Patio Sessions. It’s been close to a year since the last time I attended one of these seasonal events held outside the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, and evidently they’ve changed up the set up this year. Last year it was held literally on the patio of the AT&T PAC, but upon arriving today, the musicians were set up on part of the sidewalk near the corner of the street. I didn’t like that part quite as much, because it put a distance between the onlookers/fans and the artists, rather than having a more intimate feel like last year’s did.
First up was a singer/songwriter from Dallas, Kirby Brown, who was introduced by Mark from 102.1 The EDGE. I’ve heard of him [Kirby] for years now, but never took time to listen to his music and never happened to see one of his live shows. In fact, but of me wishes I still hadn’t done either. See, he said in this set as well as a recent online posting that he will soon be relocating to NYC, so it sucks to hear a musician and like him when he only has one last show in D-FW area after this.
Indeed, it was a great show he put on, and his music, voice and lyrics were excellent. His music was more along the lines of Folk, though there was a certain Rock element to it, and I’m sure that is only magnified when he has a full-band backing him, which he said occasionally happens. He got to play a nice little set of songs, before being told his time was up, as they had a “special guest” slated to be there after his set, but luckily after his set was done they decided they could let him do one more.
By the time I get this posted, his farewell show will have already occurred, making this, in all likelihood, the only time I’ll ever see Kirby perform. But who knows, maybe he’ll get back to Dallas sometime for a show.
He’s a very talented individual, and for anyone who might be reading this and lives in New York City, be on the lookout for him in your city soon. For everyone else, he has an album, “Child of Calamity”, which is available in iTunes.
They had said something about a special guest being part of this show, and I was curious as to who it would be. I was thinking along the lines of some type of special musical guest… I was wrong.
A play, Warhorse, was starting there at the PAC that night, and to help welcome it to Dallas they had the mayor of the city, Mike Rawlings, and his wife, as well as two members of the DPD who were some of the ones that patrol the city on horseback. Talk switched to the play, and the main character/horse was Joey, and had the mayor’s wife whistle to get Joey to come out. Long story short, the “horse”, which was a frame, shaped like a horse with of course some actors in it, trotted out to where the mayor and everyone else was. There were a lot of young children there, and I believe what happened next was mainly for them, as they introduced Joey to the real horses that the officers sit on. “Well, I think they’re (the fake horse & real horses) best friends, now!” the mayor’s wife exclaimed.
Some may say that animals such as horses lack facial expressions, however, I saw otherwise this day as both of the horses sniffed of and nudged the fake one, looking like, “What the hell is this thing?!”
It was an interesting moment, and unique way to welcome this play to Dallas. Still, for some reason I thought it cool that the mayor of Dallas was right there. I was glad when they finished up and went about their business, though, because that meant that Bravo, Max! was about to start.
The four guys that comprise Bravo, Max! got up on stage and vocalist and lead guitarist, Johnny Beauford, said, “…We’re going to play a song about horses.” He then started plucking at his guitars’ strings, and once the melody was set, Jonathan Jackson entered in lightly on the drums, with bassist, Ben Gastright, and keyboardist, Garrett Padgett, following suit, as “Dog’s Light” got into full swing. That was a hell of a way to get the show going, and perhaps the most striking part of it this time was the end, when Garrett, Ben and Johnny all crooned into their respective mics, “Ooooohhhhh.”, which sounded incredible. Afterwards, Johnny talked about the events with the mayor, and asked that if he was still here if he could stick around a little longer. “…We’d like to get a band picture with you. We’ll use it for our album cover.” he finished. They followed it with a couple either new(er) songs or some songs from Johnny’s solo project, one of which saw Garrett leave the keys for a guitar, while during the other Ben stepped out into the very shallow pool, which several kids had been playing in, and played a portion of the song from there. Jonathan started them on their next song, as Johnny told those who were watching them it was “about kissing”. “So, if you have someone, now would be the time to start kissing them…”, then he added it should only be if you know the person and it’s consensual, “…Otherwise we don’t approve.” That fitting intro led them into their song, “Kiss”, and upon finishing it, they had a little band discussion of what song to play next. They settled on the lead track from their album, “Hotel Denalian”, and Garrett again picked up his guitar for that song. They then slowed things down with “All Your Grace”, which Johnny busted out his harmonica for and used periodically during the song, but picked the pace back up with their latest single, “Pills”. You could overhear them again having a little band conversation about what to do next, deciding on “Take Your Fill”, which Jonathon started with some light, steady beats. I was surprised that it had already been over half an hour since their set started, because it didn’t feel anywhere near that long, and that meant it was time for them to wrap things up, doing one more newer song, which sounded killer by the way, and concluded their 39 minute long set.
The few times I’ve seen these guys before, they have not disappointed, and this evening was no exception. Johnny truly has one of the best voices of any singer in the North Texas area. And while he’s been with them for three out of the four shows I’ve seen now, I like what he brings to the band. The keys help give them a richer sound, and when he playing his ax, he really cuts loose.
The band is staying busy over the course of October, with a big show at Club Dada in Dallas on the 6th, where they will be a part of the CD release show for the new album from the group, Somebody’s Darling. On the 18th they will be at Bar 14 in Abilene, while on the 19th they will be the final act of the season for the Nasher til Midnight concert series, hosted at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. They will be at The Freeman in Dallas on the 31st, and for anyone in Denver, CO, you can see the band at The Lion’s Lair on November 17th.
Find the band’s album, “Dog’s Light”, in iTunes, or you can listen to the entire thing HERE on the bands website. You can also get a FREE download of that single, “Pills”.
I had forgotten how fun these Patio Sessions shows are (and the fact that they’re free doesn’t hurt at all), They have a few more left for the year, so why not go catch one if you don’t have anything to do on a Thursday afternoon/evening?
September 27th Smile Smile and Arielle O’Keefe will be there. On October 4th Vanessa Peters and Nicholas Altobeli will be the entertainment. On October 11th The Blurries and Zhora will rock the place. And on October 18th Air Review and Home by Hovercraft will close out the season.
BELOW: Bravo, Max!