Free Week Live Shots

Purple, Tia Carrera, Que Pasa, Pharaohs

Purple (photo by John Anderson)

Purple, Tia Carrera, Que Pasa, Pharaohs

Swan Dive, Jan. 3

Fresh-faced cheapos filed into Swan Dive, escaping a frigid downpour. Rattling loudly on the lacy white stage, locals Que Pasa, fronted by Dikes of Holland's Liz Burrito, who on New Year's Eve led a clumsy tribute to early Pink Floyd ("Stink Floyd"). Two nights later, alongside bassist Ali Copeland and drummer Gabriel Pastura, the singer/guitarist capably expressed goodhearted post-punk with the speed-surf tendencies found on the trio's recent album, Big Mistake. Bryan Hancock's Pharaohs, now leaner and dynamically focused, followed with punked-out, golden oldies sing-alongs like "We Can Work It Out," which could have revived Joey Ramone. Then again, any band playing before or after Tia Carrera has already been blown away. The volcanic instru-metal trio, ignited by one-in-a-million drummer Erik Conn and the infinite sonic solos of Jason Morales, escalated intensity through the roof with jams lasting longer than two joints. The smoke cleared for Beaumont trio Purple, whose bouncy rock blends garage pop, punk, and funk behind the sassy vocal interplay of guitarist Taylor Busby and drummer Hanna Brewer. Dressed vaguely like a Cowboys cheerleader, the latter unrelentingly bantered ("Yeah babies, let's party!"), coming off one brain cell above David Lee Roth. Their performance was otherwise triumphant, nailing favorite "Beach Buddy" and future hit "Minivan."

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