Coming Back for More

Alright, gonna try to keep this brief for now as I’m functioning on little sleep and about to head back downtown for more music today, but yesterday was quite a day – pretty much everything I imagined SXSW would be. I’ll have much more to say about everything below later on.

Annuals – I caught these guys at the Entertainment Weekly party, which I just happened to stumble upon yesterday as I walking around downtown. Their sound reminded me a little bit of early Rilo Kiley, though the lead singer mentioned the acoustic arrangements they were playing were different than their usual sound.

Laura Marling – I’m a huge fan of Laura Marling’s debut, Alas I Cannot Swim, so I was thrilled when I saw she was playing the same party I just mentioned. She was backed by Marcus Mumford (of Mumford & Sons, another band to check out) on background vocals, percussion and accordion, sometimes simultaneously. Really stunning performances.

Tori Amos – I’m a huge, long-time Tori fan so it was a surreal experience to be hearing three new, never-before-played or heard songs from her upcoming album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin. Perez Hilton came out on stage to introduce her, appropriately met by much booing from the crowd. She kicked things off with two of the new songs,  the haunting “Lady in Blue” and the gorgeous ballad, “Curtain Call,” which definitely seemed to refer to people who’ve written her off at various stages in her career. Live favorite “Take to the Sky” was incredible. The crowd was going wild on that one, literally people jumping up and down. Speaking of which I could definitely tell there were a lot of more casual fans in the crowd so they were eating up the classic songs in the set, all of which sounded great. I was happy to hear “Beauty of Speed” solo live too and “Barons of Suburbia” was a perfect ending with Tori belting out its closing lyric: “She is Risen.” Here’s the full setlist: Lady in Blue/Curtain Call/Crucify/Cloud on My Tongue/Beauty of Speed/Take to the Sky/Mary Jane/Silent All These Years/Barons of Suburbia

Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Amazing live set, tons of energy and swagger and an awesome horns section. I definitely will be investigating this band further.

Little Boots – I’d been seeing this band’s name all around town since they seem to be doing quite a few performances during SXSW. They put on a good show, but there’s part of me that felt it was a bit Goldfrapp-lite. I want to check their stuff out though before I make a final verdict.

Datarock – This was my first time seeing these guys play live. They did not disappoint. Amazing energy, especially from their drummer who reminded me of Animal from the Muppet Show, and I mean that as a huge compliment. Oh and as an added bonus, I met Margaret Cho yesterday at lunch at the Carrerra Sunglasses lounge. I knew she’d mentioned being a fan of Tori Amos in the past so I asked her if she’d be going to the show last night. She said she was bummed to miss it but she was performing around the same time with Amanda Palmer so couldn’t be in two places at once. I’m off. I’ll report back tomorrow!