The Band of Heathens

ACL Live Shots

ACL Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

The Band of Heathens

Zilker Park, Oct. 8

Combining three singer-songwriters, Austin's Band of Heathens might not be likely candidates for figuring out how to fight sound bleeding over from other ACL stages, especially since the Austin Ventures stage where the performing quintet played was severely affected by such problems. The solution? Play louder than everybody else, and the swirling noise effectively fades away. Concentrating on One Foot in the Ether, last year's supremely gratifying disc, the Heathens demonstrated how they've maneuvered into the national spotlight by matching phenomenal musicianship, superb harmonies, and cogent songwriting. Their Southern-fried rock, performed with rare urgency and unrestrained soul, peaked early with "Somebody Tell the Truth," Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks trading guitar solos while Ed Jurdi testified vocally. The band's sound grew even larger with a threepiece horn section that added a New Orleans/Memphis feel to the final portion of the set. Appropriately titled original "You're Gonna Miss Me" ended the performance, a defiant plea with alternating vocals augmented by Brooks' slide-guitar antics, which spurred the Band of Heathens even higher.

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