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Exhaustion Begins to Set In at SXSW Friday

Mar 21, 2009 By Evan Rytlewski
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Friday is the day that SXSW begins to take a toll on its headliners, who often overbook themselves with showcase performances and day parties. Where young bands are still hungry to please anyone who might be listening, the more established draws begin to go through the motions, rushing through short, perfunctory sets so they can get to their next gig on time.

The Thermals performed early in the afternoon at an Insound party, and while their set was characteristically spirited, it eschewed a couple of crowd favorites, including “A Pillar of Salt.” Perhaps they got tired of playing it twice a day. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, meanwhile, played one of their 10-plus SXSW shows as part of the Pitchfork day party. The band was as charming as all their press suggests, but in this case it was the crowd that wasn’t completely into it. Though appreciative, the audience wasn’t as enthused as it might have been had they been had the group not spread itself so thin.


Even Okkervil River, one of indie-rock’s most breathless live bands, looked a little tired. They wrestled with persistent sound problems at their 1 a.m. performance at The Parish, before eventually giving up the fight, resigning themselves to an ugly mix. With their sing-along intimacy, big build-ups and trumpet-filled climaxes, the band’s songs were designed to kill live, and sure enough they kept the crowd roaring, but they were played with a little less fire and precision than usual.

The artists at Under the Radar’s packed day party at the quirky Flamingo Cantina fared far better. Former Grandaddy singer Jason Lytle’s songs are sometimes too understated for their own good, their amiable nuances easy to miss, but they weren’t wasted on the Flamingo’s rapt audience. Lytle played a selection of rich, mildly off-kilter Americana from his solo debut, Yours Truly, the Commuter.

Playing one of only a handful of their SXSW commitments, headliners Camera Obscura charmed the crowd predictably with their melancholic indie-pop. With her wistful, girlish voice, Tracyanne Campbell is such a fragile presence on record that it’s easy to forget what a commanding songwriter she is. In concert, though, she’s the business-like leader of her little orchestra, conducting them through note-perfect renditions of little tunes with grandiose ambitions, songs that never miss a chance to squeeze in extra melody.



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star ebooks
May 7th 2010
9:14am

Friday was a great musical day.  Every artist was trying his or her best to please the crowd. Camera’s melancholc indie-pop was breath taking.  She is really charming . I enjoyed her music a lot. She was controlling the orchestra perfectly.  I liked her way to manage the things .  I liked the performances of almost everyone as I was eager from so many days to attend the event like this.  The performance of Okkervil River was catchy . They are the indie-rocks most breathless live bands.

Nausicrate
January 10th 2011
2:16pm

With their sing-along intimacy, big build-ups and trumpet-filled climaxes, the band’s songs were designed to kill live, and sure enough they kept the crowd roaring, but they were played with a little less fire and precision than usual.”Rolex Prices

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