Show Review: Frankie Rose @ Red Seven (4/14)

As the end of one of my busiest weeks in months came to an end, I was really excited to see Frankie Rose over at Red 7.  The show also featured several rising stars such as Dive and The Young, so we couldn’t complain, especially after all the work put in to make the venue more enjoyable.

Read on for our thoughts and check out Brian Gray’s photos.

Cheap Curls began the whole evening, though they started off with a slightly underwhelming set.  Katie, the main force behind the band is a former Dum Dum Girl, so you can sort of get a slight impression of the music itself, but I think what struck me was the lack of emotion on the stage during the first part, as the new band struggled to find their form.  I thought Katie could have been more engaging with the audience, but her efforts were rather tame until the final three songs (which I really enjoyed).  But, I will say that the group is fairly new to the Austin scene, and the talent is there in the band, so I expect them to improve on the performance, becoming a mainstay in our town.

Second set of the night was The Young, the newest signing to Matador Records, who just happen to be from Austin.  They put a little bit more energy into their set than the last time I caught them, but I’m still a little bit perplexed by the group on the whole.  They’re good musicians, that’s clear, but I don’t see anything particularly spectacular that would have warranted them getting signed to Matador. For my ears, it’s just run-of-the-mill indie rock, which is better than most tunes, but I’ll keep my mouth shut until I get to hear their new record.

And then came Dive, my favorite act of the night.  For an opening group, apparently playing on borrowed gear, they more than fulfilled their role as an opening act. It’s amazing how something that sounds so quiet and thoughtful in recording can have such a powerful impact upon the stage.  Both guitarists banged their heads, swung about their guitars, and pretty much sealed their spot as the best band of the evening.  With a new effort coming up on Captured Tracks, and their relation to Beach Fossils, this is definitely one of the groups I think everyone will enjoy.

When Frankie Rose took to the stage, I wasn’t sure which Frankie we were going to get on the evening.  Her most recent effort on Slumberland Records, Interstellar, showed her quieter, more pensive side, allowing the songs to gently flow from within; her first effort was more of a rocking affair, easily seen as a transition period for the songwriter.  For the most part, we got a combination, as her set included songs from both sets, but the overall emotional output was much more engaging than one might’ve expected considering her recent work.  Having never seen her before, I was pleased to see her enthusiasm upon the stage–which was far more than I honestly would have expected.  Perhaps a little bit more could have been done with the vocals, as the backing singer didn’t gel as perfectly as it does on the actual recording, but such are the breaks with live shows.  Overall, she’s clearly got talent, and definitely has something going with this confident new record.

And, on a side note…Red 7 looks and sounds great.  Perhaps they will take the torch for the old Emos, offering intimate shows inside and larger affairs outside. They even had a quaint patio vibe set up outside for us all to chill on between sets. Hats off to the renovation.

As always, a few more pics at the photo site

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