Friday night, the Paper Tiger hosted two very different but popular acts. Experimental instrumental band El Ten Eleven (who is headlining Austin Instrumental Festival put on by San Antonio's own Verisimilitude) took over the the smaller room, while the main room housed the sold out Growlers show.
The line coiled around the venue and the baby faces of a younger, eager crowd reminded me of older White Rabbit days. We managed to get our wrist bands slapped on right as the Growlers walked on stage to set up their equipment. An excited loud energy filled the air to take the place of any opener and over come the small moments of silence it takes to secure everything together and wrap equipment straps and your body.
The Growlers have played San Antonio before in the past about twice, but it's been a while since they toured through our city. I met some people who said this was their 5th time seeing them, I met some people saying it was their first time seeing them.
My main concern was that the Growlers weren't going to sound like the Growlers I knew and loved (ugh I know what a pretentious statement) after replacing several of their members and their latest album, "City Club" was very obviously influenced by the producer Strokes' frontman, Julian Casablancas.
Though a lot of the songs were off City Club, hearing Brooks Nielsen sing and coo the lyrics off some of the songs off "Chinese Fountain" and "Hung at Heart" made up for it. Los Growlers has the crowd enticed and moving (Hell, even crowd surfing) the entire TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF THEIR SET. That's right. TWO AND A HALF HOURS. It was a rare moment of when something was so good you didn't want it to end...didn't.
After two hours, the band walked off stage to a thunderous applause that did not end. Chants of "ONE MORE" and "UNA MAS" were not letting up. After 5 minutes, the dark stage was illuminated by a blue neon sign that said "City Club" where they played for about 30 more minutes finally ending on "The Going Gets Tough" to calm the crowd down.
The only downside to this show is that they did not play "Someday", but that's just my personal opinion. Other than that, it was stellar.
Written by Alyssa Bunting - Photos by Oscar Moreno