An Evening of Melancholy with Radical Face at The Heights Theater in Houston


With a discography comprised almost entirely of somber songs, it was not surprise that an evening with Radical Face was an evening of melancholy. After walking out to the stage with zero fanfare, lead singer Ben Cooper and his bandmates took their respective places and began to fill the air with faint attempts of conversing with the audience. Noting from the start that recent shows had been a bit lengthier due to Cooper’s interactive story telling between songs, the band informed the audience that they came to a group decision that songs would be played in blocks of three to waste as little time as possible. Excerpts from Cooper’s sarcastic conversations and stories with the audience are below.

As Cooper first sat down and tuned his guitar, he gave the quick back story as to how the band landed on the name Radical Face: “I got the name from a plastic surgery ad when I was 18. It was supposed to say ‘Radical Face Lifts’ but ‘Lifts’ was torn off. I thought it was funny and now everyone thinks I’m a metal band.”

Cooper then proceeded to warn the audience that he was about to “ruin their Saturday night.”

“We have one happy song. We’re going to play that first and it’s all down hill from there.”

As the show continued, Cooper provided a brief insight into each song on the group’s set list. Some of those included:

“This song’s a little more lighthearted…its about a guy watching his twin brother dying.”

“We’ll lighten the mood a little. Guy kills himself and then that guys ghost gets trapped in the house and he watches his wife meet other people and forget him…cuz fuck that guy right?”

“This one is a story about the seasons being actual beings. Someone kidnaps summer and traps her in a basement to keep warm but winter finds out and kills everyone.”

“This last one is called Welcome Home . . . *interrupted by cheesy intermission music* . . . we literally had that in there in case someone broke a string. Melody is relative. Pitch is for assholes. We didn’t go to school for this shit . . .except for those two . . . *pointing to his drummer and cellist* . . . You don’t have to sing. You paid for the ticket. And we’re not giving it back.”

After Welcome Home, the group exited and shortly re-entered for a brief encore. The night concluded with a lively rendition of We’re On Our Way, during which all of the band members except for Cooper stomped and clapped while Cooper remained the central focus of the stage playing guitar and singing.

Coverage and Photography by Marshall Heins II

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