On Wednesday night at The Bowery Ballroom, The Bright Light Social Hour emphatically delivered one of the most powerful live acts I have ever seen. Witnessing for the first time their expansive talent on stage, their performance undoubtedly merits the six accolades they won last year at SXSW 2011 Austin Music Awards — most notably the Band of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
The four Austin, Texas natives harness a pioneering mÃ©lange of southern rock, psychedelic blues, funk and soulful tunes. They achieve a seamless synergy between these different music styles — a testament to their sheer inventiveness and complimentary musical contributions. Collectively, they create a jarring, hard, booming and pervasive sound — which sent the audience into a raucous frenzy the entire evening on Wednesday.
On stage they displayed an unrelenting physical performance. By the end of the show they were all completely drenched in sweat with their tangled, long locks whipped across their faces. The band jumped and slammed on the instruments with unwavering conviction — exemplifying that every ounce of their energy was being put into each song. This dedication to their craft fueled the crowd’s fervor. As the band howled in harmony during their performance of Detroit — the entire music hall sang along and erupted in a roar of ovations.
A.J. Vincent jammed on the keyboard and for two songs he even busted out the keytar. Curtis Roush conveyed a steady, strong presence as vocalist and the band’s guitarist. Jack O’Brien commanded the funk rhythm as he plucked the bass and also provided vocals. Joseph Mirasole attacked the drums with great force and was completely entrenched in his element — seeming unaware of the chaos around him.
Well after midnight, their encore brought the house down with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ Mannish Boy. The ladies in the audience swooned as Jack emanated a sultry tone for the refrain. His dramatic pauses between each word created a palpable build up — with the audience hanging on in anticipation of each lustful verse. The band struck their final chord in perfect harmony and with such precision that it created one of the most awe inspiring effects.
The band’s debut album, self-entitled The Bright Light Social Hour is currently available for purchase on their website. They currently have plans to write a second full-length album in 2013. The band has been touring extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For the remainder of the year they will be in the U.S. — check out their tour dates to see where you can catch them live here. You can follow the band on Twitter and Youtube.