Saturday Night is always busy in Houston, especially now with the local music scene coming back to life. November 13th was no different, with multiple venues hosting local and international acts alike. There was even a small music festival taking place on Polk. But I’m going to focus on a show that wasn’t even supposed to happen. Tucked away on a stage in the back of Red Dwarf, Breathwish and Cathedral Bells performed for an audience of people lucky enough to get the memo.
The show was last minute, made possible by a small space in their touring schedule courtesy of Florida band Cathedral Bells. Every band needs openers, and Breathwish was one of the ones to respond. No one had any real time to promote, so those in attendance were limited to people who happened to see a late Instagram post and didn’t have anything else to do that night.
Breathwish is a local act that can best be described as ‘midwestern emo.’ Their song ‘Johnny Fuckin’ Football (done in collaboration with sister band Drunk Uncle), starts off with an easy guitar and pleasant, soft vocals courtesy of Gio Fuentes. His voice matches well with the music, however, everything is even better when taking the lyrics into account.
The recorded version is charmingly rough-around-the-edges, but the band has turned it into something cleaner during their live performances, without letting it lose its original integrity.
The current lineup has ‘Take This To Your Grave’ / ‘From Under the Cork Tree’ era Fall Out Boy vibes, especially at the end of the song. I could swear ‘Johnny Fuckin Football’ and ‘Saturday’ were cousins. Overall, it was an excellent way to start the show.
The rest of the set departed from the mood and style of the opener, as they went on to play the first half of their debut album, ‘Garden.’ One major highlight of the show was ‘Sunflower,’ a song featuring a sick instrumental outro and solid, with drumming from Massie Wingard. It seemed to melt perfectly into the next song, ‘Impulse.’
The band is young, yet they all seem pretty confident behind their instruments. The difference between their first few songs and EPs to where they are now is notable and steady, though there has yet to be an evolution into a whole different genre or level of complexity.
The band’s guitarists were, visually and sonically, some of the more interesting components. Zach Webber is concentrated and methodical, missing no notes, only looking up to contribute to the aching vocals. Meanwhile, Josh Elton bounced around the stage with the sort of energy that borders on chaotic. It made me smile, seeing the same energy in him that resides in Frank Iero, Angus Young, and the entirety of Green Day.
They closed with the appropriately-named ‘Jolt,’ setting the mood for the act that followed.
Breathwish is a fun band to follow with promising musicians, always eager to play a local show. Keep your eyes peeled for next time.