One band I really wanted to see at SXSW this year was Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes (DE&TGL). The band recently released their second album, Kid Tiger, and I wanted to hear this band perform live.
DE&TGL were scheduled to play six SXSW shows and I was able to attend one held outside: “The Parking Lot Party.” It was held at one of the more remote venue locations — a 25-minute walk from the northern edge of downtown Austin that was totally worth the effort of getting there. Despite the distance and the challenge presented by playing in a parking lot next to a busy street, DE&TGL delivered an energetic and fun set filled with their immensely danceable synth-pop music. In fact, the 8-song set included some of my favorite tracks on Kid Tiger, including “Fits & Starts,” “Tourniquet,” “Waves,” “Ready Set” and “Sun Goes Out.” Feet were tapping and heads bobbing and those in the small, but enthusiastic crowd were clearly enjoying the upbeat set full of brilliant vocals, gorgeous harmonies and tap-your-feet beats.
It was also a set during which an itinerant man cheered loudly while repeatedly approaching the band to look at their equipment and talk to them as they played. I mention this because it impressed me that when faced with this additional challenge, DE&TGL reacted with class and humor; by the end of their set the band was on a first name basis with their newest fan. All and all, DE&TGL played a winning set that was interesting, enjoyable and fun for every member of the crowd.
And as if performing at SXSW were not enough to keep the band busy, DE&TGL just released the official music video for their single, “Sun Goes Out.” “Sun” is an upbeat pop song that makes it nearly impossible to sit still when listening to it. It is a song made for dancing and the video reflects that by focusing on a young woman in roller blades who just has to dance, right where she is, when she hears the song. It is a refreshingly simple and upbeat video for a fun and danceable song. Check it out below.