The Parish quickly filled with eager ears, anticipating performances by Delicate Steve and Akron Family. Opening up with an upbeat, playful track, Delicate Steve immediately captured the audience with a pulsing, swaying beat of the drum, to which the percussionist hunched over and poured himself over the set.
The band definitely proved their connection to their music as they swayed on stage, appearing as though their instruments are a natural appendage, an additional limb, to their bodies. Exuding an abundance in energy, having absolute control over their complex and emotive track, “Wondervisions”, featured on their latest album by the same name, Delicate Steve pushed strongly through their performance.
Delicate Steve continued to play transition tracks and songs from their latest album, such as “The Ballad of Speck and Pebble” and “Butterfly”. The band’s uncanny ability to capture the essence of certain emotions, to speed up and descend the tempo of their tracks– their ability to split a track from one idea and slowly multiply it into dozens of abstract concepts, and recollect again at the end was absolutely captivating.
By the end of their set, The Parish was packed, and the people in the front were moving their bodies and tossing their heads, and those caught in the middle swayed, all while the skinny boys in the back kicked their skinny legs. Delicate Steve’s energetic performance was the perfect opener for Akron Family.
Beginning their performance with harrowing and haunting sounds beneath a purple haze, Akron Family’s haunting frequencies, and captivating distortion immediately grabbed all of the attention of the venue. The tones then trailed into the warm piano sound of “We All Will”, followed by the band asking the entire audience to make a giant “A” with their arms over their heads. With the light casting on the crowd, Akron Family proceed to introduce themselves.
Picking up the beat and overflowing with playful energy, Akron Family played a Caribbean-sounding track called “River, from their latest album, released February 8, 2011. Then, from a blackened stage, the band promised to teach the audience how to dance. As calming sounds of distortion filled The Parish, Akron Family continued interacting with the crowd as they demonstrated and asked to be followed as they put both hands in the air, with one finger in the sky, calling it “an outer feeling”. After slow breaths and exhaling, everyone was to picture themselves on the beach. They continued to mumble phrases that included the word “circle” and “ocean”, and the non-participants let out confused looks, but everyone else in the moment was very into what was going on. They then continued to perform another folk track from their latest album “So it goes”.
With flashing lights and rapid, syncopated guitar riffs, Akron Family suddenly suspended the track with nothing but clapping and lingering vocals as the band casually walked off stage. Cultivating itself, the music kept on going as one of the musicians nonchalantly poured himself a cup of water, sipped it, gave me a polite nod, anonymously submerged into the audience, danced, and casually mosied back on stage to finish what he had started. Then the band eased into a haunting track, “Everyone, Everyone Is Guilty”, from their album Set ‘em Wild, Set ‘em Free.
Akron Family finished the emotionally moving evening two more tracks “Light Emerges” and “Say What You Want”, from their latest album, Akron Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.
(Akron Family performed at The Parish in Austin, Texas on April 1, 2011)