Recap: Runaway Sun at D&W Lounge (13-W11-4)

Well, it is time for my first recap post in nine months. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve posted a recap.

While I was certain Runaway Sun would likely be excellent as usual, I had no idea what to expect with regards to the venue. I’ve been to every type of venue for local music from hole-in-the-wall type bars, to slightly fancier neighborhood bars like Crooked Ferret Pub, to more upscale places like the Mezzanine Lounge, to outdoor park venues like Discovery Green and Miller Outdoor Theater, to the House of Blues (my last major concert attendance here unfortunately pre-dates this blog), to the Arena Theater, to major arenas like The Summit/Compaq Center, the Astrodome (both non-Reliant and post-purchase of naming rights by Reliant) and Reliant Stadium.

D&W is either top of “hole-in-the-wall” or just over the line of “slightly fancier”. Which is not to say it’s bad, because it’s a pretty good little joint, and I had almost forgotten what it’s like to go to a non-smoking bar (my one big hangup with out-of-city-limits venues like BFE and Crooked Ferret). The music stage is almost an afterthought: there’s barely enough room for three guys with guitars, the effects pedals, the amps, and the drummer and his drum kit. But this is also what brings a show at D&W most of its charm.

I learned a lot about D&W that I wouldn’t otherwise have found out, chatting with Andrew Karnavas during one of the breaks. I’ll go ahead and share the weirdest factoid here: the bar is open from 7am to 2am, which I’m assuming is the maximum allowable opening times by TABC rules, and the early opening time is primarily for third shift coffee factory workers who want to relax after a hard day’s work. Relax? Okay, who am I kidding… is there anyone that would work in a coffee factory surrounded by the smell of slightly burnt coffee beans (and no joke, that’s what the surrounding area smells like), that wouldn’t want to head to the nearest bar that was actually open and get just plain tanked as soon as the whistle sounded? So if for some reason you can’t wait for your favorite bar to open at the obscenely late hour of noon, 2pm, or even 4pm, keep D&W in mind.

I don’t have a complete set list, but I do recall the following from the first two sets, probably out of order:

  • Lily (opening song)
  • Shoot It (alligator song)
  • Lovebite
  • Bad Bad Man
  • The Bridge (uptempo version compared to what’s on the album)
  • Let’s Run
  • Goodbye to You
  • Shake Rattle and Roll (cover)
  • Miss Whiskey
  • Blue Parade
  • Midnight Delta
  • Bright Idea

This is missing most of the covers and probably another song or two which I either did not recognize or forgot the name of.

“Shoot It” deserves a bit more detail, as it’s a call-and-response number which might be one of the band’s live-only songs (as are most of the cover versions of songs, but that’s primarily due to licensing costs). From Andrew’s intro to the song, it was written during one of many tours to “gator country” (parts of Florida). I hope this song gets recorded as a live track at some point, as it would be a shame for this one to not be preserved in some form.

Unfortunately my schedule did not allow me to stay for the third set. But what I saw tonight was more or less the same Runaway Sun that I’ve been a fan of since early 2009. (The band formed in 2008 April, so I wasn’t that late to the party.) It was good to hear some of the songs from Let’s Run, particularly the title track. Hearing “Goodbye to You” in the middle of the set was a real surprise; I think this was the first time I heard Andrew sing it as a solo (it was recorded as a duet with Clory Martin).

I’ve decided now, Let’s Run will definitely be in the next round of albums I purchase. The title track is a free download, physical CDs are at Andrew’s Storenvy store or you can get at least Let’s Run at a show for $10 (potentially a better deal, online it’s $12.50 after shipping).

Unfortunately, I don’t yet know when Runaway Sun’s next local show will be, but rest assured, I will definitely be announcing it when I find out.