Yours Truly, Hot Mulligan, and Senses Fail @ White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX
Review & Photography by Vanessa Umanzor
As tropical storm Imelda was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico on the evening of September 17th, Senses Fail argued convincingly by playing that the stage is where they are most at home. Guests rushed to White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX as the rain began, and My Chemical Romance, AFI, and Jimmy Eat World played in the background; setting the mood for a blast from the past night filled with emo music.
Over the past decade, Senses Fail’s career has become emblematic in a way of a certain kind of resilience. The resilience that has very personal meaning to me. So I was stoked to hear they not only would be re-releasing their earliest songs that I wasn’t able to appreciate during its heyday, but they would also be playing the entirety of their enduring From the Depths of Dreams EP. However, not before Yours Truly and Hot Mulligan hit the crowd with their best shot as well.
Yours Truly ruled under the rain clouds. Opening around 7:30 pm, the lead singer Mikaila Delgado bounced, swayed, and kicked her leg up in the air from one side of the stage to the other. The hyper Delgado’s energy left a memorable impression with just a few songs. Mikaila and her cohorts performed “Afterglow” and “Circles” off their latest release, “Strangers” one of my personal favorites, and crowd-pleaser “High Hopes”.
“How many of you have never seen us before?” Hot Mulligan frontman, Tades Sanville, asked the audience with a roaring response. The feisty Michigan natives showcase was anything but quiet. Except when they played “I Fell in Love With Princess Peach”, but in all fairness its a slow song. They more than made up for it commanding the room with “All You Wanted by Michelle Branch.”
When five-piece Senses Fail walked out onto the stage and ripped right into “Steven,” the opening track from From the Depths of Dreams, it came with a tidal wave of nostalgia. Despite the eye-rolling inducing online criticism of this tour’s setlist, Buddy’s ability to carry all of Senses Fail’s eras taps into my teary-eyed teenage years of longing that I will never be too cool to admit I identify with.
The show boasted a comprehensive setlist that covered all the bases — they busted out acoustic versions of “Lady in a Blue Dress” and “Family Tradition”. “Can’t Be Saved”, “Bite To Break Skin, and a cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized”. You can bet I sang along to every heartfelt word of the raw and emotional “Blackout.” Somehow, those lyrics felt truer and sincere to me than any other artist proclamation that night.