Trials + Tribulations

SXSW Day 1
March 19, 2009, 9:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

dscf31391So yesterday I got the day started off at the Kill Rock Stars/Bitch Magazine showcase. I showed up a little after the pAper chAse had started. I hadn’t seen them in a long time and they’re still pretty much the same.

Then Horse Feathers came on. They were really awesome, and made me wonder why more people haven’t listened to them? If Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy ad Iron & Wine had an illegitimate child, it’d be Horse Feathers.

♫ Horse Feathers – Curs in the Weeds

After they finished, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down got up. Thao was adorable to watch and listen to. I’d like some songs off her newest CD but didn’t like it enough to listen to it all the way through lots of times. Live the songs that drag on CD pick up a lot better and made me come home and want to listen to her more.

♫ Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – Bag of Hammers

Once finished, I jetted over to Red Eyed Fly to see The Tallest Man on Earth. Once again, I don’t know why he isn’t the king of the festival. He gets over-compared to Dylan, because his voice sort of have that tone. But I think it has a little of Billie Holiday in there too. Anyway he was fantastic even though he said he was super tired.

I ran over to Red 7 to see who was playing, and found Beach House. Now, I’ve never been able to make it through their whole album. And I couldn’t even make it through one set. Maybe because it was packed and I couldn’t even see the stage, or becase it was so boring. Probably the latter.

♫ Beach House – Gila

Things calmed down and then night hit. I decided to stick it out for the NPR showcase at Stubb’s. This is my first year doing SXSW without a wristband or badge, so I paid the $25 to get in and had to stand around forever. Janelle Monae was the first to play and didn’t like it much. It seemed like an over-staged act: she didn’t pay attention to the audience, left the stage after every song, and just wasn’t that entertaining.

Ladyhawke played her very first show in Texas ever last night at Stubb’s. I’ve listened to her debut album a few times, and a few songs stuck out as winners, but live, the whole album was a winner. The songs translated so well in a live setting that I came home and just HAD to listen to her. She was so fun and had her act down tight. They gave a very neat performance.

♫ Ladyhawke – My Delirium

I won’t say much about the Heartless Bastards or the Avett Brothers, especially the latter. All I’l say is that I think people only like them when they’re drunk.

Then it was time for the main event. The Decemberists debuted for the first time ever live their new album The Hazards of Love in its entirety to a packed venue. First, a couple complaints. The stage set-up was terrible.I know I had to worst spot in the whole venue, behind some weird percussion set-up only used on one song.  And Stubb’s wouldn’t let you use flash. Okay those are my only complaints.
The album live sounds monstrous. It’s a huge, crawling beast that slays everything in its path. If you are lukewarm about The Hazards of Love, go see them live and have yourself blown away. I was struck how the album is divided into two parts: the sweet and tender first half accentuated by the lovely Becky Stark’s doe-eyed singing, and the true bad-ass side where Shara Worden annihilates everything. She really stole the show with her spritely jumping around, her smile gigantic, and her voice 100 stories tall.
The band really enjoyed unleashing the beast live you could tell. They had all had expressions of glee throughout the whole set. I was completely blown away (and took 100 pictures, even from my bad spot). They finished and then played an encore of two songs: “The Raincoat Song” and “I Was Meant for the Stage.
Here’s a video I took of “Annan Water” and you can find all of my pictures from yesterday here.

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[…] tour. Apparently they started it last night for their show at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, and it rocked. Trials + Tribulations has a full review, and they make it sound epic. I can’t wait until they come around here in June. Maybe this […]

Pingback by The Decemberists Play New Material Live at SXSW | Pop Culture Will Eat Itself

[…] They’re also going on tour in support of Hazards of Love. You should go see them. It will blow you away. Trust me. […]

Pingback by Decemberists on IFC « Trials + Tribulations

[…] had to sit outside hearing them through the walls. So seeing them again for the first time since SXSW 2009 when they premiered The Hazards of Love in its entirety, I was able to hear songs I never heard […]

Pingback by Show Review: Other Lives & The Decemberists @ House of Blues, Dallas 4/29/2011 « Trials + Tribulations

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