It was raining as I trekked from the Baylor University Medical Center Station to Club Dada last Tuesday. I shielded my bag with my jacket; I’d left my umbrella on the train in my hurry to get to the venue on time for my interview with the band, The Moss. I sat at the bar next door, Off the Record, watching Superbad with subtitles while they finished their soundcheck. When I interviewed them shortly after, their lively energy should have been an indicator of just what excitement was upcoming with their concert. We pulled out rickety black chairs in the back patio of Dada, hiding from the chilly rain beneath an underhang, and I was struck by the fun, easy-going nature of group members Tyke James, Addison Sharp, Willie Fowler, and new bassist Caiden Jackson.
The crowd that later filed into Club Dada was about the most packed I’d seen yet. They milled around in front of the stage, wedged in so closely that I couldn’t get to the front with my camera without impolitely worming my way through the sardine-like rabble. The Moss took to the stage with that same energy from earlier—fun, loose—and simultaneously focused, well-practiced. Underneath dark blue lights, lead singer James gazed out at the audience with an intense, half-lidded gaze, rocking a crop top and hat—one that he would later fling backward and land right next to me, where a stray girl would pick it up for a quick selfie before tossing it right back onstage.
The four band members (and the toy gnome next to drummer Fowler) were entirely on the same page while their audience sang with them, batting balloons back and forth. With free-styled dancing that felt like an electrified combination of Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger, James and co. had the audience completely enraptured the entire time. Whether it was flying offstage to sing amongst the audience, hanging from the speakers above the stage, or knocking down Fowler’s cymbals with the help of Jackson and Sharp, it was impossible to look away from James and the rest of The Moss as they plowed their way through an impressive few years of music releases.
The band as a whole was, simply put, alive. They carried their energy all the way through to the end of the show, with their big hits like “Insomnia” and “Blink” just about bringing down the house. It was quite the event: the vivacious performance and solid tunes illuminated by bright teal lights, framed by dark walls and the pale golden glow of rain drops lit softly on the window outside. Afterward, the band members divided and conquered, posing for pictures with fans and, in the case of Dallas-native Caiden Jackson, catching up with old friends. Stepping out back into the rain afterwards (still umbrella-less) and watching fellow concert-goers disappear into the chilly Deep Ellum night felt almost surreal, as if we’d been given the privilege of taking a break from the real world and suddenly found ourselves back. And on a rainy Tuesday night in a small, crowded bar, what else can you hope for?