The Austin Chronicle

ACL Live Shot: The Eastern Sea

Zilker Park, Oct. 14

Reviewed by Adam Schragin, October 19, 2012, Music

Eastern Sea principal Matt Hines paid through the nose to see this year's Plague into fruition, braving nothing short of member mutiny and production complications involving wildfires and city condemnation (long story). With a solid lineup now that includes seven other members – including two drummers – the locals made the best of a bad situation and were steeled by the struggle. Plague dispenses knotty pop songs that curve unexpectedly, better suited to live performances than their recorded counterparts. Set opener "Central Cemetery" paired musing on mortality with a bright orchestral flair, fully utilizing the power of flute, trumpet, and keys alongside the band's backbone of guitar, bass, and drums. 2009 standout "The Snow" was too subtle to withstand the festival treatment, but newer songs like "The Match" had no difficulty filling the wide open space. Hines, acknowledging the band's rough gestation and miles still ahead, dedicated closer "Your House" to both the "old and new faces" in the audience.

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