Big Thief Brings Darkness, Hope, Fiction, Anecdotes, Earthly and Ephemeral Altogether In Austin Review+Photos: Big Thief and Buck Meek at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre
AUSTIN, TX- Big Thief played Austin on Wednesday February 15 at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre after their most recent studio album, the double LP Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You as part of their North American tour.
The opening set by Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek and full backing band ( including long time collaborator Mat Davidson of Twain, who also accompanied Big Thief or a portion of their set) created the perfect preamble for the sold out show.
Finally, when Big Thief joined the stage with Meek barely having time to recover from his own performance, joyful sounds from the mostly young crowd filled the room. When everything was quiet a kid yelled “I love you!” Both band and audience shared a laugh.
The blue backdrop and predominantly dim and airy lighting set quite an intimate feel as Max Oleartchik (bass) lit a candle set up above his amp. Cozy and a treat for the attendees they stepped up with “Ruin”. A yet to be released title followed predominantly by songs from Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You and a few mixed in from Two Hands and Capacity.
That initial presentation felt to me kind of “Blue Lighting ” coming together visually.
As the songs kept coming flashes of red, but somewhat delicate beams blended in with the delivery of each song. While the crowd was excited and well conversant with the most recent material, Adrianne’s “Terminal Paradise ” and Two Hands “Not” were some of the peak moments of the night. This wasn’t a show relying on their hit singles, but a sonic cruise filled with darkness, hope, fiction, anecdotes, earthly and ephemeral altogether ; maybe that’s why their audience comes from all walks of life as well as musical interests.
Lenker’s multi-layered and powerful performance is nothing short of empowering with a stage presence like no other as she navigates tones, emotions and harmonies as if they’re being experienced all at once ; an unstoppable force. A sparse delivery without artifice. There’s nothing flashy or inauthentic in any part of the band’s presentation and I was grateful for the opportunity to document Big Thief once again. This is a show you want to witness as up close as possible.
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