Under Byen

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Aubrey Edwards

Under Byen

Emo's Main Room, Thursday, March 15

Under Byen was proclaimed "probably the best band in the world" by Rolling Stone's David Fricke in 2003, and while that declaration might be a bit grand, their live set proved they're at least the loudest band at Emo's on Thursday night. Their fifth album, Samme Stof Som Stof, is a bit of a snoozer, singer Henriette Sennenvaldt's whispery, Björk-aping vocals curling rather than creeping, while strings and hypnotic drums ride a little too precious, not enough dirty. Live, the Dutch eightpiece, playing in front of trippy, vertiginous projections, combined the instrumental buildups of Sigur Rós with the doomy downfalls of Neurosis. Yes, Neurosis. From dark, industrial dirges to massive, mellifluous breakdowns, it's all about the feeling, which they convey through assemblage – thumb piano, cello, violin, two drummers, piano, bass, and guitar. When the cello goes Hitchcock and Sennenvaldt's icy croon creeps up behind you, her blond hair illuminated in green light, it's goosebumps all around. Maybe not the best band in the world, but at least they're not doing the same ol' stof.

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 Interview
Saturday Interview

Kevin Curtin, March 20, 2015

Friday Interviews
Friday Interviews
The Church, Leon Bridges, Best Coast – vintage, meteoric, and sincere.

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Album Review: Big Bill’s <i>Strawberry Seed</i>
Album Review: Big Bill’s Strawberry Seed
Austin’s Big Bill grows up – sort of

Carys Anderson, June 21, 2024

Review: Grandmaster, <i>Grandmaster</i>
Review: Grandmaster, Grandmaster
Funk prog rock supergroup lures listeners through each stage of cosmic cult indoctrination

Miranda Garza, May 24, 2024

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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