SXSW Review: Viva Voce, Red Eyes Fly, March 19 2009


Austin, TX – On the first post after 18 shows in 48 hrs, I found that there isn’t much patience in me for heavy music. Sitting outside of the outdoor Primal Scream set at 15C 1am in the morning wasn’t very nice. An actual lyrical, singing band is always nice and relaxing. Viva Voce from Portland fits my bill but they didn’t play at the wee hours of the night when I needed soft soothing songs the most. The weather was sunny, with beams of light streaming onto the stage – very nice unless you happen to look down and then you’re instantly reminded you’re at south-by with 100,000 other people…

I think they followed a band called Alberta Cross (don’t know if they are from Alberta), unlike some certain bands, they quickly set up as their crowd assembled. The percussion actually joked and let the sound guy know that he needs to not pay her extra attention and check-up on the lead vocal… funny. For some reason I can’t ever hear the lead guitar but he does sing, probably another doing when the sound-man checks out girls in the band. Their playing is dead-on with the recordings. Good songs like Free Nude Celebs and From the Devil Himself were all smooth and very enjoyable. I’m not going to describe the feeling of standing sun-strewn in a lazy bar listening to flowing guitar rifts, but you catch the drift. The band themselves are also very swimming people – there’s not much showmanship required, just music, which is the way I like it. MC made fun of the vocal and apparently he was turned on whenever she grabs the whammy… nothing wrong with that! :)

As we go on to more shows I hope we get to see more of these guys and more acoustic bands (yeah, I know, they’re not technically acoustic; sue me). If they are all as enjoyable as Viva Voce I will be a very happy man.

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, South By Southwest