Is there really anything else you want to hear in the world that’s not Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine covering the theme song for The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air? Nah. Check out the cover below after the jump.
by Ali Killian, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Besides Dollar Beer Night at a local hangout, Tuesday nights in Austin tend to be less than enthralling. Even Manchester Orchestra’s brown-bearded leader Andy Hull expressed joy at livening up what would have otherwise been a typical weeknight, exclaiming on stage while the band took a break between songs. All three acts blasted the audience with their well-manicured tunes bouncing off the dingy, blue-gray-painted concrete interior of Emo’s. First-timers and Man-Orch lifers alike packed the venue, the body heat overpowering the cool breeze blowing from the exposed air ducts up high. An interesting mix of alternative, indie-ish and grunge-tinted rock carried the night.
6:30 p.m. — doors. Maybe a third of the room filled as the early arrivers established their spots by the barricade, and those who were just a little too late to claim followed behind. White smoke left over from soundcheck hung in the cold air like a fog. The over-21 crowd sipped on $5 cans of beer while others idled on the bleachers at the far back to kill the hour before showtime. More people arrived, and the mid-20s to 30s crowd divided itself into small circles as friends chatted, until Kevin Devine and The Goddamn Band hustled on stage.
I had no expectations. I missed the boat on Kevin Devine (and Manchester Orchestra, really) in high school, and failed to Spotify KD before the show. The lack of applause and excitement from the crowd as Devine and The Goddamn Band took the stage worried me, but only for a second — until Devine belted his solid, just-a-little-bit-high-pitched voice. A couple songs in and I was entranced. The Goddamn Band’s indie-rock instrumentals echoed the bit of edge in Devine’s voice as the melodic vocals mixed with the lead guitar’s sharpness. The quartet’s fluid stage presence and Devine’s literal hopping up and down kept things interesting throughout the band’s 30-ish minute set.