GTS Presents Rocktoberfest kicked off hard and fast with Houston alt-rock Trio Sub Penguin. The power trio kicked off the show at 4:00PM with the high-voltage energy you would expect from a band covering tunes from Nirvana. Sub Penguin ended their thirty-minute set with a bang (literally) when singer and guitarist Griffin Perkins smashed his guitar into the head of the bass drum.

The concert started to mellow out with Conroe-based indie rock and lo-fi group Shadylyn playing next. I was particularly impressed with this incredibly nuanced performance; every instrument knew and delivered its role within the group. This performance arrived just days after their debut single, titled “Her,” was released on most major streaming platforms. For indie rock listeners, Shadylyn is a name that everybody should keep in mind.

The mosh pit returned to White Oak Music hall with SUMRS, who took to the stage at 5:45. I will admit, although SUMRS was my biggest uncertainty going into the show, they quickly became the best surprise of the evening. 

Despite this show being the first for them, outside of their school, they knew how to bring the house down. It was clear that SUMRS knew what they were doing when it came to bringing the energy. I am intrigued to see what this young punk-rock band is going to do in the future.

Punk-rock group SUMRS energizes the crowd in their first non-school show. Courtesy of Brandon Smith.

After SUMRS was Ground Crew 4. The Houston Punk Band brought some metallic grit to the largely punk-rock evening. It was clear that they were feeling themselves when their show ended with an electric guitar destroyed on the floor of White Oak Music Hall.

Adult Superstition was next on the ticket, bringing some psychedelic elements to their energetic rock set. It was clear from the onset that this was an experienced and cohesive group of musicians when their singer/guitarist was faced with a broken string in the middle of his guitar solo. Despite this difficulty, bassist Jack Hamilton held down the fort until a new guitar could be secured for the frontman. Adult Superstition represents everything you could want from a psychedelic rock group; their debut EP, Required, can be streamed anywhere.

Adult Superstition bassist Jack Hamilton hypes up the crowd. Courtesy of Brandon Smith.

After Adult Superstition came Violet Theory. Violet Theory’s set consisted of their unique take on a number of alt-rock classics. Fans came in huge for this band, chanting “Reese” (the bassist’s name) during sound check. The fans’ energy and support was so great that the lead guitarist was able to crowd surf during their closing tune.

Violet Theory guitarist and singer closes out set with a stage dive. Courtesy of Brandon Smith.

Next was the much-anticipated set from Houston punk rockers Eyes Wide Shut. Rocktoberfest came just days after the release of their debut single “Still Can’t Pray” on October 8th, 2021. 

I came into the show with high hopes for the band, and they were absolutely met. The band got the crowd nice and energetic, with a mosh pit forming in the middle of the floor and persisting throughout their entire set. 

White Oak went crazy for Eyes Wide Shut, and we are all looking forward to seeing what they do in the future at CoogRadio.

Eyes Wide Shut singer Isaias Rodriguez. Courtesy of Brandon Smith.

The show was closed out by Houston rock group Rearview Mirror and Conroe-based indie- and blues-rock group Habanero Honeycomb.

GTS Presents Rocktoberfest absolutely exceeded my expectations. It was an evening of hard-rocking fun with a great turnout and an energetic crowd. Any of the bands mentioned are worth following for fans of rock in Houston. 

I am looking forward to watching all their careers as they play more shows and release more music.

Eyes Wide Shut plays their set at White Oak Music Hall. Courtesy of Brandon Smith

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