First time at SXSW. If you know anything about me then you know my extreme, borderline cultish love for this San Diego band. The Silent Comedy are unique, they move my spirit, and make me dance. Cherry on the sundae, they’re all nice guys and very cute. Telling the uninitiated how fantastic they are pales in comparison to the joy of watching the uninitiated get their asses kicked by the live show, and my Silent Comedy-loving friends (Steve, Kristen & Amanda) and I watched that feat several times over at SXSW. TSC performed at the The Force Agency’s Texas Tornado, The Roxy’s AustinRox, and Antiquiet’s Axis of Audio showcases, but their first SXSW show took place at Lustre Pearl: tent, high stage, dirt floor, and a crowd whose attention was grabbed from song one. Between the band’s take no prisoners energy and Josh Zimmerman shredding the skin on his knees while in the throes of a music rapture (there was blood), the audience was flattened out in awe and in uncontained amazement. This was their inaugural performance at SXSW and one that none of us would ever forget.
The Force Agency’s Texas Tornado show found a portion of the audience onstage as background choir during a raucous and rowdy “The Well”. For the show at local joint, A Hole in the Wall, I became chief tambourine shaker while Justin Buchanan (man with the supernatural mustache) and his banjo climbed atop amps and Joshua perilously balanced atop bar tables. It was a pandemonium. Joyful, whiskey-fueled pandemonium.
Fast forward to the Axis of Audio show on Saturday at the worn, wooden, and weathered-looking joint Peckerheads. The Silent Comedy was the first band on the day’s bill as they had some serious ass-hauling to do when their set was done: they had to meet up with Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses in Houston to continue on the southern leg of his tour. A light crowd wandered in but the bounce and honest charm of The Silent Comedy’s folkish rock drew their attention like clockwork. For some reason Josh and the boys decided to take into account the fact that my friends and I had seen every one of their SXSW shows, so they peppered their short set with a new and yet unnamed song, the brilliant and deep running ”Wine”, and the rare “Carnival” for Steve and Amanda. Their way of saying, “Thank you.” for our ridiculous and very personal support? I suspect so, but hardly necessary. Bands like this are rare jewels and when you- a music lover- finds one, the pleasure is all yours.