The Fest began with Alex Chilton's death, but nods to Big Star, spoken and unspoken, were already inherent in myriad showcasers. Danish fivepiece Oh No Ono most definitely uses some of the Memphis act's exquisite harmonies in its finely calibrated art-pop. On latest LP Eggs (Friendly Fire), the members' vocal theatrics have them nailed to the likes of Queen, but live there was more of Spiritualized's choral qualities. From song to song, it was hard to pin down any discernible genre, the mark of a band that knows how to bob and weave, to create new garments out of old fabric. The dreamy wash of "Swim" and more glam posturing of "Helplessly Young" created a stereophonic effect; the group doesn't play in front of you so much as surround. Singer/guitarist Malthe Fischer was wearing a onesie, and with his thick shock of hair, he looked like a Dr. Seuss character. They all did, sort of, but they balanced quirk with engaging music. Toward the end, they covered Radiohead's "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" from In Rainbows and did it seamlessly. As a friend said afterward, "That takes balls."
Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.