Show Review: The Twilight Sad @ Emos (6/11)
If ever a show served as a reminder of why aged men (such as myself) should wear headphones, then this was precisely the set of bands that would help me come back to this obvious realization. Glasgow’s The Twilight Sad would bring their swirling sonic blast of guitar pop to Austin, and opening up was local act Calm Blue Sea. Follow the jump for the full show review and some hot photos.
It’s probably unfortunate that Calm Blue Sea gets so many references to Explosions in the Sky, although location and similarities are obvious, the live set by this act, aided by producer Erik Wofford, sort of exceeded my expectations. In their blasting set, you could tell that the band has a far grittier approach to the construction of instrumental music. While other bands, such as the aforementioned group, spend a lot of time focusing on the pristine details, Calm Blue Sea seemed really content to let their song writing speak for itself, and in doing so, they just let the noise ring out in the audience. You have to give them credit too for their entertainment value, as they didn’t just sit and focus on squalls of feedback, instead choosing to use every inch of stage to create an incredible experience for those who came out early.
Lucky for me, I finally got to witness The Twilight Sad here in Austin. I’ve been a fan of their lambasting pop since Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, but I’ve always been occupied by something else for some reason or another. Fortunately, they didn’t let me down on this particular evening. If anything, James Graham went beyond my expectations for a front man associated with this type of music. At points he appeared to be possessed by the group’s music, and as an audience member equally entranced, it was appreciated to see the man behind the microphone so absorbed in his group’s own sonic powers.
If you’ve been listening to the band, then you were sure to be pleased with the set they brought to town, which was equal parts Forget the Night Ahead and Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. I was glad to see they let loose on recent single “I Became a Prostitute” rather early, illustrating the faith they have in every track that spans the length of their career. “The Summer at Home I Became an Invisible Boy” was a glorious moment, with the band really letting loose on the track, as Graham, who spent a lot of the night facing stage left, faced the crowd to unleash his powerful vocals. I suppose I would have appreciated if the group had left some of their softer moments on the set list, but I figure those don’t translate well to a rock show. Leaving Emos, I could still hear the echos of both bands in my ears, and as I walked pass the ROT, I couldn’t help but to smile, grateful for having witnessed such beauty amidst an environment catering to debauchery and filth.