Music Showcase

SXSW Live Shot
Photo By John Anderson


Beerland, Friday, March 14 Maybe it's the lack of vitamin D or the shades of gray-induced angst, but places that don't get a lot of sunlight often produce heavy and loud bands. Other locales do, too, but there's something about darker climes and heavy-duty rock & roll: Seattle and grunge, "Detroit Rock City," the Scorpions of Germany, et al. So a rock band from northern Europe better deliver the goods or risk being mocked like a milquetoast salsa company from Havana. Self-described as a "Norwegian rock inferno," Oslo's WE was nowhere to be seen when their 8pm start time passed. Jetlag perhaps? Ten minutes later, same story. Around quarter past, opening swells of noise announced the band's arrival. The bass-drums-guitar triangle was joined by a shirtless, gourd-shaking lead singer, and together they shot out of the gates with an energized dose of molasses rock. Singing, "Ain't got no worries, ain't got a care in the world right now, I'm carefree baby," WE was all about party rock, Seventies-style. By the second number, the moderate-in-size-and-temperament Beerland crowd responded favorably to WE's sinewy basslines, arena-rock delivery, and hairdancing/headbanging. Throwing caution to the wind, the lead singer swung his skull around like Chris Cornell after several hits from the water pipe. Playing underneath their signature banner, WE cooked up spices of pre-Burn era Deep Purple and the space rock flavors found on their latest Dinosauric Futurobic (Black Balloon/Universal). As their showcase drew to a close, the club filled up with more locals and conference attendees. The front man responded by donning a Mardi Gras headdress and singing,"We sold our souls to rock & roll." While not terribly original, WE still had an unpretentiousness that was refreshing for this week's offerings.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sabbath Crow
Carrion Highway Weird Sun (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
Matamoros (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Aug. 16, 2019

More by David Lynch
Rock & Roll Summer Reading
How Can I Keep From Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger

May 30, 2008

Texas Platters
That Damned Band
999 Surreal Eyes (Record Review)

Feb. 15, 2008

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle