GTS Presents: Winter Wonder Rock Review

GTS Presents: Winter Wonder Rock kicked off on Sunday, January 16th at three in the afternoon and went until nearly Midnight. The poster going around social media listed 25 bands on the ticket that would be sharing the time between the upstairs and downstairs stages of White Oak Music Hall. To start off I will say this, the bands I saw were strong and they will be the main focus of this article, but the way that the GTS organization set up this event was not beneficial for the concert-goers or the performers.

The crowd at Winter Wonder Rock quickly devolved into an epic mosh pit. (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

Despite the event being over eight hours long, the bands only got roughly thirty minutes to perform each, with a significant amount of the evening being spent moving the bands’ equipment on and off the stage. Perhaps maybe limiting the number of bands that were able to play at the event would provide for more freedom and creativity with the performances.

Additionally, the phenomenon we see with these GTS events is that fans mostly come to see the band or two that they have heard of or who they personally know, but since the event goes on for so long and there is so much dead space between the 30-minute sets that a significant portion of the crowd gets fatigued and leaves without seeing what the other performers have to offer.

(Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

This issue results in many artists playing for an empty room, and it caused me to miss out on several artists during to evening. To any of the artists who performed that evening who will not be mentioned in this article because I could not see them perform, I apologize in advance.

Now, let’s begin with the best part of the event: the artists.

When I first walked into White Oak Music Hall I came across a group I had already seen when they played for GTS in October: Shadylyn. Shadylyn’s psych-rock performance played even better on the larger stage than the smaller stage they played on the last time I saw them. This performance is the first time I’ve had the pleasure to see them following their two debut releases “Heartwave” and “Her.”

I am glad to see that Shadylyn are continuing to grow their following and continuing to come out with new releases. Anybody who would like to hear Shadylyn can do so on Spotify, or any other streaming services.

Houston rockers “Everglaze” take on White Oak Music Hall. (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

A band that caught my eye that I had not seen before was Everglaze. The Houston rockers took the stage by storm, and their charisma and energy on stage is what stood out for me. There was so much movement on stage with Everglaze, and the audience responded to that movement with an impressive moshpit that erupted on the first floor of White Oak Music Hall.

For fans of rock music that reflects the classics but appreciate a new twist, Everglaze should be a band to check out. Just like the others, Everglaze can be found on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

Everglaze (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

Speaking of energy, the night seemed to reach its energetic peak with the second-to-last band of the evening: the garage rock band known as Coldwater. Coldwater absolutely killed on the night of January 16th, generating energy from the crowd. Enough energy, in fact, to get crowd members to jump onto the stage and begin stage-diving into the audience.

I had not had the opportunity to see Coldwater before, and after this concert, I will look for other opportunities to see them again. Those looking for a new garage rock group to follow in Houston should certainly turn to Coldwater and look for opportunities to see them live.

Local garage rock group Coldwater impressed. (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

I could not forget to mention Adult Superstition which actually features some UH students. This performance is coming off the release of their last single titled “Dusk” and in anticipation for their next release, which they plan on releasing in the not-so-distant future.

Adult Superstition seemed to have gotten even better since their last performance, bringing more stage presence and playing their normal blend of garage rock and psychedelic rock. Fans of Adult Superstition can find their current recordings and follow for their future recordings on Spotify and Apple Music.

Adult Superstition are coming off the release of their last single “Dusk.” (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

Now, for the band that closed off the night and the band that many anticipated the most: The Halfpipes. The Halfpipes have been garnering an increasingly large local following in the Houston Punk community, and they brought a large crowd with them. The Halfpipes brought all the fire and energy you would expect from a punk group, having the most massive mosh pit of the night with some crowd members even getting kicked out of the venue.

The Halfpipes are establishing themselves as an essential group in the Houston punk scene coming off the back of their first two debut singles “Lethal Injection” and “Karoshi.” Fans can look forward to seeing more of the Halfpipes when they release their debut EP some point soon in the future.

The Halfpipes (Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

The energetic punk-rock group capped off the night leaving the audience wanting more, but I suppose that could be said for most of the bands playing that evening. The small sample size of each group that was presented at Winter Wonder Rock may be beneficial in some ways, but in many others serves as a hindrance to both the musicians and the fans.

(Courtesy of Brandon Smith)

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