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Runners in the Nerved World Tour: review

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Runners in the Nerved World Tour: review

Cayetana played Sons of Hermann Hall on Saturday Feb. 21. Cayetana is (from left to right) Augusta Koch, Kelly Olson and Allegra Anka.

Cayetana played Sons of Hermann Hall on Saturday Feb. 21. Cayetana is (from left to right) Augusta Koch, Kelly Olson and Allegra Anka.

Alyssa Schmidt

Cayetana played Sons of Hermann Hall on Saturday Feb. 21. Cayetana is (from left to right) Augusta Koch, Kelly Olson and Allegra Anka.

Alyssa Schmidt

Alyssa Schmidt

Cayetana played Sons of Hermann Hall on Saturday Feb. 21. Cayetana is (from left to right) Augusta Koch, Kelly Olson and Allegra Anka.

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It was a chilly night in Dallas, a definite change from the unseasonal warmth we had been experiencing. Nonetheless, the city teemed with activity. Not only were several concerts going on in the Deep Ellum corner, Dallas Mardi Gras was in full effect. The busyness was apparent as we drove to the venue, not only by the amount of traffic on I35, but also by the lack of parking spots outside of the venue. Only one remained for my Honda Civic to squeeze into. But all of that was fine because it was time to see The Sidekicks and Cayetana.

Over the summer, my friend Kristen and I drove down to Houston to see The Menzingers on their headlining Rented World Tour. That was not only the sweatiest show I’ve ever been to, but it also introduced me to two really great bands, one of which was Cayetana. I was immediately transfixed by this three-piece from Philadelphia, not just because of their catchy indie-punk tunes, but because it’s made up entirely of women. You’d think this would be more common in a scene that preaches equality, but sadly that’s not the case. After the show, I purchased their LP, Nervous Like Me, and it’s been spinning on my record player off and on ever since.

While they had visited most of the other Texas hot spots on the Rented World Tour, this was their first stop in Dallas. Allegra Anka, the bassist, told me that they heard Texas cops are sticklers for speeding. She jokingly said they probably would’ve arrived hours earlier had they not been afraid to go over the speed limit.

Sons of Hermann Hall is probably equally the least and most punk venue in town. This Dallas historic landmark is mainly used as a two-step dance hall but is frequently booked for punk shows. It’s not uncommon to see a few older people hanging out in the bar downstairs amongst a crowd of hipsters, but at first glance, there seemed to be way too many old people. My friend Molly and I made our way upstairs to where all of the shows that I’ve seen have taken place. Once again, an obscene amount of old people. A banner told us that there was in fact a Texas Hold’em poker tournament in session. Very much confused, we walked back downstairs. My hipster radar alerted me of a young guy in a band shirt and beanie. He was definitely here for the show. We followed him into a room that I never knew existed. It was completely empty except for him and another girl. They told us that we were in fact extremely early and the show didn’t start until around 9 p.m. It was 7:15 p.m.

So, we walked around, found somewhere to eat and returned at around 9 p.m.

The opening band, Duell, was still setting up and soundchecking. A local band from Fort Worth, I could tell just by the looks of them they were probably going to be on the hardcore side of punk. Molly, who had never been to a concert except for One Republic, commented on the beards. I told her that there’s usually more beards than there are not beards at these kinds of shows. Their set was extremely loud and way too long, but did have some entertaining qualities. One of the guitarists had great, extremely long grunge hair that he swirled around. The drummer had the most content look on his face while he played, as if someone had just told him he was doing a really great job. These little entertainments held me over as I waited for Cayetana.

Cayetana’s lead singer Augusta Koch’s bright blue hair stood out against the dark walls behind her as she started the opening chords to “Mountain Kids.” Her vocals were turned down, so she was a bit hard to hear. Later she explained that she was a little under the weather so her voice was slightly horse. Her ailment led them to cut a couple of the upbeat tracks like “Black Hills” and “Scott Get the Van, I’m Moving.” Most of the set consisted of slower tracks, such as South Philly, that were easier on the throat. Even though I had seen them perform once before, I hadn’t noticed the nuances of their performing. I’ve learned since that they really didn’t know that much about playing their instruments before they formed Cayetana. But drummer Kelly Olson appeared to be naturally talented at playing the drums. Despite Koch’s sickness, they did play a couple of upbeat tracks. They closed their set with “Hot Dad Calendar” and “Animal.”

Columbus, OH natives The Sidekicks play Dallas for the first time at Sons of Hermann Hall. The lead singer is Steven Ciolek.

Jacob Loder
Columbus, OH natives The Sidekicks play Dallas for the first time at Sons of Hermann Hall. The lead singer is Steven Ciolek.

Headliners, The Sidekicks, took the stage soon after. I knew it was going to be particularly interesting. Two middle aged and very drunk couples barged in, ready to continue whatever party they had just come from. They were hardly phased by the punk jams that were coming from the boys in The Sidekicks. I couldn’t blame them, though. They had me wanting to dance too. I had never heard of The Sidekicks before this tour was announced. I listened to their latest album, Runners in the Nerved World, when it came out last month, but the production on it didn’t impress me much. While their sound was captivating, at first listen, nothing particularly exciting stood out to me. However, their set totally changed my mind about them. Their shining moment came when they played “1940’s Fighter Jet.” While lead singer Steve Ciolek seemed to have a little trouble playing it at first, by the end, he had the audience’s full respect. Most of their set was high energy and resulted in many awkward (but awesome) jumps from Ciolek.

We finished out the night by purchasing some t-shirts and albums. We headed back out into the brisk night, ears ringing but smiles on our faces. After a stressful week, we all needed a night of good music.

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Runners in the Nerved World Tour: review