A large city such as Dallas inevitably carries the clichéd paradox of letting me feel lost amongst a crowd of people when I go out. It was thus with definite curiosity that I accepted an invitation to check out the Gilt City Dallas Launch Party at House of Blues on Wednesday evening, featuring a live performance by Los Angeles’ Foster the People.
It was an exclusive party for members of Gilt City, not to mention that Foster the People have already played a few sold-out shows in Dallas. The scene was predictable at the House of Blues, a venue that cannot seem to recover from its poor acoustics, but nonetheless an iconic staple that can solidify any band’s reputation in this city.
Foster The People offers an unusual blend of indie-pop sensibility combined with trippy synthetic grooves (no doubt influenced by Mark Foster’s background in composing commercial jingles), a line they walk with both live instrumentation and computer programming. They released a self-titled EP in January of this year, but have established a loyal following through past performances at South By Southwest and frequent play on The Hype Machine. The energy in the room felt as diverse as the band’s sound, with a large group of people eager to see what types of events we might see from this new concept called Gilt.
I remember the first time I encountered an advertisement for Groupon on Facebook a couple years ago, when only one deal per day appeared on the website and participating businesses were still in demand. Imitators now abound unapologetically into this exponentially growing form of e-commerce, but Gilt City seems to take a different approach, being selective about its locations based on their demographic and emphasizing an interest in only the city’s most sought-after experiences and services.
Gilt City’s portfolio includes some of our country’s most iconic and happening destinations, so the recent choice of Dallas certainly speaks volumes of where things may be headed in the Metroplex. I am having trouble predicting how Gilt City will affect the scene in Dallas, a place that thrives on coveted and exclusive events and places. It no doubt sounds like a welcome arrival for that very reason, and may be a taste of some exciting things to come, things for which we may yearn.