Live Shot: South x San Jose

Hurray for the riffraff on South Congress!

Daytime parties on South Congress have always been a mixture of see and be seen, run into someone you know, and catch a couple of bands at the same time. Friday afternoon, the light at the end of the tunnel was a faint glimmer and sunglasses hiding bloodshot eyes were in abundance even though it was overcast.

Jesse Malin (Photo by Jana Birchum)

A nine-act bill running all afternoon, beginning with NYC punk troubadour Jesse Malin and closing with the double-barrel combo of Dum Dum Girls and Black Lips, the second of three days at the now annual South by San Jose parking lot parties kicked into second gear with Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle recalling a less heavy, more psychedelic My Morning Jacket. The results were a highly listenable mélange that even ventured into funk with a sturdy hand.

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s brand new Small Town Heroes might be the album of the year. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, currently residing in New Orleans but originally from the Bronx, the fivepiece took the gentle yet stirring songs of Heroes to an energetic level. Their 40 minutes sped by in a blur of Cajun fiddle, slightly sloppy honky-tonk, and couple of folkie hand clap moments that kept the audience involved.

Robert Ellis, formerly from Houston, now based out of Nashville, showed he’s grown quite a bit as a live performer. The subtle moments of his raved-about Lights from the Chemical Plant were slightly juiced on “Good Intentions” and the countrypolitan “Steady As the Rising Sun” sparkled in an appropriate way.

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