Nestled in the back of Gas Monkey lies the most intimate outdoor venue I have had the honor of experiencing. Though it’s possible I carry bias due to the fact that the night itself catered the most beautiful weather Texas had seen in quite some time. It was clear, crisp and cool; Mother Nature prophesying of the show to come. And after a loud and triumphant introduction from local folk band, Fox and the Bird, lead vocalist Nick Urata led us into one of the most fun shows I have ever attended. With Urata belting ‘The Alley’ from some mysterious place deep in his stomach, the crowd was ripe with anticipation. The culture, the complexity, the versatility, the emotion – the sheer talent.
I caught myself thinking, This is what music should be.
The stage is filled with these multifaceted aficionados and the venue is overflowing with their sound as the quartet moves across the stage from one instrument to the next. Every member playing at least two different instruments throughout the evening. Sean King is a rock star on both drums and trumpet. Jeanie Schroder enchants us with her upright bass and humongous sousaphone. Tom Hagerman is a prodigy on violin, accordion as well as the piano. And Nick Urata, aside from the astounding instrument that are his vocal chords, impresses with guitar, bouzouki and theremin. I had never even heard the likes of several of the instruments that were brought to life on the stage that night. I can honestly say that DeVotchKa blew my mind. After satisfying the requests of a few adamant attendees, DeVotchKa brought the night to a romantic close, leaving the audience both enraptured and hypnotized, eager for the opportunity to see them perform again. It is no question that Gas Monkey Bar and Grill held one of the greatest shows Dallas has seen all year. It was quite the honor, to say the least.
All photos shot by Heather Huffman for Compose Yourself Mag.