Two Austin bands visited The Independent in San Francisco. Both admitted to being fatigued because of extensive travel (recently returned from the European portion of the tour), but they both put on strong shows. So strong, this is an exception to our temporary approach of skipping reviews in order to prepare for a visit to their home city (how is it possible to prepare for 2000 bands visiting SXSW this month?).
Cross Record hit the stage first. They are Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. While a number of songs were played well, “Steady Waves” was the highlight. The song illustrates why they self-identify with the genre “Doomage.” But it is Dan’s playing of the hollow-bodied guitar that pushes the song to the front of playlists. If “Steady Waves” were to be used in a movie soundtrack, it would best fit with the guitar providing the emotion in a scene such as you’d find in The Revenant as Leonardo DiCaprio is traveling with purpose and determination.
Shearwater showed themselves to be exception musicians, and not merely the vocals of Jonathan Meiburg. The band’s membership evolves, but the skill level isn’t impacted. In part, that speaks to the quality and quantity of talent in Austin.
The setlist of Shearwater had a focus on the songs of the recent album release, “Jet Plane and Oxbow.” But they also played tracks from prior ablums, “”Rook” and “Animal Joy.” In the two-song encore, they surprisingly went with songs from the David Bowie album “Lodger.” (The setlist is at the bottom of this post.)
Setlist (as listed in the Shearwater’s tour journal)
3. Long Time Away
5. Quiet Americans
6. You As You Were
7. Wildlife in America
8. Seventy Four, Seventy Five
9. Pale Kings
11. Radio Silence
12. Stray Lights at Clouds Hill
DJ (David Bowie cover)
Look Back in Anger (David Bowie cover)