It was the last official day of SXSW 2010. And the best thing that could have happened on that cloudy, blustery Saturday was The Constellations taking the stage at Filter Magazine’s SXSW Party at Cedar Street. It reminded us tired, hungover and music-saturated folks just why we were there: to absorb the pure energy and move to the jangle bang beat of a band like these Constellations folks from Atlanta.
Sure, the eight members of The Constellations (Elijah Jones vocals, Ryan Davis on guitar/keyboard, Wes Hoffman on bass, Nackers on drums, Jamie Gordon on keyboard, Trevor Birdsong on guitar, Alaina Terry background vocals/percussion and Shab Bashiri background vocals/percussion) corner the market on what they call “A Psychedelic Soul-rock Explosion.”
Then there are tracks to go way beyond those four mighty words. Tracks like “Step Right Up,” (Southern Gothic, Virgin Records, 2009) vocalist Elijah Jones throws on a metaphoric Tom Waits necktie (that’s asleep) and tells the story of the expected “journey this evening.” Then Alaina Terry and Shab Bashiri step in with their special sauce vox treats, and as the bridge comes your way, the rest of the gang–with their bongos, keyboards, guitars and drums–get the procession moving and shaking right out the door.
I fully expected this to happen that cold and windy day. And despite the drop in temperature and that we were huddled outside, it was a sweaty affair. The Constellations, exploding to the sky, no doubt contributed to the near take off of the Filter party banner that hung behind them.
Along with that gusty, belly-bump beat are ribbons of indie pop woven through, along with jaunts of electro and house headiness, as in “Love is Murder” and “Set Back.”
It was also made known that a few of the members were recovering from a bout of food poisoning, which was shocking. As one who has been there a few times before, I sure wasn’t smiling, singing and rocking about that’s for damn sure. What troopers.
The Constellations take the eight-person party, post-SXSW, all around the country and back, hitting Denver at Larimer Lounge on April 6 with Hockey and The Postelles. This will be a night when you’ll sweat for real, so dress accordingly.
The Constellations Tour Schedule:
Apr 1 Warehouse Live w/Hockey & The Postelles Houston
Apr 2 Emos w/Hockey & The Postelles Austin
Apr 3 The Loft w/Hockey & The Postelles Dallas
Apr 5 Santa Fe Brewing Co. Santa Fe
Apr 6 Larimer Lounge w/Hockey & The Postelles Denver
Apr 7 Kilby Court w/Hockey & The Postelles Salt Lake City
Apr 8 The Nuerolux w/Hockey & The Postelles Boise
Apr 10 Wonder Ballroom w/Hockey & The Postelles Portland
Apr 12 Spaceland Los Angeles
Apr 13 Cinespace Hollywood
Apr 15 Popscene San Francisco
Apr 16 Beauty Bar Las Vegas
Apr 29 The Social Orlando
May 1 Tom Lee Park Memphis
May 3 DC 9 DC, Washington DC
May 4 North Star Philadelphia
May 6 Big Orbit Soundlab Buffalo
May 7 Mod Club Toronto
May 8 Washington Park Lakehouse Albany
Jun 4 Mulb Ozark