After days of stormy weather, Austin heated up Thursday in more ways than one: The first official day of the SXSW festival was a scorcher, Fahrenheit-wise, and so was the daytime rock. Tokyo Police Club, the Ontario teens who look like cub scouts and sound like sexy delinquents, put on an exuberant, high-speed set at Emo’s mid-afternoon, churning out angular should-be singles like “Nature of the Experiment” and “Citizens Demo.”
Across the way at Emo’s Annex, singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins played a kinder, gentler set, serenading a hushed, respectful crowd with tracks like “May Day” and “While You Were Sleeping” from his recent XL Records debut, Ash Wednesday. Caught afterwards, he confessed that though the infamous Austin hot springs were his number-one dream destination at the festival, he would more likely catch sets from friends in Cold War Kids, Okkervill River, Ghostland Observatory, and Patrick Watson, as well as Pete Townshend’s much-hyped late-night appearance.
Perhaps the most fun discovery so far, Brazilian party-makers Bonde do Role, set the Fader House attendees churning with their playful, DJ-assisted anarchy, pulling samples from Alice in Chains’ “Man in a Box” to make cranked-up call-and-response club jams.
The Fratellis,the Scottish sensations currently tearing it up in an iTunes commercialwith their propulsive rocker “Flathead,” followed with an acoustic set.Like the Ramones, the Fratellis use their band name as an assumedsurname for each member as well, though they seemed slightlydisconnected onstage. At one point, black-clad singer Jon turned wrylybehind him and asked if anyone had written a set list, before launchinginto “Vince the Lovable Stoner.”
Tonight? Well first, this blogger needs dinner. But we’re lookingforward to, among others, Shearwater, Amy Winehouse, and a midnight setfrom Bloc Party. Check back soon!