Albert Hammond Jr.’s Last SXSW Gig At Lustre Pearl Was Packed With Energy THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: ALBERT HAMMOND JR. @ LUSTRE PEARL | SXSW 3/17/18
AUSTIN, TX- For most of our SXSW artist coverage, we’ll keep it relatively short and sweet. We have over 80 artists to cover, so cut us some slack! 😉 We’ll basically be formatting each post into two parts: (1) Why our contributor wanted to see this act and (2) what our contributor thought of the performance. Easy peasy. If you want to learn more about the act, make sure you click through to their social media links to get in the know. You won’t be disappointed!
Why I Wanted To See Albert Hammond Jr.: I’m a huge fan of The Strokes, and have been following each of the band’s members closely on their solo and/or other musical endeavors. Julian Casablancas’ solo work and music with The Voidz garners much attention, I personally have been more drawn to Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo repertoire.
His debut solo album , “Yours To Keep”, was a fantastically enjoyable album and – dare I say it- musically more adventurous than his Strokes counterparts’ work. All of his solo music, from “Yours To Keep” to the present, is wholly accessible by anybody who wants fun and playful pop music with an edge. His latest solo effort, “Francis Trouble” (released March 9, 2018), is another superb collection of new wave, post-punk pop, and I wasn’t going to attend SXSW without hearing him perform music from the album live at least once.
What I Thought Of Albert Hammond Jr. Performance: Even though I own two of his four albums (with plans on actually purchasing “Francis Trouble” on vinyl as soon as I get the chance), I still hadn’t seen Albert Hammond Jr. live in concert. For some reason, I expected a somewhat tamed down version of what I’ve seen Julian Casablancas do. My expectations were shattered when I saw Albert Hammond Jr. live.
He’s the rhythm (and sometimes lead) guitar for The Strokes, but when he performs his own music, he only spends about a third of the time with an axe in his hands. This gives him the freedom to really use his body to get into his music, and I found him jumping around on stage to the beat, climbing atop speakers and even swinging from the tent’s frame.
This energy was quite admirable. Knowing that he had had four shows in four days lined up in Austin, with me catching his last performance, watching him perform like a man possessed with 100% commitment was truly a joy to watch. Albert finishes up his current tour later this month, and I envy the crowds that will be entertained by him and his new music. They’re in for a treat.