Peace, love and straight-edge house shows

Aaron Cortinas • Staff Writer

String lights strewn about every surface. A makeshift stage sits at the head of the garage. Large quilts hang high from the garage door and on the brick columns, acting as a buffer for the acoustics. The loud sounds of guitar vibrate through the tightly packed bodies, shaking them to their core. They head bob to the beat of the music, eyes shut. This is a house show.

Tyler Musician Andrea Pacas organized and performed at a house show on Dec. 30 last year. Her band and seven others played in Pacas’ parents’ decorated garage. This event was different than a conventional house show, though. Pacas decided that it would be completely straight-edge, that is no alcohol or substances.

Tyler musician and incoming UT Tyler freshman, Ransom Jarvis, says he appreciated the decision to make the show straight-edge. “[It’s] not to spoil the fun, but to make it more about the music,” Jarvis added. “I think everybody was a lot more appreciative of that than we expected … they were much more supportive and tuned in to what was going on.”

A variety of bands performed, half of which had never played a gig before. Most of the bands were acoustic, pop punk or dream pop. Pacas’ metal band, Hanamura, was also in the lineup. She says she was so nervous on stage. “I had my eyes closed the whole time,” Pacas said. Her nerves went away when she finally opened her eyes though. “I look over, and everyone is hugging and headbanging at the same time,” Pacas said laughing.

Pacas’ house show was also many of the guest’s first experience with one. Jarvis says that the band genres were accessible and “wouldn’t scare people away.” Further, he says that the event’s atmosphere was “ a lot more personal and friendly than you’d expect … strangers fit right in.”

Since Pacas’ house show, three bands have asked her to host another. She isn’t hosting one soon, but the demand is still there. Bands are patiently waiting for another person to lend a soundproof garage. House shows may require you to leave your home, but they feel homey nonetheless.

Look out for future house shows by following these Tyler musician’s social media! Find Pacas on Instagram at @drepacas and Jarvis at @lowecasism.

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