I have been to this venue a couple of times already. I actually went there a few times before it was this particular incarnation. But this night was the first time I walked through the door with the brand on the outside, proudly displayed for all to see...Come and Take It Live! (https://www.comeandtakeitlive.com/)
There is plenty of parking all around the building. As you walk up to the entrance there is a large fenced in area for smoking and enjoying some grub from the food trailer to the right. As you walk in there is the ticket counter immediately in front of you and the large main bar to the right of that. This is where it gets interesting. As you face the bar from the entrance, the large stage is to the far back left of the bar, bathrooms are to the right behind the bar and there are some steps to your left that lead up to a second level viewing area and a merch sales area behind that. As you walk up the steps, to your left and almost behind you is a flight of stairs that goes up to the next level.
In all, for its quirky, different levels and areas, Come and Take It Live allows for a great view from just about anywhere in the house.
On the bill for this night of music were two Austin bands opening for three road bands. Slop Musket (http://slopmusket.com/) was up first to open the night. Of course it always has to be a tough spot to be the very first. Not everyone has arrived. The crowd is just starting to get their drink on, it's just generally tough. There was about 25 or 30 people down on the floor when Slop Musket took the stage. With their different style of rap and rock, Slop Musket powered through their short set. As entertaining as they were, it was super difficult to get a grasp on their set in general...and there was just not a whole lot of feedback from the crowd. I am sure I will run into them again and hopefully be able to give a proper review for their set.
XIII (https://www.facebook.com/xiiiasylum) was up next. Tell you what, the crowd had swelled enough to pay attention. And it took all of 35 seconds from the start of XIII's set for the small, growing crowd to react with cheers. Although they opened with a cover song, it was still a pretty fucking epic and ballsy jump off. The great thing is their sound and set didn't change much. Rolling into there originals XIII kept it high energy and exciting for the crowd and myself. Credit to the band for doing a great job of hyping themselves and their upcoming CD release show. It was musically bad ass enough and interesting enough that I made plans to attend their event.
Ventana (https://www.facebook.com/VentanaBandOfficial/) was the first of the three road bands to hit the stage. Costumed and on point, Ventana laid into the now warmed up crowed. Here was another band with an energetic front man and dueling lead vocals to make the crowd start to break into a sweat and start a circle pit. The little snippets of sound intros to a couple of their songs where quite charming as I caught myself laughing at some in the crowd who didn't know it was a recording or didn't get the joke and poke at politics. Of course if you have not seen Ventana live you wouldn't know. The solution...go see Ventana, for the love that is All-American, Apple Pie, and all that other fucking shit.
Unsaid Fate (https://www.unsaidfate.com/) came out onto the stage with a pretty much packed house and ran with the set. With the vocals by the show stopping Jackie LaPonza, Unsaid Fate just blistered the crowd. even greater than the musical part of the show was how great Jackie was in being completely interactive with the crowd down in front. At one point she even snagged a fans phone who was filming and ran around the stage capturing the magic from the stage perspective. All in good fun of course as she handed the fan back his phone when she was done. There is a souvenir that goes down as once in a lifetime. Unsaid Fate powered through their set barely giving the fans time to rest or catch their breath. It was just perfect. To build on what had come before, and prepare the crowd for what was about to happen, Unsaid Fate definitely has a new fan here!
Mushroomhead (http://www.mushroomhead.com/)! YES! This is my fourth time seeing them. It is absolutely worth it EVERY SINGLE TIME. The stage production is always different. The set list changes and stays fresh, but keeps some of the great tunes in a different order than the last time you saw them. In all, Mushroomhead puts on the show of all MuthaFucking shows! It's loud, it's bright and flashy, and completely non stop energy. Even when the did a little homage to Prince by doing a super clean and tight opening of 'When Doves Cry' the crowd never stopped screaming. Mushroomhead pounded us with the sound and presence for over an hour and when they were done....they were done. No need for an encore if you kick it to the crowd like Mushroomhead does!