Show Review: Brazos @ Holy Mountain (12.12)
There were a multitude of reasons to attend the show on Wednesday night over at Holy Mountain. You could go for the return of Brazos. Or the rising star of Jess Williamson. Or, the Top 50 worthy Ski Lodge.
Us? We couldn’t decide, so we went for all three.
Skip on down to hear our thoughts and to see Brian’s shots of the evening…
For the second time in a matter of days I was catching Jess Williamson. This time, however, she had an entire outfit in tow, as opposed to the other night when it was she and the reliable Andrew Stevens. While the first performance (Friday at Hotel Vegas) definitely had a different feeling to the set, this one was as successful, if not more so. Having a back up band allowed for the little nuances from her upcoming debut to seep into the songs, which in turn accentuated her own notes. We could spend hours fawning over the young lady, but I think the comment by a neighbor after I was briefly introduced to the songstress sums it up: “be cool with her now man, she’ll be too big to talk to any of us soon.”
Ski Lodge really made my night. Not that they were significantly better than the other acts, but they reminded me of something. Not only do they have the songs that earned them a spot on our Top 50 Albums list, but they have this great simplicity about them, which really appeals to my tastes lately. It’s not some extensively labored studio production that’s being transformed into the stage, but rather it’s songs that are meant to be played to eager listeners. I’m sure they’ll hate this comparison, but it reminds me of Voxtrot in their heyday here in Austin. They weren’t breaking down barriers or experimenting with new horizons, they were simply just playing great songs. All night long, Ski Lodge gave us that, so I’m thankful.
Then we closed out our evening with the charming set from former Austinites, Brazos. First, you should definitely spend time with their newest LP, Saltwater, which had several songs like “Charm” featured in their set. Personally, I was waiting for “Day Glo” off an older record, which I got, but it also brought the concept of Brazos in the live setting to the front of my mind. The group has these carefully quiet songs, meant to influence the emotional pull of the audience, but they also have these upbeat numbers that really are perfect for sunny days and good times. It’s hard not to enjoy yourselves seeing them walk that line back and forth between the two styles. It rounded off a pretty great night of music, which always makes things great for us.