Monday, March 26, 2012

SXSW Day 2 - Friday, March 16th

Of Montreal at Waterloo Records (courtesy of their Facebook)
Gary Clark Jr. at Waterloo Records
Psychedelic Indie pop rock band Of Montreal were the first act I saw on Friday. I've heard some songs of theirs here and there, so I was somewhat looking forward to their set which included songs from the newly released Paralytic Stalks. I was pretty disappointed with them. The set was very disjointed, and while there were a couple of better moments, it never found a good groove. Howlin Rain was our segway act for Gary Clark Jr. Briefly looking them up before their set, I had a feeling that they would be pretty good. I was right. The band has a cool seventies vibe to them, and they played a very energetic and great set of songs from their new album The Russian Wilds. Austinite blues rock guitarist Gary Clark Jr., referred by some as the next Jimi Hendrix, was next. I obviously had high expectations for him, and was not let down. I'm just not sure of his relation to Hendrix except for the color of his skin. His skills on the guitar are impressive though, and he has a great voice to match- almost a dead ringer for Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Clark chose to adopt a serious stance throughout his set, letting his guitar skills shine through. The songs "Please Come Home" and "Bright Lights" from his most recent EP were highlights. The final act at Waterloo were The Cult, a British post-punk and hard rock band from the eighties. With an overwhelming amount of photographers present, they performed an intense set of songs from their new album to come out in May. They also played their biggest hit, "She Sells Sanctuary." The band was very well received, which you could tell they were pleased with.
The Cult at Waterloo Records (courtesy of Facebook)
Counting Crows at Auditorium Shores (courtesy of 5342 Studios)
Counting Crows played a lengthy free show to a crowd of thousands at Auditorium Shores, which is the perfect setting for such a group, overlooking the city of Austin on such a lukewarm night. I chose the word "lukewarm," because I'm not such a fan of this group. Yes, I've only heard their singles, but I've never been impressed enough to check them out beyond that. I couldn't get into most of their set, except oddly enough a couple of country covers they played and the song "Color Blind" is nice. I won't deny that singer Adam Duritz has a great voice and some of the lyrics of their songs were good- it's just musically I wasn't very moved by it. The band performed old songs as well as new ones from their new album "Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)," to be released in April.

Day two had its ups and downs, but it was still a fun time. Here is a second playlist for these artist. Are you ready for day three?

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