Echo & the Bunnymen

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By John Anderson

Echo & the Bunnymen

Auditorium Shores, Thursday, March 16

After three decades on stage, it's only fair that big-time rock stars like Ian McCulloch get to keep their sunglasses on while getting naked. Emotionally, that is. Following the belles of the ball, Spoon – still reeling from their domination of the Austin Music Awards – McCulloch and his fabulous Bunnymen at first simply provided the crowd with the sound of chanting monks. Soon enough, however, the band, which formed before many of the kids in the crowd were born, was staking its claim to something grander than nostalgia. Sure, busting out "Bring on the Dancing Horses" in the three-spot brought back painful memories of that crush we once had on redheaded Molly Ringwald. Newer acoustic numbers like "Nothing Lasts Forever" helped elevate McCulloch and longtime partner/guitarist Will Sergeant not just back to the level of legendary Liverpool lads, but history finds them joined with the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed in Mac's interpolating verses from "Walk on the Wild Side" and Doors' "Austin Lady," standing in for "LA Woman." Shades of the Lost Boys soundtrack threatened to intrude beneath a nearly full moon, but McCulloch wowed 'em with "The Cutter" and "Killing Moon." Then he lit a postcoital smoke and took a five-minute break before returning for a two-part encore, featuring "Rescue" and a softer touch on the new "Stormy Weather."

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