When it comes to releasing new music, February and The Taking go hand-in-hand. The local electronic rockers dropped their debut self-titled full-length album last year at Fitzgerald’s Bar (coverage here) and returned the favor Friday night at Jack’s Patio Bar. This time, the record in question was The Taking’s hard-hitting five-song EP Control, with three of those tunes on display live on stage for the first time.
Vocalist Alan Lozano, guitarists Dominic Cerna and David Work and drummer Daniel Ross were once again accompanied by a riveting laser exhibition. But of course, it’s the quality of The Taking’s songs that will have a say in how far the band continues to progress and how many fans will continue to check them out or be turned onto their music for the first time. The Taking unleashed new offerings “So Close,” “Dead Inside” and first single “Reset,” the latter being heavier than many of their tunes from what is a solid debut album in its own right. Lozano’s self-motivational lyrics teaming with Ross’ drum beats and the dual guitar work of Cerna and Work make “Reset” one of the best songs in the band’s catalog.
It was one of the group’s original tunes, “The Bitter End,” that caught the eye of manager T.J. Sagen and JBM Management a few years ago, and ever since, things have been bigger and brighter for the group. JBM Management also represents Disturbed, which will be co-headlining the fourth annual River City Rockfest on Sunday, May 29, at the AT&T Center (see “Suggested” links below for more info and to buy tickets). The Taking opened the second of three stages at last spring’s Rockfest, where they teamed up with Spurs mascot The Coyote for their 2014 NBA championship-fueled song “Anywhere” (coverage here). That appearance came off the heels of an electric South By Southwest showing at the Rooftop on 6th in Austin (more here).
With Friday’s audience being a reserved one — and that’s putting it lightly, though certainly through no fault of the band’s — The Taking gave the ladies up front something to dance to by covering Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” among its 14-song set. But of course, those who enjoy The Taking’s heavier side got their fill with the band’s traditional rendition of Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls on Parade.”
The Taking is attempting to make it a repeat appearance at this year’s River City Rockfest, which would only seem natural given their management partners’ status as co-headliners. Meanwhile, they’ll be back at Fitzgerald’s on Sunday, May 8, opening for Creed vocalist Scott Stapp along with fellow locals Rain On The Aftermath (tickets here).
In the meantime, The Taking likely will continue doing what it has been doing all along: working hard, taking names — and kicking South Texas music fans’ collective behinds.
Setlist: “Live For the Pain,” “Anywhere,” “We Rise,” “Reset,” “Save Yourself,” “So Close,” “Rebel Yell” (Billy Idol cover), “Until the Other Side,” “Screaming,” “Better Than You,” “Dead Inside,” “Bulls on Parade” (Rage Against The Machine cover), “The Bitter End.” Encore: “Never See Me Again”