The moment Stubb’s BBQ opened it’s doors for the night’s show, people could hear Michelle Armstrong’s strong voice from stage. It’s always impressive when a huge sound can come from such a petite person. Playing with Austin’s own The Steps (minus vocalist Will Thompson), Armstrong welcomed the crowd with her indie folk rock. The Steps who usually play more of a sharp-edge guitar rock, quickly adapted to Armstrong’s genre without outshining her. With the debut of a new song, it was shown that The Steps were more than just her backing band for a night.
After Armstrong wowed the crowd (which requested an encore), The Spinto Band jumped on stage and went straight to the fun. Some of the members brought out kazoos during the second song “Brown Boxes.” While this may seem like a gimmick, the addition of this childhood instrument just accentuated the already whimsical indie pop. These guys not only entertained the crowd, but also themselves which was shown by their floppy hair from dancing. They got the formula for catchy tunes down to a science. It was hard to resist the singalong “da da das” and toe tapping rhythm sections. Unfortunately, their set was cut down to 20 minutes by the venue and much to the dismay of the crowd, but they took what they could get.
Miniature Tigers had a tough act to follow after The Spinto Band performed but the audience obviously didn’t worry as they started cheering the moment the band walked on stage. Now with happy glowing indie rock is still being the in thing in music, there seems to be an over-saturation of this genre but Miniature Tigers is one of those bands that shows that it takes more than just well written songs to woo a crowd. The singer Charlie Brand worked his charm on stage which made his Lady Gaga shirt seem more endearing than hipster ironic.
He invited The Spinto Band onstage to make up for their earlier set being cut short, which ended up being a somewhat homage to our “Keep Austin Wierd” motto here in Austin. Along with pool sticks in the air (The Spinto Band was in the middle of a game) and a dancing bear, some random drunk girls from the front decided to join the action by hopping on stage to dance. At first, the band was amused with The Spinto Band also on stage but when those three girls jumped on for another song, the singer had no problems telling them to get right off, never missing a beat to the song. That won the crowd over. Especially when he told the girls after the song was over, “Sorry girls. You overstayed your welcome.”