SXSW Live Shot: Vintage Trouble

A young James Brown leading Civil War marauders?

SXSW Live Shot: Vintage Trouble
photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Knowing I was heading into a clusterfuck, I arrived for my first Tuesday night showcase 45 minutes early and was still unable to get close to this explosive L.A. quartet. The venue, a converted, three-bay automotive garage, was far too small for the much-buzzed-about Vintage Trouble.

And, as an added minus, I was told the fire marshal had restricted the capacity inside the Garage, and the space where the stage was located remained half full throughout the set.

Of course it didn’t matter one whit to the band. They laid out an exhilarating 50-minute set of intense soul, rock, and blues. Coming onstage to Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog,” they then laid into the Sixties-style “Pelvis Pusher,” with frontman Ty Taylor shouting the crowd into a full call and response.

The visual aspect of the foursome, an important part of Vintage Trouble – a young James Brown leading Civil War marauders? – was completely lost on most of the overflow crowd. Taylor’s remedy for that was to jump into the audience and exhort them to match the band’s energy, although with mixed success.

They ramped through a variety of styles with guitarist Nalle Colt even invoking Jimmy Page’s slide histrionics at one point. Those inside the garage surely came away sweaty and enthralled. Through no fault of the band, those outside left wanting more.

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