SXSW

SXSW Review: Razorlight [Cedar courtyard, March 20 2009]

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Razorlight, SXSW, Cedar Courtyard, March 20

Toronto – Discovering a band isn’t very hard for me to do – I’m horrible at remembering band names, I don’t know that many bands to start with, and even worse I’m vicious at rejecting things that doesn’t produce good vibrations within 10 seconds of incus hitting malleus. For some reason Razorlight kept my attention despite the fact that we were really waiting for White Lies during the afternoon (if you recall this was also the same party where LOTP happily played one song too many and had their brawl with Cedar courtyard security, see below).

What began as a casual head-bobbing turned into seriously listening and by the end of the set, I didn’t care that I was made fun of for liking their sound. Razorlight started in 2002. Either the fans or their marketing contributed to the wiki, because it’s actually quite sizable given their indie status (it’s longer than that of White Lies, for example…) Listening to most of their songs across albums after the set, I’m convinced that they actually sound more American than their British/Swedish composition. Songs like Golden Touch, America, and Vice are all very typical. But it does switch and produce some funny associations… In the City actually sounds more like a Sheryl Crow song when it begins; and at some point during To the sea I’m reminded of Sister Act… weird. There is something to be enjoyed if you have never heard them prior. Although the lead vocal’s slightly off tune style cannot be said to be impassive, it translates just that much better in real life performance. Happily sandwiched between the brawl and the main gig, they played a mix of new and old. Apart from the ones I’ve mentioned already, Wire to wire, Hostage of love, and North London Trash from their new album were there, too. Like I mentioned, sound was not only true to recording but actually better, and good showmanship in general. With that, I’m now happy to have some solid rock in the ipod aside from the sugar-high songs that I normally have.

SXSW Review: Chairlift, Red Eyes Fly, March 21 2009

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

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Austin TX – Brooklyn’s Chairlift gained instant celebrity through ipod’s nanochromatic campaign, indeed that’s how I heard them first. The super flighty and infectious “Bruises” has had 3.7 million hits on myspace alone and I have to say, it’s very different from what’s on the rest of the album, which are placidly mood-setting. Because of this difference, for the longest time I had them mixed up with another 3 person boy-boy-girl band called Headlights from Illinois and actually thought I was going to see the latter instead… My bad.

This set was extremely short. But my guess is when the vocal came on stage with her blue workshirt and lace stocking half of everyone else became longer to compensate. There weren’t that big of a crowd, though. They played only 4 songs (Planet Health, Bruises and 2 others…) I think all from the first album. The singing was dead-on, but always a bit flat and not as flighty as the recordings. A few people were dancing, the general crowd reaction was respectable but a bit withdrawn, which could be why they didn’t play much… or maybe they have to wrap and head to the next show at Dallas.

I can’t really write a fair review on a short show like this… guess there’s always next time. I just found out they’re playing with PBJ in April at Phenix Theater (Toronto). Would that I didn’t wait 1.5 hr for PBJ to warrant an almost permanent No-No…

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