Another name which might be familiar to you by now is Bright Light Social Hour. BLSH opened The Frontier Brothers EP release party at The Parish on Friday night (The Lemurs headlined) so I got the chance to see them live for the very first time. WHAAAAA?? These guys are ridiculously good! In their (relatively) short opening set, BLSH definitively proved why they’re one of the most popular – and best – indie acts in Austin.
If you haven’t seen or listened to BLSH before, their music is an incredibly dynamic mix of ’70s blues-influenced classic rock, heavy doses of hardcore funk riffs, and extended experimental rock jams. They combine this musical prowess with collaborative rock and blues vocal stylings by Curtis Roush (lead guitar), Jack O’Brien (bass & mustache), and A.J. Vincent (keys) to extraordinary effect. It’s not only highly entertaining live, but also compelling, intense, and unique. Some of the highlights were a down-and-dirty, extra funky cover of Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man,” their own “Bare Hands Bare Feet,” watching Curtis shred, Jack jumping on top of the monitors for mustache-and-bass grooving, and A.J. hitting wicked falsettos. And drummer Jo Mirasole also deserves a shoutout for holding down the fort at the back of the stage and kicking his drum kit’s ass.
BLSH absolutely rocked The Parish crowd, which was totally sold on them from the very first song – a rare feat for a local band. There’s a reason they were voted the number 1 indie band in Austin at the 2010 Austin Music Awards (and also #2 Best New Band, #3 Best Rock Band, plus Curtis, Jack and A.J. all placed in the Austin Musicians rankings), why they won the 2009 ACL Sound and the Jury contest, and why they’re named one of the 10 bands to watch by Austin Monthly in the March 2010 issue.
If you’re into having your face rocked off by a crazily high-energy band who’s also brimming with real talent, you need to check out Bright Light Social Hour before they get big. You can thank me later.