Fitzgerald’s, one of Houston’s oldest and most well-known music venues, played host to indie rockers We Are Scientists Friday night. The band is on tour to support their fifth album, TV en Français, and the guys seemed to have as much fun as the fans. The show was peppered with both old and new sounds, some seriously loud music and facetious banter between guitarist and singer Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain.
The crowd was a mixed bag, ranging from the young and the innocent sporting multi-colored hair to the thirtysomethings, and while it wasn’t especially large, those who filled the downstairs room were packed tight against the stage once the Scientists stormed the stage.
One of the best things about seeing a show in smaller, intimate venues like Fitz is the chance you’ll see one of the band members mingling with the crowd before the show. Frontman Keith Murray was hard to miss with his rockstar good looks and striking head of grey hair as he stood near the crowd while selling t-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the band’s logo and happily spoke to fans and obliged them with photos while openers Paws started the show.
The Scientists then hit the stage with a deafening beat. As someone who has, admittedly, never been inside Fitzgerald's before, I first smirked at the sign above the bar announcing $2 earplugs and was then bowled over when the music started pounding through the speakers - it is incredibly, overwhelmingly, and insanely loud for such a small area. I don’t think I could hear properly for at least an hour after I left the show. Then again, what verifiable rock concert doesn’t make your ears ache at least a little, right?
As for We Are Scientists, the crowd laughed, they sang and they cheered. The show featured a blend of the group's biggest hits, while the crowd sang along word-for-word to most, a handful of tracks off their newest album, and some pretty amusing moments between Murray and Cain. The chemistry between the duo was palpable as they joked amongst themselves, dropped a couple of hilarious anecdotes and we learned that Murray can do a pretty impressive Obama impression.
The bottom line: The show was great and I would definitely go back to see the guys again. The most impressive part of the show was watching these guys who truly love what they do, and that alone makes for a remarkable concert experience. A show like that gives off an unusual sort of vibe; one that begins with the musicians and then slowly spreads through the crowd and makes the audience a part of the show itself, and it only happens when you are witnessing those artists who are genuinely happy to be there playing for you and it is as if there is no other place they would rather be at that moment. It’s kind of beautiful.
Turns out Fitz was a great venue for the band and apparently I've been missing out on this place. Fantastic place for (LOUD!) music, however, not so great for concert photography. Check out the slideshow to see pics from the night at the top, but you have been warned!