SXSW Review: The Rural Alberta Advantage, March 17, The Stage On Sixth

Austin – It’s been quite a while since the last time I saw The Rural Alberta Advantage live, almost 2 years I think.  In that time, they have grown exponentially in popularity, selling out venues like Lee’s and getting booked to play the Coachella festival. 

The success is all well deserved, of course, and it’s great to see a band getting the recognition they deserve.  As I watched them play to a packed Austin crowd, I thought to myself, “Is this really the same band I saw playing a free show at Dufferin Grove Park all those years ago?”  They’ve come a long way since then (though technically, they were still playing a free show here in Austin, just for a much larger crowd) but all of the elements that make the band what they are were already more or less in place then, they’ve just been refined. 

 They delivered a rousing set.  Nils Edenloff’s powerful, earnest vocals drove the set forward, powered by Paul Banwatt’s crazy, powerhouse drumming.  Keyboard player/vocalist/percussionist Amy Cole added one more instrument to her arsenal with the bass pedal.  She may have had this setup for awhile, but not since I last saw them.  It was kind of fitting that I saw a Toronto based band whose first album was called Hometowns in Austin, as this show felt a little bit like a piece of home away from home.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, South By Southwest