddy or distorted. Sometimes the mixing sucks at bigger venues. But heck, I don't even know if I saw a PA system that night. Regardless of whether there was one or not, what we heard wasn't amplified sounds coming through a system, we heard the instruments directly. So while the sound was loud enough to where it would drown out the crowd and each instrument was perfectly defined, it wasn't painfully loud. Which is really the perfect volume for a show.
All of the band members were playing with top notch precision. Which really matters when your music has funky rhythms in odd time signatures. The Spencer sang flawlessly, sounding just like on record. The band all played in sync like a well-oiled machine. And Bulb nailed every solo with the accuracy of a robot. A robot who likes to make Steve Vai-esque facial expressions. // 9
Perfomance: While there was literally no room to move inside this tiny little living room, Periphery made us move. The audience went wild as soon as they hit the stage. I mean, took their places at the front of the room. Have you ever seen someone crowdsurf indoors? I hadn't, until that night.
Periphery played an extended set that night consisting of a slew of tracks off of their self-titled debut. There was tons of interaction between the band and the crowd during the show. It really was something special to see the entire crowd singing along to the intro to "Jetpacks Was Yes!".
There wasn't much in the way of flashy effects or anything, but what can you expect from a last-minute setup at a house show? But none of that mattered to the audience. If anything, we ended up having too much fun. The incessant moshing and jumping actually caused part of the floor to cave in. // 9
Impression: Fair to Midland, Periphery, and Scale the Summit were all supposed to start their nationwide tour together on March 3rd in Houston. But due to some complications with the other bands (illnesses, I've heard), FtM and StS had to pull out of the first few dates of the tour. With most of the lineup gone, Houston's Warehouse Live cancelled the show and rescheduled it for a later date.
Most other bands in Periphery's place might just say "alright, we can just take a few more days off before the tour starts". But most other bands aren't Periphery. Utilizing Facebook, the band were quickly able to schedule a house show at the House of Creeps. And since so many ticketholders had already paid money for a good show, Periphery played for free. What bros.
I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of Periphery before the show. I had heard a few songs, and while they were impressive, the didn't stick with me. But seeing them play really changed all that. Seeing those songs live was an entirely different experience altogether. I ended up buying a shirt from them, and I do think I'll be listening to them more often now.
There were two opening bands who played before Periphery, both of them local Houston bands. The first one was The Circadian Effect, a six piece deathcore band with two vocalists. I thought they got better as their set went on. I didn't see the next band, The Floating Man, because I was hanging out in the backyard during their set where Periphery was. The show was actually being filmed for Rusty Cooley's Guitar Asylum TV program, which will be broadcasted across Houston sometime in the future. I'm sure there's going to be plenty of folks from the city tuning in for that episode.
While Periphery may have been knocked down by having their original show cancelled, it certainly didn't knock them out. Instead of taking the day off, they made do with the situation and pulled through with a free show. That says a lot about how much they care about the fans. In addition to all that, they're all super friendly guys. They spent the entire show hanging out in the backyard, being total dudes and talking to anyone who came up to them. Bulb was even giving advice to young bands about how to deal with record labels. The amount of respect I have for this band shot up greatly after that night, and I'm sure plenty of other people can say the same. // 9