A club melee that erupted last Friday night after San Francisco indie rock duo Two Gallants had a run-in with Houston police Officer Gabriel Rodriguez has become a blogosphere cause celebre thanks to the power of MySpace.com and the amount of raw footage shot by concertgoers armed with camera phones. The band was performing at Walter’s on Washington, a small club in Houston, when Rodriguez stormed onstage and demanded that Two Gallants lead singer Adam Stephens stop playing. The officer knocked both Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel to the ground, and a number of people were allegedly tasered in the ensuing near-riot, including Stephens and a fourteen-year-old boy. Stephens escaped from the club, but Vogel and two members of opening act, fellow SF-ers the Trainwreck Riders, spent the night in jail. All three were charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice.
The next day, MySpace was flooded with concertgoers giving their eyewitness accounts, describing the destruction of a ninety-year-old standup bass when a person filming the chaos was knocked into it, and an arrestee claiming she was not read her Miranda rights. Rodriguez “seemed way more interested in fuckin shit up then he did in calmly diffusing anything,” wrote witness Daniel Sharber. In a comment on Trisha Faye‘s MySpace page, a woman posting as “The Vortex”, a music venue in Beaumont, TX, tells of her husband and 14-year-old son being tasered at the show.
A small sampling of some of the documentation produced by upset fans:
* The most popular MySpace page for current information
* The Two Gallants message board
* Chat and firsthand accounts from Houston folks
* The Houston So Real blog
* Early blog report from our sister paper the Houston Press
* The band’s Wikipedia page
* Additional videos on YouTube
So what do Two Gallants sound like when they’re not tangling with the fuzz? Download “Las Cruces Jail,” the song they were playing when Rodriguez came onstage, and stream more songs at their MySpace page.
Watch for an article in next Wednesday’s Express containing an exclusive interview with the band.