SATX – I always smell an odor of excitement when approaching The Limelight on the St. Mary’s Strip. Past the patio lit by a constantly rotating marquee, a dark yet welcoming entrance leads you beyond a bumping bar to a stage filled with lights of blue, green and red tinges. Limelight has come a long way from it’s former layout, a venue that was affectionately called “Slimelight.” 502 Bar owner, Deric Wynne, took over the space that really just needed a bit of love and refinement. 502 is known for it’s slick bar, welcoming environment, and most importantly for putting on a great show. I’ve heard multiple artists say, “Best sound in town!”, and Wynne brought all of those elements to Limelight! A lot of things were cosmetic changes, “refinishing the bar top, painting, getting everything in working order,” said Wynne. The new stage presence is most noticeable. Descending and lit black stares (reminiscent of a Spice Girls stage) lead into a newly lit and designed platform. Wynne “put a lot of effort into the production for shows; sound, lights etc,” and those changes were put to great use on Tuesday, February 23rd, when Pop Pistol (San Antonio), Deep Sea Diver (Seattle), and Radiation City (Portland) performed!
The evening started with trio, Pop Pistol, out of San Antonio, TX. These boys really know how to invite a crowd to step forward and enjoy themselves. The local boys Alex Scheel (Singer, Guitar), Jorge Gonzalez (Drums, Percussion) and George Garza (Bass) are local favorites. The three are handsome, and their lack of shoes onstage seems to add an element of humility that makes you feel comfortable, but strangely their physical draws are not what attract you to them at first. Slow yet prominent sounds dig deeply into you while Scheel seems to build something beautiful inside of you from what they dug out. Pop Pistol is not afraid to demonstrate how their music is intended to relax, dancing and vibrating on stage in a way that compels you to breath, then join in. Their space-jungle sound takes me back to a former life either thousands of years, or worlds, away.
“Pop Pistol delivered on [that] night – a perfect fit with the touring line up, they did themselves and their city proud,” said owner, Deric Wynne. Pop Pistol is currently working on a few new projects and music! New vibes “more based on very pure raw sounds that challenge our bodies to bring out those sounds of complexity,” said Scheel. But they do ask for your patience, as the three are jacks of all trades and have multiple projects in the works. For now, catch them next at the Funeral Sounds / Broken World Media UNOFFICIAL SXSW SHOWCASE at Eden House Co-Op March 15th in Austin, TX!
Up next was Deep Sea Diver out of Seattle, WA. Of course I was extremely excited to see this group live. Deep Sea Diver is helmed by Jessica Dobson. Not only was Dobson the longtime guitarist of a band that really set the mood for a generation, The Shins, but she has also performed with such legendary acts as Beck, Conor Oberst, Spoon and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (So basically she’s an on-the-DL Bad Ass). A band led by such a versatile and powerful artist presenting her own thoughts and vision is always a thrilling thing to witness, and Jesus Cristo, they did not disappoint! I, along with the entire audience, danced in anticipation of every moment. Dobson trapped us in a dream world that did not shy away from sadness, but was also filled with love and light. Scheel of Pop Pistol felt a personal connection with Deep Sea Diver, almost a familial affection. He perfectly described them saying, “Every melody and rhythm made me feel like they were in my Imagination.” Download their latest album, SECRETS, now!
Radiation City (Portland, OR) gave me the same feeling as a sultry lover whispering sensual nothings a breath away from my ear. Their dark beats made my heart leap, and their voices are that of angels on ecstasy. Download their latest album,SYNTHETICA, now!
It was yet another breathtaking evening to add to the Limelight resume. “DSD and Radiation City were pure joy to watch – the local audience embraced the bands performances and made SA a memorable stop on their tour,” said owner, Deric Wynne, and he is determined to not stray from such memorable trends. “We hope to continue showcasing both local and touring artists, while offering the most fulfilling show going experiences we can at both Limelight and 502 Bar,” proclaimed Wynne. Want to catch one of these hot nights of socializing, live music and inspiration? Some not to miss shows are: