ThePlanet Staff Party, City Streets, Houston, February 16, 1998
Allana Davis, Pistoleros, Billie Myers

Since this was an invitation only event, and the only tickets available were throughthe radio station call in, I was lucky enough to get through on The Planet's phone line towin tickets. Unfortunately, the DJ made me sing a line from a Pistoleros' song, so Iapologize to the Houston listening market for having to endure my voice. Anyway, I got myinvitation, and I was very happy because this was a second chance to catch the Pistoleros,a great group from Tempe, Arizona that I saw open for Barenaked Ladies in December (readmy BNL December Shows review). Since then, I had purchasedtheir CD, "Hang on to Nothing", and had been really enjoying it, so I waslooking forward to the show. Billie Myers, who I had also seen at at BNL show in Decemberwas the headliner, and Allana Davis, with a current hit, rounded out the bill.

First up was Allana Davis. She only played a handful of songs, mainly playedunaccompanied, just her voice and her guitar. She played her hit "32 Flavors",which the crowd enthusiastically received, but lacked much charisma or uniqueness in herstage presence. It could be partially blamed on the setup at City Streets, which hadtables on what is normally the dance floor. Most people stayed seated during the entireevent, which was probably a challenge for performers who are used to playing a more openseating arrangement.

The Pistoleros were up next, and they put on a very energetic show, but still not ableto entice many watchers into standing. They played most songs from "Hang on toNothing" including the radio hit "My Guardian Angel", "Nothing LastsForever", and my personal favorite, "The Hardest Part" with the hauntingrefrain "I'm here, alone, without you". I like the makeup of this band, lots ofguitars, with accomplished lead Thomas Laufenberg, and a pleasant pop, southwestern feel.They are like the Gin Blossoms (also of the Tempe area) with a little Latino thrown in forgood measure. Strong vocals by lead singer Lawrence Zubia and harmonies by his brother,Mark Zubia make for a good lineup with lots of potential. They seem to have been playingthe tour circuit getting some decent gigs and airplay in the Houston market, so I expectbig things from this group.

Billie Myers was the exception to the rule when it came to patrons being seated.Throughout her set, she managed to get people on their feet, leading them in lyrics, andencouraging them to come up and dance. She, of course, sang her hit, "Kiss theRain", but also treated the crowd to other songs from her CD "GrowingPains" (Nothing to do with the Kurt Cameron 80s TV show, I don't think), includingsome risque banter regarding a woman's first time ("First Time"). She coaxed,not one, but two men on stage to grind with her, and then at one point in the show, whenshe was presented with a Planet T-shirt, she proceeded to remove her already see throughtop and slip the shirt on. Billie is an extremely talented artist, writes her own songs(she began as a poet), and has a voice that is like Tracy Chapman meets Joan Osbourne. OfJamaican and English heritage, she is quite an unusual woman with a unique stage presence.

So, it was a great show, given the limitations of the venue, poor acoustics andseating, and that the Planet Staff became very drunk and beligerent (particularly thatDave Morales freak). That's what I get for singing on the radio, I guess.

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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