17 Oct, 2012

Heartless Bastards at the Fox Theatre

The Heartless Bastards are anything but heartless. The band played The Fox Theatre October 17, and the audience was apparently under the spell of their soul baring magical mix of poetic songwriting, precise musicianship, and some serious rocking.

The Austin-based band played a number of songs off their latest release, Arrow as well as the 2009 release The Mountain. ( Check out the range – ballads like “Only For You”  in contrast to the straight ahead “Got To Have Rock And Roll” – It’s become my personal anthem!) The songs have a captivating, storytelling aspect to them – and I noticed that many of the audience members were really listening to the lyrics. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I have seen a crowd at The Fox react in such a way. Reverent, perhaps even spellbound.

Heartless Bastards

Heartless Bastards

Erika Wennerstrom

Erika Wennerstrom

Erika Wennerstrom kills it.

Erika Wennerstrom kills it.

Heartless Bastards

Heartless Bastards

Some of the comments made by fellow music appreciators that night: “poetic”, “depth”, “heartfelt vs. heartless”, “I like hearing a strong woman sing”, “great musicians”,  ”rock n’ roll”.  But without fail, most people commented on the band’s multidimensional sound.  There is a depth to the songs that beckons the listener beneath the surface.  Erika Wennerstrom (singer/guitarist/songwriter) explained some of the intent that went into their current band configuration & live sound (via Heartless Bastards Website): “I’ve always planned on being a four-piece, but it just takes a while to find somebody that you feel you click with.  I’d rather have it be stripped down than just have somebody there for the sake of having them there.” Guitarist Mark Nathan fills that role pretty darn well. Drummer Dave Colvin and bassist Jesse Ebaugh played on the first HB demo recordings and have helped to shape the sound. Listening to the band play live, it is clear they are in their element. It was an enjoyable show on many levels; this was my first seeing them live and it won’t be the last.

Dana Falconberry opened for the Heartless Bastards (another Austin based band) and showcased her interesting lyrical rhythms.

Radio 1190 staff conducted an interview with the Heartless Bastards. Check it out via Soundcloud!

Photos and review by Kirsten Cohen of Sonic Goddess

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