Chris posted his account of last night's Voxtrot show at the Cavern this morning. I have a very similar account, but before that, here's some backstory on the band.
Things have been very fruitful for Austin's Voxtrot in the last few months. There have been some nice write-ups on them on various blogs along with some mentions on Spin.com and Pitchfork. They've done some touring and have worked really hard to get their name out. With a second EP in the pipeline, they recently began another nationwide tour and they hit up Dallas last night.
With a great opener set by Tacks the Boy Disaster, local favorites the Happy Bullets put on a really inspired set. I hadn't seen them play in a few months, so it was good to hear a lot of their songs again (especially the yet-to-be-released song, "Keeping Warm"). During the Bullets, the place was packed. It was so packed that I considered splitting once they were done. I had forgotten that Voxtrot was scheduled to headline, but after there was an announcement that Voxtrot's set may be a little different on this night, I decided to stay.
The word was that lead singer Ramesh was coming back from Chicago that night due to a family emergency. Well, he was delayed four hours at Chicago-Midway and was running really late in arriving at the Cavern. To kill time before the place closed at 2am, Jason, Mitch, Matt and Jared decided to make due with what they had. First, they tried a number of songs with various people singing lead vocals (either from the band or the crowd or both), then they decided to break out some cover songs.
Later joined by Jason and Tim from the Happy Bullets and others, various cover songs were given a go. Songs like "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure, "Undone - The Sweater Song" by Weezer, "Sexy Sadie" by the Beatles, "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes, "Laid" by James, "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies and "Waiting for the Man" by the Velvet Underground were played, complete with forgotten lyrics and botched arrangements. From mere descriptions, this sounded like an embarrassing trainwreck. However, this was a really inspiring sight.
I didn't take inspiration from the sloppy runthroughs; I found inspiration with the band for just sticking with it and swallowing their pride. They weren't sitting in a corner and crying about how life had handed them lemmons. Once Ramesh showed up (apparently running a 102-degree fever) at 1:45am, the band proceeded to kick out two songs before they had to close up shop. They were super tight and fun and ended the show on a really good note.
I should also compliment the crowd that stuck around. There were plenty of people up front who cheered along and had a good time. Instead of acting like zombies wanting to be entertained, the people standing around understood the situation and had fun. They knew that the band wasn't usually this loose, so they took pleasure in what could be cobbled together.
Taking all this in, I add another reason to go out and support local bands. This could have been seen as tragedy if the stakes were high. This could be seen as one of Voxtrot's worst shows. For me, there was no tragedy.