Reviewed by Matt Dentler, Fri., Sept. 30, 2005
Zilker Park, Sept. 24
"Hey, Austin, long time no see," greeted Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke at the onset of his band's evening show Saturday. The group, who exploded at SXSW in March, returned to town for an ACL gig that drew thousands of fans waiting a long time. Effortlessly, the UK quartet took their Gang of Four homage to new heights, seguing between songs from their hailed debut Silent Alarm. "You like dancing, Texas?" Okereke asked, the group tearing through a fierce, uptempo take on "She's Hearing Voices." In fact, the band's debut, coupled with their technical prowess, is so good live that Bloc Party doesn't need to bother making any more albums. While the band didn't stray far from their songs' original arrangements, tunes such as "Like Eating Glass" and "Blue Light" ripped open the sunstroked audience perfectly. Prior to a new song, one fan yelled that it was her birthday. "Happy birthday, Ellen," Okereke responded. "This one's for you." The rest of the performance, though, was a gift for everyone else.