Show Pics: Wild Cub @ The Parish (7/25)

Wild CubSometimes when I go to a show I want to be dazzled. Sometimes, I want to be challenged. Sometimes, I want to discover. However, we all need a night where you can just smile.

I caught Wild Cub at ACL a couple years back on the small BMI stage with a crowd that probably had never heard a Wild Cub song. By the end of their set, they had a few thousand new fans. I caught them again at the Mohawk during SxSW, a great way to end a day of chasing news. The reality is that this band isn’t our normal share, but the guys from Nashville put out perfect pop songs and deliver them in the live setting so convincingly, that you have to love them.

We headed out to The Parish for some much needed jams. Read on for thoughts and pics…

It was a tale of two nights.

Grizfolk was the opening band. I couldn’t get invested. They embraced the Austin crowd, prompted audience participation via “are you ready for Wild Cub?”. The formula is one that is quite popular here, that indie-folk party music that frequents ESPN commercials. I will say this, they can play their instruments and they were really trying to earn fans. They took a shot of the crowd at the end of their set, happy with their work.

Wild Cub already had a room full of fans. It could have been the excuse needed to mail it in, but no. Energy Energy Energy. They have been touring for a couple years now and it shows. Personal, engaging. They manage the stage, interacting with each other and the audience in equal measure. The extra side stage lighting kept frontman Keegan Dewitt in focus, but not as the leader, but as an ambassador. He must have a bag full of t-shirts with stretched collars from clutching and pulling. Using the humble southern charm of the Tennessee natives, they were effusive in thanks, especially for spending their money to attend the show.

So, I get that. Keegan stopped their “hit”, “Thunder Clatter”, to tell peeps to live in the moment, dissing stageside selfies, and share the story of writing the song for wife and kids. It was probably staged, don’t mind it that much, but Austin let me down. Yes, a good chunk of the crowd just carried on with their conversation. Shut up, people.

Despite that, I walked away delighted once again. They just perform the songs as a super high level. One of the best live bands going…

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