SXSW 2013: Austra @ Elysium – Moog/Switched On Showcase 03.16

Posted March 18, 2013 in
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Austra did not impress with their lackluster performance to close out SXSW 2013. Photo: Angela H. Brown

If you had to murder one band member, who?
It'd be a toss up between the two back up singers, Sari and Romy Lightman. Although these twin sisters have voices like angels, they really only sing about an eighth of the time. When they aren't singing, they're super annoying—dancing around like they dropped special K and flapping their arms like birds. If they had choreographed or synced moves, played the tambourine or even just stood in the back where you couldn't see their stupid hippy dance moves, I'd feel less like shooting them in the face.

If you were in this band, what would you play?
I'd play their manager and help them get their shit together. Austra and their roadies took forever to set up (almost an hour)! They apathetically wandered around the stage while the audience waited patiently. Just as it looked like they were going to start, front woman Katie Stelmanis announced that drummer Maya Postepski, had lost her cymbals and that they couldn't start until she found them. Seriously, how drunk do you have to be to you lose your drum symbols? To make matters worse, Austra had a killer time slot—the last show of the night on the last night of the festival. Instead of making their last show count by invigorating the crowd with one last awesome performance, Austra seemed too tired, like they were just trying to get through their last performance. Overall, these Canadians ended SXSW 2013 with a severe buzz kill.

If you could see this band perform with any other musical group, who would it be?

No one! I would not waste my time seeing them play live again. The first time I saw them play was at SLC's Twilight Concert Series at Pioneer Park and their sound mix was terrible. I thought seeing them play in a small club would be better, as opposed to 60,000 people at an outdoor festival, but I was sure wrong. Some artists are best enjoyed through their recordings, and Austra is one of them.

Did the music make you want to mosh, close your eyes and sway, or something in between?

Yes, I wanted to close my eyes so I wouldn't be so fucking annoyed by the ethereal dancing of the pixie back up singers. One of them wore tights out on stage … not leggings, but opaque tights that clearly showed her underwear.  I'm all about progressive fashion, but Sari Lightman seriously looked like she was so high that that she forgot to put shorts on.

If this band were a vegetable, what and why?
Seeing Austra perform live was like eating soggy, cold, canned spinach.


Austra did not impress with their lackluster performance to close out SXSW 2013. Photo: Angela H. Brown