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Band of Skulls – SXSW 2012 – Spring Tour

It was two years ago at SXSW 2010 when I first laid ears on Band of Skulls, just after the release of the band’s first album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. Within the studios of Austin City Limits at the NPR SXSW Party, Band of Skulls more than wow’d the attendees, the group from Southhampton launched their way into the hearts of American music lovers. In 2012, Skulls returned with a new album, Sweet Sour, to continue that love affair through a series of gigs, including the annual Filter SXSW Showdown party at Cedar Street.

Wednesday night I arrived at The Haven, which was more than packed with close strangers and some fine friends from Denver. Slinking to the side stage I found a spot of breathing room just as the instruments were tuned and ready for Russell Marsden (guitar,vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals), and Matt Hayward (drums) to take the stage.

Plucking songs from the new album, including the sultry title track, “Sweet Sour,” and the single “The Devil Takes Care of Its Own,” the trio worked the heads in the crowd like a puppeteer, making them shake to and fro. And when the fan favorites from Baby Darling… arrived off the set list – “Death By Diamonds and Pearls” and “I Know What I Am” – smiles and sing-a-longs ensued.

In the light of day within Cedar Street, Filter continued their Showdown tradition in the same spot with yet another stellar line up for the three days. This being the first day, and as this party’s reputation had grown over the years, Cedar was at capacity an hour before Band of Skulls was set to perform.

With a slightly shorter set the band made the most of their time, and again, fans in the crowd hung onto and sung along with every word and note.

Band of Skulls, as many other bands plan to do post-SXSW, stay on the road to tour the U.S. This includes a stop in Denver on Friday, April 6 at the Bluebird Theatre (update: was moved from the Ogden), and I’m crossing fingers that more tracks from the new album will be part of the set list; songs that twinkle with a more reflective side of the Skulls’ sound, including “Hometowns,” “Close to Nowhere,” and “Navigate,” along with alternative leanings of “Wanderluster” and “Bruises.”

Either way, expect “the show as packed” to be part of any post-show conversation relating to those who venture to see Band of Skulls. And rightly so.

03/16/12 – Houston at Fitzgeralds
03/17/12 – Dallas at Granada Theater
03/19/12 – Atlanta at Variety Playhouse
03/20/12 – Nashville at Cannery Ballroom
03/22/12 – Webster Hall at New York
03/23/12 – Philadelphia at Union Transfer
03/24/12 – Washington, D.C. at 9:30 Club
03/26/12 – Boston at Paradise Rock Club
03/27/12 – Brooklyn at Music Hall of Williamsburg
03/28/12 – Pawtucket at The Met
03/30/12 – Toronto at The Phoenix Concert Theatre
04/02/12 – Detroit at Saint Andrews Hall
04/03/12 – Chicago at House of Blues Chicago
04/04/12 – Minneapolis at Fine Line Music Cafe
04/06/12 – Denver at Bluebird
04/07/12 – Salt Lake City at The Complex (Grand Room)
04/09/12 – Seattle at Neptune
04/10/12 – Vancouver at Commodore Ballroom – SOLD OUT
04/11/12 – Portland at Dante’s – SOLD OUT
04/12/12 – San Francisco at The Fillmore
04/15/12 – Indio at Coachella
04/16/12 – Los Angeles at El Rey – SOLD OUT
04/18/12 – San Diego at The Griffin
04/22/12 – Indio at Coachella


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