SXSW Review: Superchunk, THICK, March 15, Mohawk

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On “This Night”, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan sings, “this night is like so many” but with the news last month that drummer Jon Wurster would be leaving the band, there was at least one way in which this night would be unlike so many that had come before. This night, the band’s set at the Mohawk would be one of their first without the longtime drummer after his recent announcement that he was leaving the band. Having seen Superchunk a couple of times before, I was looking forward to the show, but I’ll admit there was also some uncertainty about it.

Don’t get me wrong – I knew it would be a fantastic show regardless as Superchunk have a discography full of indie rock bangers and have always put on great shows when I’ve seen them in the past. But without Wurster behind the kit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

After all, Wurster is one of the most entertaining live drummers to watch (and just an entertaining guy in general – his comedy work with Tom Scharpling on The Best Show is also worth a look of you don’t know it already) so the new guy had some big shoes to fill. Was he up to the challenge?

The new guy in question was Michael Benjamin Lerner and while I’m not sure if he was just filling in or if he’s a permanent replacement for Wurster, he seemed to fit right in with the band as they ran through a set that included classics like “Hyper Enough” and “Slack Motherfucker” as well as newer songs like the aforementioned “This Night” off of last year’s excellent Wild Loneliness. So was the new guy up to the challenge? The simple answer is yes. Yes he was.

Earlier that evening, THICK played on the same stage and it was an incendiary performance that set the tone for the evening. Fun tunes, a strong feminist theme running through the lyrics, and a decent contingent of hardcore THICK fans in attendance made this an unforgettable show that it was hard not to get wrapped up in. This night was a pretty good one.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest