SXSW: Half Moon Run

Half Moon Run is a band best delivered live. For three guys, they exude energy and skill unlike any band I’ve ever seen. They have music running through their veins. This is especially apparent in their song “Call Me In The Afternoon.” The lead singer ditches his guitar for a drum and a cymbal, the keyboardist picks up a guitar, the drummer plays drums and keys and they bring a fourth member onstage to augment this percussion-laden song. All four people onstage sing and create one of the best-performed songs I’ve ever seen. Below is a live version from their tour with Metric.

Aside from this, Half Moon Run delivered a soulful and skillful performance of their unique brand of dark folk. Their show was delivered at an event that involved lots of socializing, but by the end of their show, the audience had turned from their side conversations to watch the band with rapt attention and appreciation. If ever anyone gets a chance to go see Half Moon Run, it’s well worth the time and money.

Post by Kyle Henson. His DJ show “The Roots of Pop” airs Sundays at 6 p.m.


SXSW: Local Natives

Local Natives were just as awesome as one would expect them to be. They came onto the stage at the Mohawk at 1 a.m. and the place was packed. There was a line winding around the block outside. Many weary fans who crowded into the tiny audience area instantly gained energy as the band took the stage. With only 40 minutes to play, Local Natives played their most well-known songs, including “Airplanes,” “Wide Eyes,” “Sun Hands” and a few from their new album Hummingbird, including “You and I” and “Heavy Feet.” The audience knew every word to every song and swayed along as Local Natives delivered their famous reverb-laden harmonies and guitar riffs with exceptional quality. The harmonies were mostly spot on, and at some point in the show every member of the band played a percussion instrument, further reinforcing the band’s unique reverb-driven folk-rock. All in all, I was impressed with Local Natives. They came out with a lot of energy and delivered their songs really well. They extended a few songs and engaged the audience with some singing and clapping along. They seemed thrilled to be performing at such an intimate venue for a crowd of huge fans of their music and the joy that they seemed to experience onstage rippled out to the audience to create one of the most sincere performances I saw at SXSW.

Post by Kyle Henson. His DJ show “The Roots of Pop” airs Sundays at 6 p.m.


SXSW: Kodaline

Seeing Kodaline was the happiest accident that happened to me at SXSW. After misreading The Red Eyed Fly’s schedule, I expected to see Swim Deep but instead saw four Irishmen playing and singing their hearts out in perfect harmony. When I stumbled into the show, Kodaline had just started their song “All I Want.” Delicate harmonies soon picked up to an anthemic, driven chorus of rousing ooohs reminiscent of Mumford & Sons and I nearly fell in love. In the ten minutes of their show that I saw, the lead singer played mandolin, keys, and guitar. The bassist played keys as well and harmonized with all three other members of the band to create sincere, honest folk music. Kodaline delivered an engaging performance and clearly poured their hearts into their respective instruments and microphones. Walking off of the stage sweaty, tired, and content with their performance, they were swarmed with people asking for autographs and trying to get to know more about the band. With just an EP out, Kodaline has a bit of a ways to go to make it big, but the strength of their live show is enough to create a fan out of anyone who sees them perform.

Post by Kyle Henson. His DJ show “The Roots of Pop” airs Sundays at 6 p.m.


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