SXSW: Band of Thieves Strike a Solid Chord of Straight Up Rock & Roll!
While I am based in Los Angeles, my circle of friends stretch far and wide across the US– thankfully because unfortunately I was not able to get to South by Southwest despite all the invites, pleas and requests. (sigh).
However I was able to nail down a couple of friends to attend events at SXSW and one of them Alan Bendele (musician and more) was kind enough to hit a couple of shows and give me a couple of reviews to share with you.
I had previously interviewed BAND OF THIEVES almost a year ago in NYC and when I heard they were heading to SXSW, I definitely wanted Alan to hit that show– to hear them and get the “male” perspective on this hot new group with a serious ‘straight up” rock and roll presentation that has you booging around before you know it.
Band of Thieves Habana Annex 708 E. 6th St. Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:00 pm
When you live in Austin, you can look at South by Southwest a few ways. Either it’s a traffic-inducing drunken nightmare, or it’s a great chance to simultaneously indulge a love of music and a short attention span. Busloads of new bands hit the stages every hour up and down 6th Street, Austin’s answer to Bourbon and Beale. Sixth Street’s Habana Annex is where I caught Band of Thieves.
I had listened to a few of their songs, and I liked the straight-up rock approach well enough to be interested in seeing them–and rock they did. Tyler, the lead singer and band spokesperson makes a very strong impression. He shuffles, moves, spins and sings while the band delivers some very solid rock & roll licks. The audience was pretty sizable and most people were excited about the music and having a great time. From my perspective, the music was exciting, and it was “Rock and Roll,” with a tip of the hat to the Southern School. I’m all for that! There’s enough moody pablum out there, and I’m happy to see a resurgence in classic rock. I did get a surreal sense that the band’s persona and look was too seventies, almost as if the guys were in a movie about a seventies band. I was waiting for Ben Fong Torres to ask me for my Rolling Stone Article so he could fact-check it! These guys really live the lifestyle, though, and I honestly enjoyed the music.
I talked to Tyler after the show. He’s been around the music biz a bit, and it seems he’s come to a point where he just wants to make the music he loves. Tyler and cohorts are pretty secure in delivering decidedly southern-style rock from well north of the Mason-Dixon in New York, NY. Band of Thieves hopped in their van after the show and headed back to Manhattan, where they plan on recording their debut full-length album with Mikki James (Albert Hammond Jr., Thin Lizard Dawn).
Check out Band of Thieves on myspace.com at http://www.myspace.com/wearebandofthieves
Thanks to Alan Bendele for hitting the Habana Annex and Band of Thieves for me. We had a couple of conversations yesterday post event to talk about the session. Alan’s a musician (guitar and keyboards) who’s making musical headway in Austin. Thankfully his talents include writing a bit and we will be hearing from him again!!
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