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LAist On Location: SXSW 2010 - Day 4

Photo by Matthew Craig for MJR
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It was almost as if a giant, grumpy deity wielding a garden hose came down from the sky on Saturday morning and announced, "You kids are having too much fun! Cool it." Rain poured from the sky in the early morning, and the gorgeous seventy degree weather evaporated over night. Austin was suddenly engulfed in forty degree temperatures and high wind, turning the summery celebration into a chilled autumnal fest. Not that it stopped anyone from attending shows outside. The masses were out (granted in slightly decreased numbers) wrapped in scarves and hats, ready to rock out.

The first stop was the Coffee? No Pants Day Party at Red Eyed Fly put on by WXPN and Aquarium Drunkard. I got there just as local favorites, Dawes was taking the stage. Now I had seen these guys before a number of times in Los Angeles and had always been a little underwhelmed. Sure they sounded pretty, but there was something lacking. Perhaps it was the cold or the early hour or perhaps it was the crowd, but I'm pleased to announce that Dawes killed it in Austin. Lead singer Taylor Goldsmith wrung the life out of every single one of his vocal chords, giving the usual sweet lyrics a raw quality that Bruce Springsteen would have admired. The country-folk band took their beautiful melodies and edged them with something harsh and unfiltered, which pushed the band from good to extraordinary.