Show Review: Wild Nothing @ Red 7 (2/4)

If you were willing to skip across dark patches of ice in order to make your way down the treacherous 7th Street, then hopefully you were able to catch what was, in my mind, one of the best shows of the year so far, though admittedly it’s only February.  The night was filled with many young new bands, all of which are likely to be mainstays for time to come.

Our frigid evening began with a little bit of local love, that and a few shots to keep us warm.  Up first was Superlitebike, a band we’ve been raving about for quite sometime.  They introduced all those in attendance to their blend of rhythmic indie rock that has a driving pace, pushing listeners to do far more than just cross your arms and tap your feet.  Lead singer Patrick Husband was all over the stage, flailing his body, oddly at times, and even bringing out a bit of trumpet to flesh out the bands live sound. If this was your first introduction to the band, we know, like us, you’ll be back for more.  Following these guys was Bali Yaaah, and I will say that it was hard for the band to live up to the energetic jumpstart we had received from the previous band.  They felt stale to me, and their sound definitely needs a bit more growth to it, as it seemed very one-dimensional–but to each his own, right?

California’s Abe Vigoda will definitely get the award for the evening based on bounciness alone.  They moved about the stage as a group, incredibly tight, which says a lot considering the youthfulness of the band.  At times, their blend of electronics and angular guitars at times grew a bit too loud in the mix, drowning out the vocals, which sound great if you listen to their last album, Crush.  If the band sounds this good at such an early age, then there is no telling where they will go (grow) from here.

Up to this point, the night was filled with some solid bands, and really good performances, but none would be nearly as good as that of headliner Wild Nothing.  Heading up to this show, one surely had to question exactly how Jack Tatum would transform those beautiful bedroom melodies to the live setting.  Would his live band recreate those lush sounds from Gemini?  No doubt that everyone had the same thing on their mind, as the band had yet to perform in Austin.

They opened with “Your Rabbit Feet” from the Evertide EP, which set the mood for the entire evening.  Those pounding snare hits, and Jack’s warm vocals floating out into the cold evening made everything seem perfect.  By the time they got into tracks from Gemini such as “Our Composition Book,” we were all impressed, as those sounds no longer belonged in the confines of our bedroom speakers: this was a band who actually sounded equally strong in the live setting. I wasn’t necessarily shocked by the performance being successful, but rather grateful that I had found another reason to love the band.

Still, the band pushed on, even covering a Primal Scream B-Side, “Velocity Girl.”  To go that far back, you can definitely sense that Jack Tatum isn’t just dialing in on a fad, he’s recreating everything he loves about music. They closed out their set with a string of phenomenal tracks, “Chinatown,” Vultures Like Lovers,” “Golden Haze” and an encore of “Bored Games.”  I left feeling hopeful and ecstatic, having seen a great performance from one of the best new bands around.  I’m pretty sure everyone in attendance would have to agree that we were all lucky to watch such an amazing gig here in our hometown.

More fancy photos can be seen by the lovely Mr. Brian Gray on his website.

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