Austin, Texas, SXSW 2005
Buffalo Billiards, Thursday, March 17
When a deserving local act like Sound Team gets signed by a major label, Capitol, it's cause for celebration. When the upbeats began bouncing Sam Sanford's amp and Matt Oliver started crooning "Black Ice," the jubilation kicked in, egged on by the local sixpiece's zealous mixtures of love and triumph. Pulling the best elements from Squeeze, the Walkmen, and Blonde Redhead, yet not aping a single one, Sound Team chirped and oozed through a set full of unheard tracks off their upcoming Mike McCarthy-produced full-length. Gabe Pearlman's vertical leap was matched only by the complexity of the songs, Bill Baird's foot stutter shimmying like a wonderful trip and Sanford's eyes rolling back in ecstasy. Whether these are elements of a stage show or proof of disbelief, Sound Team is definitely coming into their own. Set highlight "A Handful of Billions" was matched by mind-blowing instrumental "Mosquito," which had the Billiards floor shaking underneath the hops of hundreds of feet. And like a stage brimming with all the boys you fell in love with in high school, Sound Team's cherubic visages and boyish grins echoed the joy in their music. For a short time, Sound Team was something fit for an arena.