Phases & Stages
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, the Octopus Project, the Sword, the Black
Emo's, April 30
Everyone always wants to know about a band's influences. Well, Trail of Dead already admitted they've watched The Last Waltz on loop for the last year. As the final stop of the first leg of TOD's tour for Worlds Apart, Emo's was sold out Saturday night for the Austin institution's return. The other three local bands on the bill toured with TOD for the last month, and the homecoming was an energetic one. Opener the Black was essentially Trail of Dead plus singer/guitarist Dave Longoria and guitarist Alan Schaefer. They trotted out a harmonious one-two punch of Seventies rock and Neil Young country stomp, and the final song, a cover of the Band's "The Weight," confirmed the aforementioned Waltz. Next, the Sword shot their fist-pumping wad of heavy metal into the crowd, with guitarist Kyle Shutt's golden locks never having looked so haloed as he banged his head to the brooding beat. The Octopus Project, with now-healthy Erik Bogle, flipped the synth switch and went buck-wild with halcyon dance beats and chaotic guitar screeching. And then, of course, TOD took the stage, filling it to capacity with new bassist Danny Wood and new drummer Doni Schroader. The band's two-drummer, two-guitarist configuration did lend some added Seventies rock vibe, which made openers "Will You Smile Again" and "Worlds Apart" more righteous than their recorded counterparts. TOD chugged through Source Tags and Codes' "It Was There That I Saw You" and "Another Morning Stoner" and Madonna's "Clair de Lune" and "Aged Dolls." Singer Conrad Keely delivered an inspired take on the pounding "Perfect Teenhood" (minus the fuck-yous at the end, but plus drummer Jason Reece's crowd surfing). The last song, "Richter Scale Madness," broke all hell loose, as the band descended into a mess of instruments and sloppy feedback. Keely and Reece helped roughly 25 people on stage for the finale, the last waltz of a long, continuing journey.