In case you were wondering, yes, it is possible to rock the hell out on a trombone.
The Main is lodged behind two unrelated buildings, and sorta works as the Fenway Park of Austin musical venues — it feels old, it feels sweaty, and if you get there at the wrong time or stand in the wrong place you’ll be watching the show from behind a support pole. It’s a lost square of propped up warehouse in the middle of a bustling city in the middle of its most important week.
Austin-based Quiet Company is a perfect fit for The Main. The folks who are in town to see Springsteen and Jay-Z might tell you they’ve never heard of Quiet Company, and might scoff at the idea of melodic power rock that questions that existence of Jesus Christ, segues into a melodica (for when the keytar isn’t pretentious enough) and leads straight through to chants of, “we are all where we belong.” If you get to their show at the wrong time you might not know what’s going on. You might be watching from behind a pole. You’ll sweat your ass off in a warehouse square crammed full of devoted Austinites, and while the guys from Brooklyn stand still listening to a Pitchfork showcase down the street, you’ll be hearing some of the best music of the entire festival.
Quiet Company is playing nine shows this week (nine!), and as good as they can sound on their studio releases — including their latest, which they released back in October as the first band signed to the Artist Development Program at Grooveshark — they blew me away live. I had a chance to see them at Stubb’s a couple of weeks ago but had to leave early, so this was a special moment for me, hearing familiar music played with a kind of urgency and passion that makes me want to type so much flowery f**king music review prose it’d make you sick.
If you’re in town for the festival and miss these guys, you’re doing it wrong. Come on, you can see Lil’ Wayne at the Staples Center, can’t you?
On Wednesday night, Quiet Company continues their representation as the snobbiest local music scene’s best band when they kick off the Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall with bands as diverse as Joe King Carrasco & The Crowns, Sixteen Deluxe and Christopher freaking Cross. After that, you’ve got a chance to see them on Thursday at the Austin Independent Radio Day Party and twice on Saturday — once as a part of the SXSW Official Showcase on the Chevy Sound Stage and once on the roof of Whole Foods Market.
If you missed them in the skeleton of what used to be Emo’s, do not miss them on the roof of a health food store in the middle of downtown Austin. You could probably go ice skating up there afterwards.