Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter’s On Washington

10:04 pm by

Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington

Hype. It’s what currently is driving record and mp3 sales through the roof. Bands come out of nowhere, then all of the sudden due to a blog-approved track or video, they are pushed into the mainstream. One such example of this is the band Girls, whose name was all but nothing two years ago, but due to Pitchfork labeling them “best new music” and every other blog praising their work, they’ve blown up something fierce. I usually don’t buy into hype before I give the record a listen or see the band live, so when Girls booked a date at Houston’s Walter’s On Washington, I was curious as to how good they would be.

I arrived to a packed house, with a group of kids outside hoping for a miracle, or the next person to leave so they could make their entry into the dark, dingy venue. I was worried as I didn’t have a ticket, nor had I set up anything with any press contacts, so I entered with the thought I might get turned away like everyone else. A bit of quick thinking had me reach into my wallet to flash a BOT business card, and with that, the door guy allowed me in. That’s not something I do on a regular basis, but with the sold out performance, it was my only chance at seeing the show.

After procuring a Lone Star, I pushed up into the crowd to take in the rest of the performance from energetic youngsters The Magic Kids. With a similar sound to the impending headliners, they brought some very Beach Boys-esque tunes to the fold, and had no problem entertaining the bustling crowd. Frontman Bennett Foster holds down the job better than most, gallivanting about the stage while belting out his pop hooks. Making sure to keep up the energy, Foster was even seen later throughout Girls’ set front and center, singing and dancing along to every song. Although I only caught about five songs from the Memphis group, including their breakout single “Hey Boy,” they definitely showed me enough to warrant further investigation.

 

Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington
The Magic Kids

 

After a somewhat lengthy break which was spent catching up with Ben Godfrey of listen!listen! and Craig Hlavaty of the Houston Press, Girls finally took the stage to the twee screams of the all ages crowd. They started with a few slow numbers, and I was immediately unimpressed. The months of high praises I had been reading at that point was all garbage. I wasn’t the only one not feeling it from the start either, as the once swelling crowd started to dwindle a bit with each progressive slow song. Then half-way through, or maybe even a little closer to the end, it’s like they flipped a switch, and decided to bring some energy to the table.

 

Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington
Girls

 

“Lust For Life,” the song that projected them into the national spotlight hit, drove the crowd wild. Feeding off of the momentum of the last tune, they soon jumped into fan-favorite “Hellhole Ratrace,” that found a majority of the patrons reciting each and every word right along with lead vocalist Christopher Owens. A few more poppier numbers finally led to short rocker “Morning Light,” which served as the proper way to end the redeeming second half of the set. They came back for a short one-song encore, before disappearing again into Walter’s back room.

 

Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington
Christopher Owens ::: Girls
Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington
John Anderson ::: Girls
Girls & The Magic Kids @ Walter's On Washington

 

While I didn’t really love their performance, it had its moments of greatness that left me with a sweet taste on my tounge. I wouldn’t go out of my way to catch another set by the group, but if they came to town, and I had a night off, I would assuredly venture that way. I’m glad that they saved their quality material for the later half, but their is really no excuse to perform a lackluster set except for a handful of songs. Hopefully it was just an off night for the group, as I saw tons of potential in their live sound. I’m sure my next experience with them will be a much better one.

-Eggs