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Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): The Black Ryder

Eerie but apt scenes from a moonsoon
Richard Whittaker, 3:03pm, Sun. Apr. 28, 2013
photo by Gary Miller
Aimee Nash seemed positively perky as she added, “Don’t worry, it’s possible we could get electrocuted.”

It’s a simple equation: Pysch plus rain equals Goth.

Australia’s misery merchant duo the Black Ryder can probably blame Peter Daltrey of UK pastoralists Kaleidoscope for Saturday night’s late-hour Psych Fest storm. An hour or so earlier, he sunnily commented to the crowd that at least the rain had held off. And so, fate tempted, as TBR’s first droning chords began, so did the deluge.

As did the mass migration, the crowd in the Elevation amphitheatre’s riverside bowl vaporizing – slipping and sliding up the mudslide sides. Even the light show projected across the water was switched off, for safety reasons.

Yet the lightning-coated sky was a far more apt light show, the Ryders casting a long, dark shadow over the waters. Undeterred by the soaked stage, vocalist/guitarist Aimee Nash promised the “best best set” for the valiant but depleted and drenched ranks of stragglers that remained. She seemed positively perky as she added, “Don’t worry, it’s possible we could get electrocuted.”

Boosted from a recording pair to a full live band, their Cranes on a Mission swirling stomp made more sense in the monsoon. The ceremonial swaying of 2009’s debut disc, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, muscled up as Nash’s fellow Ryder Scott Von Ryper lankily sneered new tracks across the waterlogged faithful.

If you weren’t there when Nash shook out her rain-drenched locks, breathily cooing, “I guess it’s true, we’ve been here before like lovers,” then you don’t get your Psych Fest medal of honor.

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