Last night’s show at Three Links in Deep Ellum was booked months before Samuel Herring’s primal dancing seduced David Letterman. Long sold out, it was the rare “event” club show that felt important to those lucky enough to squeeze in.
With keyboardist Gerrit Welmers, bassist William Cashion and touring drummer Michael Lowry skirting the perimeter of the stage, Herring was the unquestioned center of attention. His southern gentleman drawl and Deliverance-era Burt Reynolds good looks charmed the crowd, but his vocal passion and self assured moves whipped them into a frenzy. He took time to lock eyes and grasp hands with those up close, as if to ensure they were truly hearing his words.
On record, Herring’s performances are restrained in comparison to the live show. He wails and growls to emphasize phrases, adding intensity to his uniquely powerful style. And despite a grueling schedule between Coachella and Dallas, he summoned the energy to prowl, groove and bounce about the stage, drenching his Marlon Brando black tee.
It’s hard to say what the ceiling is for a band that describes itself as “too noisy for new wave, too pussy for punk.” With the Letterman meme and crowd slaying shows at SXSW and Coachella behind them, it’s back to the workaday grind of a touring band. Will they be able to use this momentum to slingshot to stardom, or is this their lone moment in the social media sun? As long as Samuel Herring has the fortitude to kick the shit out of every live show, I’m betting on the former.