Austin-based The Bright Light Social Hour stopped by the Kessler Theater in Dallas, TX in support of their most recent album Space is the Place. After 7 weeks on the road, they were not shy to say that even though they have had an amazing tour, they were very happy to be back in their home state.
It has been five years since the release of their first album The Bright Light Social Hour, which was very well received and garnered them several SXSW Awards. Since then their travel and touring through the south is what inspired the tracks of Space. The band says they are using influences from soul, blues, and gritty southern music.
On Friday, May 15th, the band played in the lovely, intimate setting of the Kessler. The venue was full, the stage setup simple, just the guys and some basic lighting. All of them sporting their signature long locks, Jack O’Brien on bass guitar and vocals with a great headband and a fringed jacket, Curtis Roush on guitar and vocals killing it, Edward Braillif on synthesizers and guitar moved from instrument to instrument fluidly, and Joseph Mirasole on drums did a couple of really great solos.
I was not familiar with their music before being offered to do this review, but I listened to their new album several times before attending. My instant favorites were “Sweet Madelene” and “Slipstream.” I could definitely hear all the influences they were going for throughout the album, in fact it made it a little difficult for me to describe exactly what kind of music they play.
Through their set they played hits from both of their albums with the audience obligingly singing along and dancing. They are listed as a psychedelic rock band and several songs were mellow and matched the smoke in the air. Some of the guitar riffs were filled with sixties nostalgia, but there were several that I would almost describe as almost a disco beat. These were my favorite for the live show, just because you could not sit still. As a native Texas girl, I instantly picked up on the southern rock. The guitar work was amazing and slick, and vocals between O’Brien and Roush were hypnotic and powerful.
This was a great show and a great venue to witness it at. I will definitely be at the next Dallas show they put on, as well as the rest of their loyal DFW following. They are taking a brief rest before doing a few shows and festivals in the midwest. Their next local Texas show as of now is not until August when they participate in Float Fest.
Review by Reanna Streater