One Eyed Jacks
World Leader Pretend CD Release Party
June 22, 2005
World Leader Pretend played Dallas the night before their CD release party. The local band drove all night to New Orleans, the end of their tour. Their homecoming concert was a celebration that gathered friends and supporters. It also doubled as a CD release party for their new album, "Punches." Drummer Arthur Mintz said he was exhausted from the tour and drive before the party, but he and the band didn't show any pain when they played later in the night at One Eyed Jacks.
They were a very different band than the one that played almost two months earlier at Jazzfest. On Wednesday night they were road-tested, somehow tighter, and more confident and energetic. Since they had five instead of four members for the first time in a while, lead singer/guitarist Keith Ferguson was freed of piano duties for many songs by touring member Andy Wagner. That meant he was free to be an effervescent, smiling, and dancing frontman with a tambourine. Ferguson definetely knew where he was, and it looked like he was out to prove how good the band was. Mintz was tongue-wagging and guitarist Matt Martin was hunched over and head-banging, as usual.
The band played more songs than usual--usual being the hour-long SXSW or Jazzfest shows. They re-visited less-played old material, and they played more selections from the new album. The rockin' music seemed to scream for some crowd jumping or flailing or something, but they didn't start to show a mass sign of life until the end of the set. That's no surprise. It was kinda an industry shindig. The audience did enjoy the streamers that came down and the champagne toast in the middle of the set, though. Ferguson held up a glass and said his thanks, but Mintz had the greater moment. He thanked drum teacher Johnny Vidacovich, who was in attendance, for his drumming style. It was wonderful to see New Orleans Rock and Jazz unite in that moment.
The highlight of the night was when Ferguson called local singer-songwriter Blair Gimma onstage to sing "Lovey Dovey" with him. Gimma is on the new song's recorded version, but it was impressive to see her manifest the album's angelic voice note for note live.