Presented by Beatnix Burger Barn located on 17th at Colcord Avenue in Waco, The Hawks & The Found’s “First Show” put on display a diverse six band lineup featuring some of Waco’s finest musicians, including veteran members from Sparkle Motion!, The Tastydactyls, Abby Baker in addition to Brothers or Not, a newly founded Austin-based band. Members of the crowd hailed from all over the Waco area, and even included some guests from Austin, who’d visited in anticipation of the quality of the event.
The night’s music commenced with an fast-paced opening set from Waco’s up and coming group Fly Sekrataries, a three-man hip-hop outfit that has been working hard on new material, as was evident by their performance. The band’s playlist included almost entirely all new tracks, presenting a style that playfully pushes the boundaries of their genre. “They’re so much fun to watch,” an onlooker commented. With sharp, smart lyrics, wicked scratches and an overall sound that distinguishes them highly, “Fly Seks” are a band to look out for in the coming months. Fly Sekrataries will be returning to play at Beatnix on March 9, more information about their upcoming shows and links to their music can be found on their website.
Before It’s Too Late followed, playing second on the list, changing the mood of the event toward a heavier, Christian rock-influenced flavor. After initially introducing their sound to the crowd, the lead singer went on to speak about the group’s inspirations and hit it home with some closing numbers concerning religious metaphors, likening themselves to bands such as Oh, Sleeper.
Garrett Shelton led the way for the third act of the night, The Great American Challenge, along with Hoss and David Bennett, yet another trio with impeccable sound. The group showcased incredible guitar-playing skills, a surefire mark of a tight group, with tight riffs to go right along with it. As members of previous Beatnix show line-ups, it is likely that we’ll be seeing more of The Great American Challenge in future Beatnix shows, if not at other venues in and around the local Waco area.
Former members of The Tastydactyls, Veloura, and Westbound Departure make up the new face of Brothers or Not, an Austin-based group putting on display what they call, “southern grind” while at the same time preserving the essentials of indie-rock. With the inside lights dimmed and the crowd gathered to it’s peak both inside the Beatnix building and spilling out onto the lawns out front, this young band rocked hard, winning over more than a few new fans with their “rock-saving-indie-from-itself” aesthetic. With another show coming up, but this time in Austin, if you happen to be near Trophy’s Bar on March 3, Brothers or Not fit well into the regimen of the evening while still managing to stand out.
Abby Baker, representing one of the younger performers of the evening, brightened the air with some beautiful songs from her What I Call Beautitful EP, demonstrating a winning combination of talents. Her voice, which is pitch-perfect and strong enough to carry through a whole crowd wound around the venue, filling the area with rich, warm acoustic sound.
Finally, a full (and expected) fifteen or so minutes behind schedule, The Hawks and the Found took to the stage for their debut performance. Highly anticipated, The Hawks did not disappoint, braiding together a superstar line up including Zach Colyer (Vocals/Piano), Tyler Torres (Drums/Vocals), Jonathon Lopez (Guitar), Brendan King (Guitar/Vocals) and Matt Chavez (Bass/Vocals). Citing influences like As Cities Burn and This Will Destroy You, the band showcased a confident new sound with ease, and “They [arguably] stole the show,” said Laura P., a first-time Waco visitor from Austin. With a second show to perform lined-up for the following Saturday evening in Temple, Texas, The Hawks and the Found are surely on their way to a growing following.
A surprise reunion of Sparklemotion!, one of Waco’s favorite bands, finished out the evening gloriously. A self-proclaimed “cacophonous orchestra” of guitars, percussion and sweeping riffs blended together, creating what can only be know as Sparkle’s signature sound. Boasting a brand of music characterized by quickly alternating rhythmic patterns and the bold use of effects pedals, Sparklemotion! was a great way to bring the evening’s entertainment to a close without losing any of the energy built up by the show.
For only a $5 cover charge, the attached attraction of freshly cooked burgers, coffee and the ever-popular BYOB policy, with attendance tallying in the hundreds, the event was indeed a success, and Waco’s music scene is looking forward to the next installment!