Show Review: Handsome Furs @ The Mohawk

Seriously, I am sick of the heat. This has been a brutal summer, but everyone that was at the Mohawk Friday night braved the radiant warmth and put their energy into the show. Handsome Furs’ performance was contagious. Dan and Alexei were giving themselves to the crowd, thanking us fans for allowing them to be on stage, to perform for a living. It was too much almost, but the profuse appreciation for the audience never came across as staged or as pandering. It was genuine.

Austin’s Lean Hounds set the crowd up for the exhausting performance. More notes and some of the favorite pics I’ve taken in a while are after the break.

Lean Hounds, Nick, Ian and David, claim Breakfast Taco, TX as their hometown according to facebook. They are an electro-noise-pop trio out of Austin that I hadn’t seen perform yet. In looking at their site, I have been next door or outside when they are inside a few times. Kind of bummed about that, I liked their set, my thoughts reinforced by the soundcloud stream of four tracks online. Check it out here.

I am piecing together mental notes of the setlist from cloudy memories due to lack of sleep the night before and Red Bull induced jitters.

Husband and wife first did their chores to set up, plug in and turn on and took a short break before coming back on stage. They paused, they got in sync and let loose with claps and vocals of “When I Get Back”. This song is far better played loud and played live. Alexei dropping to the stage at the end, she allowed herself a brief moment of stillness only to pop up to give the crowd thanks. They rarely make their way here so the theme of this being the best show on the tour, so much better than any SxSW crowd, was nice to hear.

“All We Want, Baby, Is Everything” had the crowd losing their sh*t. “Memories of the Future” was fun. It was light and lifting. “Bury Me Standing” was the most collected performance. It was sentimental in a way. “What About Us” and “Repatriated” were back to back, middle set. The Crowd sang and danced. Alexei performed rock yoga. Dan pulsed as if he was being plucked like a guitar string. The setlist was heavy on tracks from Sound Kapital but did jump around. The break between the regular set and the encore was short. “Legal Tender” led to the closer “Agony”.

Beyond the song choices, these two people were here to please the crowd. The thank yous were boisterous, as though it was an awards ceremony. It had the feel of a band that was playing The Mohawk like it was the finale of a five night stand at Madison Square Garden. Nothing taken for granted. With stories of nauseous band mates and stolen soup, crap punk rock and hometowns, they shared with the crowd. We walked to just outside the Mohawk as the last song was finishing up, mostly to get some air and to avoid the crowded tunnel. Meandering lazily on Red River, passing the stage door, Dan and Alexei burst out. Hunched over, dripping in sweat, they paused like at the beginning of the show, stood up, smiled and introduced themselves to us. They were interested in the blog and how the photos had turned out. They were generous with their time as more fans stopped – posing for pictures, shaking hands, giving hugs. Before it got too hectic, they let everyone know they had to go inside and tear down thanking us one last time.

Handsome Furs love their job.

More pics available over at the photo site

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