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Concert Experience

Duendita and Crumb Rock San Antonio - 10/29/21

March 18, 2022

Typically, when YOU’RE going to a concert, you are in attendance for the main act, and it can feel as though listening to the opening act is like listening to a friend play a song you don’t know in the car. You are in fact listening, but it’s mainly in the background and you’re just waiting to hear the song that you queued up. However, there are those times where you will call over to your buddy and ask, “Wait who is this?”. Halfway through Duendita’s opening song, people left the bar, everyone put down their phones, and those in the standing room tried to work their way forward. While some people will do this with opening acts because, “Well what else am I going to do?”, this was something else, as a wave of people poured in.

For those who just tagged along with their friends to go see some show not knowing the main act because there is nothing to do in San Antonio, they probably thought the concert was starting a bit early. This really was the embodiment of that friend who surprisingly queued up a song worth saving. So Duendita is who I am talking about and unless you are that guy, you haven’t heard of them either. Alright, so what is their sound? Well, it makes sense why they opened for Crumb. While not being a dreampop band, they had a very chill, more R&B pop sound that definitely “passed the vibe check,” as these young whippersnappers say nowadays.

Moving bass lines with a big bass sound is a must in this group’s song writing which makes sense as the band is just a duo of a female lead singer and male bassist. The chemistry between the two is extraordinary. Both in a romantic sense and a musical one, which is worth noting as it is shown in their performance. Empowering lyrics are also a must with this band. Mainly writing about how we all should love ourselves and not care for what others think. There also was a lot of emphasis on women empowerment, which is always welcoming to hear. As mentioned, the crowd’s reaction was very positive and it was much appreciated as she kept stating, “we love you San Antonio.” Later, the duo further showed their appreciation by performing two never before released songs that were still in the works.

Just as the group announces that they will be playing the last song for the night, all the power went out in the venue. Strangely enough, this was not a power outage for this area of town, but rather some random occurrence for the venue Paper Tiger. Once the electrical issue was resolved, the crowd’s energy exploded, and the band gave an amazing ending to an already fantastic performance.

Being one of the biggest bands of the underground neo-psychedelic scenes as well as that of the dreampop genre, there was a lot of excitement brewing among myself, the crowd, and even the security guard with me on stage. Finally, Crumb emerged, and the band spent no time in hesitating on performing. I mean, they didn’t even say hi, but you know, I’m not mad. On a more serious note, the opening song was an interesting choice but well performed and enjoyed by the crowd. The song was one off their newly released album Ice Melt. While the album was not as well received as their previous one or any of their EPs, Crumb’s track record for album releases is still running strong with no flops yet. Looking at their setlist, the band performed every single song off Ice Melt which, of course, is expected as this tour is to promote their newly released album, but it is rare for a band to perform every song. Also as expected, the band performed their top songs (skipping over Plants which was an odd choice) and these were, again, also as expected, the songs that everyone knew the words to, so we all got excited.

While this is partly a factor for all the hootin’ and hollerin’, these are the best pieces of music written by them so of course that girl in the front and her hipster copies are going to scream. While watching Crumb, it was obvious that the band was more inclined on playing songs off their new release. This, of course, tends to be the case the more artists tour and are essentially forced to play their hits. It’s also important to take into consideration that the band played the night before in Austin, so it makes sense to be a little drained overall. However, despite all this, the show was worth the three-hour drive and spending Friday night on the weekend of Halloween at my parents’ house. Crumb played with lots of emotion and energy, while incorporating many jam sessions as well as a saxophone solo, which further added to the jazz aspect that is a part of their unique sound. Multiple guitar solos were also in place and is where the lead singer really showed her emotions. Of course, her singing was absolutely lovely and also showed plenty of emotions, but it seemed as though that improvisation is what allowed her to really let out everything that she was feeling.

Once the show ended, I was surprised at how quickly time had passed. Even though I am an immense Crumb fan and clearly biased, it really was a memorable concert. Maybe it’s because Crumb is one band of many that crosses my mind when people ask me what I listen to, or maybe it’s because of the experience of being on stage with them (because I am very important) just watching this amazing group only vomit distance away, but really it was a terrific show, and the proof is in the audience. When attending shows, you can sort of tell who are the ‘you know I like this band‘ fans and who are the super fans that nobody likes. It’s the former that started to look like the latter that showed that this was a phantastic concert that I would have loved to have spent money on. But I am Ale from Cooking with Ale representing KANM, so I guess that’s why I got in for free.

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