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Live Shots

SXSW showcase reviews

Reviewed by Greg Beets, March 14, 2008, Music

Boys in a Band

Habana Calle 6 Annex, Thursday, March 13

"Since we came to Austin, it feels like our asses are on fire," said Boys in a Band guitarist/vocalist Zachariasson prior to their Thursday night showcase. Then the Faroe Islands quintet put on a show that sounded like something had been lit under them. Exuding manic energy and spending almost as much time performing in the audience as they did onstage, the Boys were a wild hybrid of punk abandon, coliseum-rock aspiration, a little bit of soul power, and TV-preacher-style hosannas. As Zachariasson whipped the small-but-appreciative crowd toward frenzy, Heri Schwartz stalked the foot of the stage with his Hammond-organ-flavored keytar like a mad scientist at a circus sideshow. How the band came to assimilate this random grab bag of pop-cultural influences into something so uniquely charged is a mystery, but living on a remote northern island with no McDonald's probably doesn't hurt. Before wrapping up, the Boys gave sweaty hugs to everyone in front of the stage, confirming the ass-on-fire self-diagnosis. If their forthcoming debut packs this kind of heat, we're in for a treat. This is the reason you get off your comfortable couch in favor of standing around in a stinky club all night.

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