With a line wrapped around the block, SXSW concert goers waited for the okay to enter the Palm Door on 6th Street, which was packed to the rim with fans. The venue held a showcase for the Universal Music Group Experience featuring alternative and indie influenced bandsaw. With two stages (one indoor and outdoor) the American Authors took to the outdoor one. The New York natives jammed into their set with a delay and fans packed in to catch the radio-hot indie rock band. They played several tracks off their debut album, “Oh, What A Life” including their sing-along hits “Believer” and “Best Day of My Life.”
Inside, Until the Ribbon Breaks delivered a hypnotizing, eclectic performance. All the way from the United Kingdom, the trio’s instrumental setup looked visually simplistic, with only several drum kits, drum machines and synths on stage. The sound that frontman Pete Lawrie Winfield emitted was not only fascinating to hear, but also to watch, as the combination of of beats and harmonic, haunting vocals captivated the audience. The lyrics from “Pressure” narrated like a storyline, but the beats left the crowd jamming to the bass drum.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Winfield picked up a trumpet at one point; it’s not common to see bands transitioning to brass instruments. UTRB’s mixture of sampled vocals with instrumental sounds, as well as songs with original vocals, was consistent and pleasing. Those who were tightly packed under a heated tent outside definitely missed an exciting set.
As time crept closer to The Kooks, a highly anticipated performance, fans rushed to the outdoor stage to snag a close spot. With a small delay for the sound check, the foursome took the stage and dove right in. They immediately got the crowd reminiscing for the early millennium with songs from their 2002 album Inside In/Inside Out. The crowd buzzed and screamed as frontman and guitarist Luke Pritchard gave the fans a treat with a new song, “Bad Habit,” from their upcoming self titled album. The single still had their signature British indie pop sound that received approval amongst listeners. But, of course, it wasn’t a complete Kooks showcase without a classic. The moment the first guitar strums opened up their 2006 hit, “Naive,” everyone burst out singing the first verses. With a new record on its way and a fan base that is stronger than ever, The Kooks are back to pick up where they left off in 2011.
The Kooks Set List:
Down to The Market
Bad Habit (New Song)
Tick of Time
You Don’t Love Me
Junk of The Heart
Forgive & Forget