WORDS AND IMAGES BY MEGAN STORIE
The Lion's Den couldn’t have made their final show any better than Saturday night’s expo featuring a slew of stellar female-fronted rock bands from across the Lone Star State.
The illustrious house venue has had a long history of throwing shows even before its current tenant, Blake Boyd started hosting in February of 2015. “I've heard stories and seen footage of bands playing here years ago, which is why I'm confident it'll continue on - It's always been around," Boyd said. he's moving on, but looks forward to hosting more shows in a new location around town.
The performances happened in a dark basement adorned with Christmas lights, glitter lettering, elaborate murals, and a large portrait of a Lion hanging on the back wall. To the left of the stage hung a tapestry with a spray-painted graffiti-like buffalo with the names of bands that have hit the stage over the past year.
One of our favorite Denton songstresses, Claire Morales, opened the show with a stirring solo set. Her dreamy, rock driven sound and thoughtful lyrics were a perfect start to the night. Whether Morales is playing with a full band or stripped down to vocals and guitar, expect to be enveloped by her raw, evocative songs. Her latest release, Harmony in Hell, was created with one of Denton’s greats, Daniel Markham.
Single Issues played their brand of catchy, psychedelic rock tunes next and really got the crowd moving. With their grungy guitar and nostalgic female vocals, this Denton-based group is definitely one to keep tabs on. Their slightly darker themes set them apart with lyrical content such as “severed heads” and “voices in the living room.” The band has been busy playing shows around town and are about embark on a short tour in February for their latest EP, Last Words.
Austin band, Dream Boat, really was a dream with their solid harmonies and Texas folk-rock sensibility. Their last stop was New Orleans and they were definitely there long enough to pick up some funky vibes that they brought with them. Sometimes soulful sometimes poppy, Dream Boat, delivered an eclectic set next. They were by far the most interactive band of the night, teaching the crowd parts of songs and encouraging an already eager audience to sing along. Their candid - and at times racy - songs can be found on their latest five song EP, Strong Legs.
Field Guide wrapped up the night with some sweet jams. Oft-described as “femme-fronted surf pop,” Field Guide doesn't agree, saying, “more like 'spitting-off-the-roof-of-a-Sheraton pop 'or ‘Hey is there food at your house? Pop.’ Perhaps even some 'cute girl-driving-a-shitty-car pop.'” Lucky for us, they can clearly describe themselves far better than we can. They frequent Denton, so if you missed them this time be sure to catch them at their next show on January 28th at J&J’s.
It was a pleasure to be apart of a historical night full of powerful female-fronted North Texas music acts, beautiful voices, and great energy. And while the Lion's Den is taking a break on the whole DIY House Show thing, we hear that there could possibly be shows there again in the future. Although that date is unknown, the venue says “the Lion's Den is the Lion's Den, but who knows who will host or when that’ll be.”