Show Review: AA Bondy @ the Parish (11/13)

Austin was fortunate enough to have AA Bondy and Gold Leaves playing their folk-influenced crafts over the speakers at the Parish on Sunday night.  Let’s face it, the venue has the best sound, and was perfectly fitting for each band’s sound.  Read on for more, including pics.

Opening act Gold Leaves probably came out of the show with the most impact on the Austin audience.  I’ve absolutely fallen in love with The Ornament since it landed over here a few weeks prior to release, and the live performance was every bit as good as I had hoped.  Songs like “Silver Lining” and “The Ornament” sounded just as ornate as they did on the record, but almost more full in the live setting, as Grant Olsen brought four friends along for their first ever tour as a full band.  From careful slide guitar to bits of keyboard and backing vocals, the Parish sound gave the band one of the most convincing live performances I’ve seen from a group in a long while.

Speaking of Grant Olsen, his role upon the stage kind of told the story of the night, at least in my mind.  You could tell that the singer was a bit shy, but he did his best to break free upon the stage, shaking his guitar about, smiling with his bandmates, and really reaching out to the audience.  It wasn’t just the incredible sound that spoke to the audience; it was the fact that you could see his genuine humility as the crowd cheered the group on and on.  When he left the stage, you could tell that Gold Leaves did everything they could to leave it all on the stage, and in most of our eyes, they did an incredible job giving us both the music and the personality.  But, I can’t say that for AA Bondy.

From the first note played, he sounded incredible.  The guy played the entirety of Believers, each song sounding just as unreal as it does on the record.  But, for me, the whole show was lost to me at that same moment, I just didn’t know it.  I’m not sure whether Bondy is super-shy, like Olsen before him, or if he’s just an egtistical songwriter.  I can understand turning to your bandmates, but AA Bondy hardly acknowledged the audience the whole evening.  Every time we enthusiastically applauded his work, he just sort of threw up a hand, and turned back to whisper amongst his bandmates.  Had it not been for the sound, which I will go on and on about, apparently, the show would have been lost to me.  Luckily, I will still have the memories of Gold Leaves, who I thought put on a far superior show nonetheless.

More pretty pics at the photo site

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