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Nikki Lixx with Drater (Photo courtesy of Nikki Lixx.)

By Nick Paldino (aka Nikki Lixx)

I first encountered the band Drater on a Saturday night this past March. Their guitarist Cole Schwartz, a high school student at Highland Park, had been to see my band Poison Cherry play on several occasions before with his dad, but this was the first time I had ever seen the entire band together. I was performing a show at Z Grill and Tap in Flower Mound when I saw them standing by the front of the stage and I asked if their singer, Mira Fountain, would like to take the mic for a song. What happened after that, I did not expect. She performed a rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” with the kind of poise and showmanship I would expect from a seasoned veteran. I was even more surprised to find out she was only 11 years old.

I was hooked. I had to see Drater perform as a band, and I was not disappointed. 

The band was rounded out by Trajan Aquista on the bass and Matthew West on the drums. They played an energetic set to a room full of captivated fans that sang and danced with every song they played. From Cole’s searing guitar licks to Matthew’s chest pounding drum beats and Trajan’s low end rumble, everything was right.  Clearly Drater gets it. Much to my delight, they aren’t the only ones.

The second time I went to see Drater I met Lantic, the winners of the 2011 Wildflower Festival Battle of the Bands. The group is comprised of two sets of brothers, Ryan and Josh Jurovic and Trey and Eric Wendt, all high school students from McKinney. Lantic had a vibe all their own and played a set filled primarily with original tunes that bands far more seasoned would be hard pressed to write. Once again I was floored by the young, home-grown talent DFW had to offer. I felt compelled to do my part.

All these young, gifted musicians that live in the Metroplex are just too good not to be heard, thus Nikki Lixx Presents was born. I wanted to give Drater, Lantic, and other young bands like them a forum to be seen and heard, so a showcase featuring these bands seemed only fitting. The very first Nikki Lixx Presents showcase will be held this Saturday at Club Dada located on Elm Street in Deep Ellum starting at 2 p.m. The showcase will feature Drater, Lantic and Woodrow Wilson’s own Liv and The Drummer, with Liv Miner on guitar and vocals and her brother Henry as “the drummer”. The show not only features musicians that are 18 years old and younger, but it will be accessible to an all ages crowd, everyone is invited. An afternoon show is the perfect opportunity for everyone to have a look at the recent “facelift” Deep Ellum has received over the past few years.

So mark October 1 down in your calendar and for less than the price of a movie ticket, and far less than you will spend at the State Fair, you can see three great bands and show some love to the future of DFW music.

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Nikki Lixx Presents (www.nikkilixxpresents.com)
   Saturday Oct. 1st
   Club Dada (Elm Street in Deep Ellum) (www.dadadallas.com)
   Cover: $10
   All ages

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