Amidst high-end apartment complexes, a newly equipped soccer stadium lined with hip and trendy pubs and concert venues, you encounter what is widely known as EaDo Party Park. People of all ages and backgrounds swarm the vicinity of Warehouse Live, Lucky’s Pub and the colorful array of food trucks lining up the street for an evening full of eclectic musical acts and hilarious comedy. Houston’s inaugural Whatever Fest, proved to be a lively, vibrant and eventful success that garnered a city wide following and has brought to Houston yet another breeding ground for artistic creativity and decadence. Prime amongst these exciting musical acts that composed the festival, has been the legendary alternative rock band, Filter, which played a fantastic flurry of aggressive and inviting rock tunes this past Sunday night. Decked out in black clothing with spikes, piercings and mass amounts of hair gel; the members of Filter charmed the city of Houston with their highly interactive energy and the thrilling instrumental frenzy, which radiated from the Budweiser stage they very amazingly performed in.
The crowd was indeed a colorful one, adorned with devoted fans from middle aged men and women to a ten year old kid, named Tyson who stole the show by catching lead singer Patrick’s attention, the diversity in the people, the music and the environment never failed to be present. Although it was a hot, humid and sticky night and the open space between bodies was just about nonexistent, the ambience was invigorating and the fans were bursting with energy. Filter, whose lineup for the night consisted of lead singer Richard Patrick, guitarist Jonathan Radtke, bassist Tim Kelleher and drummer Hayden Scott, who were, like their fans, ready for a good time, relaxed, comfortable and eager to provide a quality performance. The band began by playing a few favorites, amongst them, their hit single, “Take A Picture” which somehow managed to lull the crazed crowd into a mellow syncope of musical tranquility (something, however, that lasted only a few minutes) before lead singer Patrick, snapped the crowd back into their normal chaotic state of jamming. From flinging a water bottle into the crowd, calling out concert goers in a friendly playful manner and most effectively, by the pouring his heavy, rhythmic and guttural voice into the microphone, he managed to sweep the audience back into a torrent of unruly craziness which included minor mosh pitting, lively dancing and major head bobbing.The band’s performance in itself amazed me. Bassist Tim Kelleher, in particular seemed to be completely absorbed into his instrument, he flipped his drenched hair to just about every note he played, as well as ran his hand across the neck of his guitar quicker than the eye could see. Radtke’s guitar prowess astonished the crowd as they relished in the intricate, lush and electrifying sounds that the guitarist’s fingers produced. Hayden Scott wasn’t far behind either as he contributed his fair share of crazed drum banging, and last but certainly not least, Richard’s iconically lawless onstage performance was the cherry on top to a well put together show.
The band went on to introduce some new material, including a heartfelt and touching song, titled “Surprise” dedicated to women and all they do for the world. However this time, the softer melodies failed to appease the rowdy crowd. As the band continued on to play their newest single “The Hand That’s Dealt”, a rhythmically aggressive number, the audience reveled in what sounded to be totally new, highly synthesized and electronic instrumentation. Complimented with smoldering guitars, Filter’s infamous drum machines and Patrick’s hypnotic voice, the new material immediately captivated listeners and is nothing short of promising. “Stop with the banjos” Patrick declared to the crowd, “we’re in the modern age”, and from the sounds of this electrified, computerized yet pleasant and original form of rock music-it’s evident we very much are. The night lingered on with a very consistent and joyful mood, as well as with all kinds of undomesticated musical experimentation, which invoked just about every old and new Filter fan in the crowd. Patrick’s classic roar, the lush guitar solos and the thundering dynamism that infected the band members completed what was a very delightfully intense set, definitely unforgettable, as well as an open testament to the longevity and relevance of this ever emerging, outlandish and ingenious band.