jakub | November 1, 2023

Vacations and Last Dinosaurs Present “Tourzilla” at Houston, Texas’ White Oak Music Hall on October 23, 2023


 

 

Australian indie bands Vacations and Last Dinosaurs performed recently at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall during “Tourzilla”, and Houston fans were out in force and ready for it. Dressed in all manner of Halloween costumes, the audience had obviously prepped for this moment.

Vacations enjoys robust support from the U.S., and especially from Texas fans; their last concert tour that ran through Austin was completely sold out. I was not surprised to see the venue filled wall to wall with fans during their recent stop in Houston, despite the Monday night scheduling, which was in direct competition with the Houston Astros’ bid for the ACLS championship. That didn’t seem to faze the massive audience though, who could be heard chanting “LET’S GO ASTROS!” when they scored a run.  

White Oak Music Hall is one of Houston’s youngest venues. It sits just north of downtown, and just east of the historic Heights area. The modern structure is juxtaposed against the vintage home landscape, and parking is tricky. Despite that, the fans showed up and patiently waited for close to an hour in a line that stretched a half-mile down the street from the doors. Vacations and Last Dinosaurs performed in the most well-known and intimate section of the venue. Personally, I’m a big fan of intimate settings. There’s just enough room to get lost in the crowd, but not so large that you lose sight of the band. Also, there’s a wonderful audience interaction in an intimate setting, which is something that gets lost in larger venues. For Vacations’ performance, it was just perfect. 

 

White Oak Music Hall exterior photo copyright Peter Molick.

 

At exactly 7:30, the first act, Bathe Alone, appeared on stage. The creation of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bailey Crone, Bathe Alone is the perfect opener for this show. Crone’s dream-pop style set the stage for the melodious evening that was to follow. Although Crone claims to be a one-woman show, she travels this tour with five additional band members, all skilled musicians in their own right. If she could split herself into six people, I’m certain she could make the same, gorgeous music. But six band members definitely makes the job easier, and the sounds they create are nothing short of velvety smooth; dreamy and contemplative. Crone started making music at an early age, learning trombone, trumpet, sax and percussion in her formative years, and loved it so much that she eventually studied music. As a music student, she learned to play drums, bass, guitar and keyboards. After experience with several bands in the Atlanta, Georgia area, she created Bathe Alone. This is a band you don’t want to miss, if for no other reason that to ponder Crone’s massive talent.

 

Bathe Alone Lineup:

Lead Guitar and Vocals – Bailey Crone

Guitar and synthesizer – Damon Moon

Acoustic guitar and synthesizer – Sydney Eloise

Synthesizer – Anna Griffith

Bass – Tim Holder

Drums – Andrew Barco

 

 

After about a 15-minute break to re-set, the incredible Last Dinosaurs hit the stage. Full of energy and enormously popular (as was evidenced by the non-stop screaming of the girls in the front),  Not a band to just walk out on stage and start playing, the mood was set by a few minute video praising the merits of the DVD. Cheeky in nature and ultimately entertaining, the crowd loved it. Last Dinosaurs hail from Brisbane, Queensland Australia, and consist of four members who play a sort of funky, upbeat shoe-gaze that is as delightful to the ear as they are to watch. Dressed in suitcoats, complete with ties, the band belted out their hits, one after another, to the delight of the crowd. Energetic as they are talented, Last Dinosaurs has a solid fan base in Houston, and I’m sure they’ll be back to enjoy the return of that energy by the audience here.

 

Last Dinosaurs Lineup:

Lead/Backup Vocals, Rhythm/Lead Guitar – Sean Caskey

Backing/Lead Vocals, Lead/Rhythm Guitar – Lachlan Caskey

Bass – Michael Sloane

Drums – Jasper Gundersen

 

 

Last Dinosaurs Setlist

1.) Afterlife

2.) Sense

3.) Shallow Boy

4.) Italo Disco

5.) Auto-Sabotage

6.) Hanson Ghost

7.) Sunday Night

8.) I Can’t Help You

9.) CDMX

10.) Put Up With the Weather!

11.) Flying

12.) Breathe / Da Funk / Move Your Feet / Lady (Hear Me Tonight) / Music Sounds Better With You

13.) Apollo

14.) Eleven

15.) Zoom

 

After what seemed like a long break, it was finally time to see the band that the crowd anticipated all night – Vacations.  As the the band appeared on stage, each wore a different colored, short-sleeved Dickie uniform, adorned with an oval nametag on the front, and an embroidered version of their logo across the back. Opening with “Next Exit”, “Moving Out” and “On Your Own”, the ecstatic crowd could hardly contain themselves. While I was in the pit, a young girl asked if I could hand her phone to lead singer Campbell Burns to take a selfie of himself for her birthday. Thankfully, no one in the mostly well-behaved, yet enthusiastic group attempted to crawl over the barrier, but I could see they wanted to, and would have, had it not been for a couple of very burly and attentive bouncers who walked the pit constantly during the show.  As the set continued, there was no waning of energy by fans. In fact, at one point Burns commented about how appreciated they were that Houston fans showed up, en masse on a Monday night, which then triggered a huge cheer. 

The beautiful, sublime and dulcet tones of Vacations is truly music not just for the ears, but for the soul. Campbell’s buttery smooth voice lends itself to this type of lo-fi, woozy guitar pop. The band’s supporting role, with both instruments and voice, creates an experience like none I’ve seen. Constantly awash in deep purple, blue, gold and red lighting, the foursome performed their fifteen-song set like a well-oiled machine to an absolutely mesmerized audience. After the last song “Midwest”, there were non-stop chants of “ONE MORE SONG” that continued until the band re-appeared to end the show with an encore of “Lavender”. We can hardly wait for their upcoming album entitled “No Place Like Home”, slated for release in January of 2024.

 Vacations continues their tour with Last Dinosaurs throughout the U.S. and Mexico, through mid-November.

 

Vacations Lineup:

Guitar, Lead Vocals – Campbell Burns

Lead Guitar, Vocals – Nate Delizzotti

Bass – Jake Johnson

Drums – Joseph Van Lier

 

 

Vacations Setlist:

1.) Next Exit

2.) Moving Out

3.) On Your Own

4.) Glow

5.) Telephones

6.) Soft

7.) Close Quarters

8.) Avalanche

9.) Steady

10.) Honey

11.) Young

12.) Day Dreamin’

13.) Relax

14.) Actors

15.) Midwest

Encore:

16.) Lavender

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Bathe Alone Online:

Follow Last Dinosaurs Online:

Follow Vacations Online:

 





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