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White Denim fiery on UNT stage during second day of Oaktopia

White Denim fiery on UNT stage during second day of Oaktopia

White Denim plays at Oaktopia on the UNT stage in Denton, Texas.

White Denim fiery on UNT stage during second day of Oaktopia
September 23
20:50 2016

White Denim, while thrilling and sweaty, put out some serious sound on Oaktopia’s UNT Stage. Rock and roll ran its course through the lively bodies of Oaktopia in the hot sun Friday afternoon. Although the temperature was blazing, Denton was having a great time.

The crowd shuffled and vibrated while band members James Petralli on guitar and vocals, Mike St. Clair on keys, Steve Terebecki on bass and Jordan Richardson on drums wired the crowd with fuzzy synth runs and heavy drum beats. White Denim, a band out of Austin who dropped their first EP titled “Let’s Talk About It” in 2007, had played in Denton before, but not since over a decade ago. This town showed out to the gig in sizeable numbers, and Oaktopia likely saw its most packed stage yet during White Denim’s performance.

“It was awesome, I feel fucking crazy right now though. It was hot, but that’s cool. Summer’s hanging on,” Richardson said after the show. “It was a blast man, the crowd was way exciting. It got us through the heat and the weirdness.”

Richardson, who just joined the band’s rhythm section in August, was upbeat after the show and said he loved the crowd at the festival. Playing on a C&C drum kit with Sabian cymbals, the band had an abundance of fat, hefty beats behind them. Observing the city while in town, he said Denton is “super fucking weird,” but supportive and fun.

White Denim ran through a lot of their hits, like “At Night In Dreams” and “Corsicana Lemonade” off of their 2013 record titled “Corsicana Lemonade,” as well as tracks like “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah),” “Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)” and “Had 2 Know (Personal)” off of their sixth and most recent record titled “Stiff,” released earlier this year.

“It’s a great city, man,” Richardson said. “Always supportive and celebrates music like nowhere else.”

Guitarist and lead vocalist Petralli is no stranger to this North Texas college town either. Having grown up in Arlington, Petralli knows all about music in Denton. Petralli said when he lived in Arlington, he used to sneak out to catch shows and hang out in Denton. Since their last showing in Denton at Dan’s Silverleaf years ago, the band has moved on to bigger things. Having just played at the SummerStage in Central Park in New York the night before, the band arrived in Texas around 7 a.m. the day of their Oaktopia show to play at night.

“Going from small stages to big stages is kind of a trip, I guess,” Petralli said, who was feeling the Texas heat and lack of sleep after the band’s showing. “I used to sneak out here in the late 90s to watch bands in Denton, so I have really fond memories of this city.”

Neely Rose, a 21-year-old North Central Texas College student taking basics and playing music around town, caught the band’s performance and was jaunty afterwards. He noted that this was probably one of the biggest shows that Oaktopia had seen all weekend, with maybe 200 people in the standing room expanse of grass in front of the stage.

Coming up, Oaktopia still has yet to see Norah Jones, Erykah Badu as DJ Low Down Loretta Brown or Beruit, so there’s still a lot of music to be heard. Along with music, there are various art installations to be seen, food-truck creations to be savored and dances to be had. Regardless, Rose said he was still happy to have seen White Denim.

“I think that was like the best show so far,” Rose said. “They really kept the groove going.”

Featured Image: White Denim plays at Oaktopia on the UNT stage in Denton. Hannah Ridings

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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

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