- Posted on Mar 17th 2011 2:55PM by Eric R. Danton
Frustrated by technical difficulties that ate into the Dears' already-brief SXSW time slot, the Montreal band seemed poised to flout the standard 40-minute allotment Wednesday night at Spill in Austin.
"Who's going to stop us?" singer Murray Lightburn asked when told the band needed to wrap up. He relented after a moment, and called for a cheer for the SXSW official who would have had to pull the plug.
It was the bookend to an intense set by the veteran indie rockers, who took the stage with something to prove after nearly 20 minutes of coaxing balky equipment into functioning properly.
"We are the Dears, we are the legend, and we are here to clear our name," Lightburn said at the start. He didn't specify what besmirching the band have endured, but the musicians played with ferocious energy on five songs, including a few from 'Degeneration Street,' the band's new disc.
The songs were full of stabbing guitar, with thudding drums, gauzy synthesizers, a harpsichord sound and, on 'Five Chords,' a shout-along chorus that exploded skyward in the packed club. The Dears ended with '1854,' an epic song anchored by heavy bass.