Uncle Lucius Burns Dallas Down One Last Time

| March 4, 2018 | Reply

Photo by Joshua Daugherty

Story by Axton Deary, Photos by Joshua Daughtery

Austin’s own Uncle Lucius performed at the historic Kessler Theatre in Dallas on February 28 2018. This was the last performance the band would play in Dallas under the current band name, founding member and lead singer, Kevin Galloway announced the band would seek different destinations back in September 2017, but would continue touring throughout March 2018.

Folk Family Revival opened the show, but the majority of the crowd was at The Kessler to pay their final dues for the 12-year, 4-album, veteran band that is Uncle Lucius. Backed by lead singer, Kevin Galloway, the rest of the 5-piece band was straight business for this show. There was a look of determination on Galloway’s face, rarely did he break to a smile or speak to the audience besides opening and closing dialogue. The professionalism of the band showed through every song and concert goers could tell Uncle Lucius wanted to leave their mark on Dallas and Uncle Lucius did just that.

The band’s sound is unique as they were a mix of genres ranging from hard rock, folk, Americana, a slight hint of rhythm and blues, and full of soul. The set opened with Tom Petty’s “It’s Good To Be King” and it’s relevant considering Uncle Lucius’ history of being signed to a record label out of Nashville, and then fighting their way to produce their own independent album (The Light). What makes the band eccentric is the fact all band members write their own songs, and on the fourth song in, lead guitarist Mike Carpenter performed his song “End of 118,” backed by keyboardist Jonny Grossman playing accordion.

Kevin Galloway performed “Pick Your Head Up,” which then transitioned in to a “Ain’t It the Same.” The band was brilliant in doing so. The setup began with “Pick Your Head Up” which is crossbreed of a slow-rock ballad mixed with a Sunday hymn that is full of soul due particular to Galloway’s distinctive voice. The song then picks up to more a rock style, and then fully transitions in to “Ain’t It The Same” for a hard rock sound due to lead guitarist  Mike Carpenter.

Photo by Joshua Daugherty

Photo by Joshua Daugherty

A few songs later, the band jammed another transition song beginning with “Age of Reason,” perfectly fitting with today’s political climate, which calls for unison rather than division. The second half of the 10-minute jam evolved in to the band’s most popular song, “Keep The Wolves Away.” “Wolves…” was truly a stellar performance, it received a standing ovation from all patrons from The Kessler.

The last song of the set was another transitional song, and it was nearly a 19-minute performance that encompassed nearly every variety of genres underneath Uncle Lucius’ belt. It was difficult to wrap your head around the intelligence of the band due to the multiple transitions they pulled out of their sleeves, and it left many wondering how they could pull what they just heard off. Uncle Lucius performed 2006’s “Liquor Store,” a full-blown Southern Rock song in with Erykah Badu’s “On and On,” a keyboard-based, bluesy song backed up on vocals by keyboardist Johnny Grossman. The performance finished back in to “Liquor Store” and the lights drew dim.

Photo by Axton Deary

The crowd wanted even more after an incredible performance. After a two-minute tease, Galloway walked out followed suit by the rest of the band. Of the few times Galloway spoke, he thanked the crowd for being a part of an incredible 12-year ride. The band performed “All of Your Gold” and then ended their last song in Dallas, Texas, by performing Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.. It opened with the grand theme of keyboard, followed by the gritty-soulful voice of Galloway to open in to War Pigs. The 10-minute performance was given every bit on gusto from the band, and they left 1230 West Davis Street, Dallas, Texas, on fire.

Uncle Lucius performance was an incredible one to say the least – one of the best live acts I have seen in sometime. Make no doubt about it, Uncle Lucius would not be as successful without Johann Valles, Jonny Grossman, Josh Greco, and Mike Carpenter, but Galloway’s voice is unique, it fills the room. Add to the fact that all of the band members write their own songs, and individually perform them is another rarely-heard-of style. How the band survived 12 years without egos getting in the way is what made Uncle Lucius one of the Texas’ best live acts.

Uncle Lucius still has a few tour dates, catch them if you can.

March 8           Courville’s                                Beaumont, Texas

March 9           Coal’s Smokehouse                Splendora, Texas

March 10         Poodie’s                                    Spicewood, Texas

March 22         Gruene Hall                              Gruene, Texas

March 23         Gruene Hall                               Gruene, Texas


Category: *- Features, Other venues

About the Author ()

Axton Deary is currently based in Dallas, Texas. He attended college at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. It was there that Axton grew an affinity for music -- with historical venues such Cheatham Street Warehouse, Gruene Hall, Joe T. Floore's Country Store, and Luckenbach just a stone's throw away. Axton saw the best that Texas' regional acts had to offer. Although currently employed full-time in Dallas, he frequents various venues scattered across the DFW metroplex during his free time. Axton currently pens album and concert reviews. He is excited to be a contributor to Scene in Town and is looking forward to the new journey.

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