With Okkervil River and Man Man rocking 6th street, the Swell Season soothing Congress Avenue, and the Butthole Surfers reuniting at the infamous Stubbs, the night following day two of Austin City Limits seemed to be nothing short of entertaining. After finding that Okkervil River tickets had finally sold out, I decided to trust a dear friend from the Big Apple on going to an unofficial after show featuring Grand Ole Party and Sunset Rubdown. I had recently heard Grand Ole Party on tour with Rilo Kiley, but I knew absolutely nothing of the Wolf Parade spin-off. Needless to say, I left the show at Mohawks with a new favorite band, realizing that this unofficial aftershow officially drowned out a memorable reunion just two blocks away.
We caught the end of Grand Ole Party and were very pleased with what few songs we heard. Singer-drummer Kristin Gundred pleased the crowd with wild but very soothing 60’s style vocals and toe tapping drum beats all at once. The San Diego group’s 2007 debut album Humanimals was well represented, as well as a few new songs which we hope to hear on an upcoming record sometime soon. All around, Grand Ole Party definitely pleased the crowd anxiously awaiting their headliner.
From note one of Sunset Rubdown’s set I was addicted, and there was no turning back. Singer Spencer Krug’s voice, with the help of some haunting reverb, carried through the windy Austin night and was incredible on every note. The set was half and half as far as new and current material went, but the new tracks were warmly greeted by Austinites and tired ACL goers alike. It was nothing short of jaw dropping to watch guitarist Michael Doerskin, drummer Jordan Robson-Cramer and bassist Mark Niccol continually trade instruments, and hold their own on each. Multi-intstrumentist Camilla Wynn Ingr (Pony Up!) was definitely a Jane of all trades, impressing the crowd with who knows how many instrument.
This show was definitely worth leaving the ACL festivities a bit early, and worth much more than the eight bucks it cost to get in the doors. I most certainly recommend checking out the Montreal natives, whether it be through one of its four studio releases or by catching a show near by. They are certain to please all, especially fans of Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, and Pony Up!