Shearwater

Live shot

Texas Platters
Photo By Courtney Chavanell

Shearwater

Emo's, July 14

Anyone who hasn't caught a Shearwater show in the past couple of years was in for a big surprise Friday night, as the once-sleepy Austin-based quartet revealed its fierce side. The set's most transcendent moment occurred early on during "Red Sea, Black Sea," when the rhythm opened up behind Jonathan Meiburg's banjo and Howard Draper leapt into the air, beating his tambourine with an ecstatic, almost religious fervor. Meiburg performed with intensity heretofore unseen, and it's clear that he's gaining confidence as a frontman. He's got a way to go, though, as he robbed the night of its energy with a long, rambling story about a research trip to the Galapagos during the last 15 minutes of the set. Prior to that, San Francisco's the Court & Spark turned in an impeccable performance on the strength of their latest release, Hearts (Absolutely Kosher). Dressed identically in white Levis and white linen jackets, the fourpiece delivered a set possessed of a dozy, Seventies-FM affability, the Allman Brothers shaking hands with the Grateful Dead. Points off, though, for the band members' chatting extremely loudly at the merch table during Shearwater's set. Ever hear of professional courtesy, fellas? Intrepid souls with enough stamina for nearly four hours of music were treated to intimate acoustic sets from Chris Flemmons of Denton's Baptist Generals and Michael Kingcaid of What Made Milwaukee Famous, who closed his set with an a cappella Billie Holiday number. The night would have been a steal at half the price.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Crack Pipes
Fake Eyelashes (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 9, 2018

Texas Platters
Grivo / Single Lash / Future Museums
Elude, Providence, Rosewater Ceremony Part II: Guardian of Solitude (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 9, 2018

More by Melanie Haupt
Staying Hospitable During Our Nation's Division
Staying Hospitable During Our Nation's Division
Local restaurateurs discuss civility at the table

Nov. 9, 2018

Pie Squared
Pie Squared

Oct. 26, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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