SXSW Review: San Fermin, Amason, March 17, Hype Hotel

At it’s best, SXSW is all about the discovery of new music and so with that in mind, I headed out on the first night of the festival to check out Amason, a band I knew nothing about other than the fact that they were from Sweden, they had a slightly unusual spelling of their band name (apparently it’s the Swedish spelling, and they’re named after a model of Volvo), and that they, along with practically everyone else in town, were playing a whole bunch of shows all week.

They took to the stage, sounding good with their mellow, atmospheric tunes (their SXSW bio described theit genre as “folk,” but there’s a lot more going on than that) yet nothing about their set really clicked for me. They might be more of a slow burner than a band that really jumps out at you though.

San Fermin, on the other hand, did jump out at me, with the band quite literally jumping around on stage from time to time as well.  While Amason projected more of a chill Bohemian vibe, San Fermin bring to mind a troupe of Theatre kids who decided that they had to start a rock band. That might sound dismissive, but it’s not – the theatricality of the band is one of it’s strongest features and something of a selling point. Singers Allen Tate and Charlene Kaye stalked the stage dramatically delivering the words with gusto and powerful voices while the band laid down the arrangements all masterminded by Ellis Ludwig-Leone. While San Fermin were not a new discovery for me, the band did reaffirm that they are capable of putting on a compelling, entertaining show.

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Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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