Devo, Austin Music Hall
Yes, Devo is still around and still booking shows. They broke out the red plastic helmets as they whipped Austin Music Hall into shape and basked in
their new-wave glory. With a huge LED screen behind them, they blasted the audience, both sonically and visually. It felt like ’ 81 again, when Strats
competed with keytars and Martha Quinn was more than a corny reference point on VH1’s “I Love The 80s.”
Don Tetto, Flamingo Cantina
Making the trip north from Bogota, Colombia, Don Tetto lit Austin’s Flamingo Cantina on fire with
their punk-influenced riffs and hooky ditties that had the crowd pogo-stick jumping. The 20-some-
thing rockers are sponsored by Gibson, so there were Pauls and SGs aplenty, not to mention an
Explorer bass. These guys have quite a following in South America and now we know why.
Musically, the Massacoustics deserve a write-up without even mentioning the simultaneous multi-instrumental talents of Matt Thompson, who plays bass one-handed while sitting
behind the drums and actually playing them with his other three limbs. As if that weren’t
enough, he also sings incredibly tight harmonies. It’s unclear how he doesn’t just fall over.
Anyway, his brother, Andy Thompson, sings lead and plays a wicked Gretsch Duo Jet with
a Line 6 PODxt and Bad Cat amps. As guitarists in trios know, there is an art to getting full
band tone, soloing without rhythm under you, etc., and Andy has got it down pat. This duo
from Massachusetts (hence the name) is not a gimmick act, though. Their songs are tight
and radio friendly—we suspect you’ll be hearing from them soon.
The Massacoustics, the Vintage Lounge
The Queers, Red7 Patio
We’ll never tire of power chord-driven trio rock full of sketchy pop hooks delivered in two-and-a-half minutes or less, thanks to the Queers. Their SXSW performance was raw and energetic,
with the band pummeling the crowd with probably the most songs per setlist than any other
SXSW act. Joe Queer (guitar/vocals) and Dangerous Dave’s (bass/vox) rigs were punk-simple:
Strats and P basses straight through Marshalls and Ampegs.
ARC Angels, Antone’s
The Texas blues-rock vets appropriately reclaimed their position as Austin’s anointed super-group by reforming (but w/o Tommy Shannon) and playing four shows, including a tribute to
legendary club owner Clifford Antone. The band announced that they’re working on a new
record, DVD documentary and prepping for a tour that will include opening for Eric Clapton
at Royal Albert Hall. The band was given the honor of having March 21st proclaimed as
ARC Angels day in the city of Austin. At the Antone’s gig, Doyle Bramhall II used two Strats
(not his red one) and his red LP Jr for slide work, while Charlie Sexton switched between
his James Trussart Steeltop, a Zemaitis, several Strats and his Ric. Sexton used a 65Amps
London and a Vox AC50 while Bramhall used his ’ 68 Marshall Super Bass.