Live music returns to Tyler with The Foundry's Garden Party

Ryan Stanley • Staff Writer

Tickets, which were required for entrance into the Garden Party on Oct. 24, colorfully displayed the ten bands in attendance.

The drums hit with the power of thunder, the guitar sang with a beautiful voice, and the smiles of the musicians expressed endless joy.

No, this wasn’t a virtual concert, it was the return of live music to Tyler.

The Foundry Coffeehouse in Downtown Tyler hosted its Garden Party on Oct. 24 with a whopping ten hours of music from ten bands. Food trucks were on site, drinks were in hand, and music was played like it hasn’t been in almost eight months. All the bands were local and featured The Scrips, JT Wilkinson, Lauren Alexander, Lidia, Big Funky Cloud, Roadkeeper, Matt Raker Band, Magills & Co., Lukas for Sheriff, and Gorgeous Jetson.

Note: I missed The Scrips and Roadkeeper.

Best Performance of the Night

The Matt Raker Band wins this one with a performance that I hoped would’ve lasted an hour longer. As lead vocals and guitar, Raker found the perfect tone – no doubt thanks to a beautiful Jazzmaster and great pedalboard selection. Raker’s indie/surf-rock style radiated vibes across the floor, and the drums stayed simple (no mindboggling rock fills), which complimented Raker’s singing and guitar playing. “Better Off”, a song played near the end of the performance, sounded like a combination of grunge and Matt Raker, with deep-toned chords and a raspy-Cobain voice during the chorus. I loved it. Another standout song, “Hair”, has surf-rock style drums that introduce the song, but the best part is Raker’s guitar playing. The power chords during the chorus sent me into space, especially with his psychedelic sounding pedal. Sadly, with a set time during the middle-afternoon, the band deserved more attendance than what they got. Hopefully, they’ll pick up some more fans as concerts slowly become a norm again.

Second Best

Their groove, exceptional.

Their rock, alive.

Their hearts, broken in Austin according to the lead singer.

Gorgeous Jetson, an indie-psych rock band, have the most notoriety out of any band present with two songs pushing 200,000 streams on Spotify, which earned them the final set of the night. During the performance, the keyboardist played chords worthy of an acid trip and the drummer carried rock in his soul. Comedy was provided throughout the set by the bassist, whose side comments caught a few laughs, but his groovy style was even better. The band found the right combination of rhythm and lead guitar with quirky riffs and beautiful power chords. Gorgeous Jetson was also the most organized during their performance – a sign of practice. My one issue, like a lot of psych-rock bands, I couldn’t hear what the fuck the lead singer was singing and their sound became a mess of noise at certain points. But my favorite song, “Mcfiend”, ended with a minute of pure rock. It was beautiful.

Notable Mentions

Magills & CO. features Matt Magill, who plays rhythm guitar and main vocals, accompanied by back-up vocals from Megan Magill, and three other supporting musicians. Matt and Megan are married, which is something I did not realize during their performance. Their relationship reminds me of another married couple, Matt & Kim, who garnered success as a musical duo from New York. Magills & CO. played a blues-style rock worthy of the second-to-last performance of the night. Matt’s on-stage energy was the focal point of the band – and he has a great voice. Unfortunately, I only caught the final half of their performance, but from the songs I did hear, they were one of the best at the Garden Party.

Big Funky Cloud, or BFC, was unusual in all senses. The lead guitarist donned a West Virginia University hat combined with a loosely tucked shirt and a skull-bearing tie around his neck. I did not have high expectations – but I was proved wrong. While there were no lyrics to accompany their funk, the lead guitarist absolutely shredded his guitar for an hour straight. Seriously, I’ve never seen someone shred like that live. The keyboardist, who was equally as funky, delivered 60s-style chords that meshed well with the lead guitarist’s style. I did hope for some lyrics to accompany their funkiness, but it seems BFC is in a world of their own. The funk world.

Note: While I did not hear Roadkeeper, I checked out their Spotify, which is worthy of a listen, especially their song “The Creeps.”

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