words by Stephanie Emilienberg
It’s always an added bonus when every band on the bill is one worth seeing, from the first act out of three to the headliner. The trio of acts that took the stage at Emo’s last night included Austin mainstays Shapes Have Fangs, enchanting vocalist Tamaryn, and blissfully fuzzy Danes The Raveonettes. This stellar line up explains why the outside performance space was filled from the striking of the first notes, and all the bands brought forth their best to make the night one packed to the brim with good music and memorable performances.
Shapes Have Fangs were fun and brought in the local devotees, but Tamaryn, backed by a band of three brunettes who, aside from the drummer, artfully curtained off their faces with shields of hair like their leader. Tamaryn, decked out in a style blogger’s dream of a performance outfit comprised of all black articles and gypsy touches, opened with the dusty and gorgeous “Love Fade”. For the second song, she swayed with a tambourine while warm red lights bathed the stage, commanding the space in a quietly sensual manner. She and her band next performed the slow-burning song “The Waves”, the title track from her 2010 debut LP, the hazy folds of the song gently enrobing the crowd. For the entirety of her ethereal set, Tamaryn held the audience captive and hypnotized them with her smoky, dreamy music, certifying she is worthy of her own headlining spot at Emo’s or any other comparable venue.
The Raveonettes, also dressed all in black except for a few flickering metallic patches on singer and bass player Sharin Foo’s blouse, took to the stage in a wash of red and blue lights. Her vocals work with partner Sune Rose Wagner’s breathy voice in such a way that, amplified by the heavy reverb, the vocals often seem to be coming from one person cloaked in a thick cloud of noise. Bright vertical bars of light punctuated the stage like illuminated piano keys as the duo, flanked on both sides by a drummer, surged into crunchy “Let Me On Out” before settling into the standout track from the Lust Lust Lust LP, “Dead Sound”. Unsurprisingly, this song, along with “Love In A Trashcan”, elicited a vociferously supportive response, and I was struck by how the band was able to make the show seem more intimate and personal than it actually was.
Wagner and Foo share a palpable camaraderie that adds to that feeling of shared inclusiveness, and it’s enjoyable to watch. The two drummers best served them on Raven in the Grave track “Apparitions”, the thumping, pulsing effect vibrating throughout the semi-open space. Responding to the ebullient reaction to “Attack of the Ghost Riders”, Wagner enthused, “Texas is our new favorite state!”. Starting to wind down the fine-tuned set with the fantastic “Heart of Stone”, The Raveonettes capped off another long and well-executed night at Emo’s that boasted one of the better top-to-bottom bills in recent memory.