Last week, Brooklyn based rockers, Augustines, took to the stage for the starting date of their North American/European tour in support of their self-titled sophomore long player, Augustines. It was a late set for the headliners, starting at 10:30 pm, and came after a fantastic sounding (although dimly lit) opening set from the Seattle duo, My Goodness.
Augustines were welcomed to the stage by appreciative and well warmed crowd, the band’s set started without a hitch, and lead singer/guitarist Billy McCarthy even took a moment to toast the crowd and their first show on the tour. However early on, it appeared obvious that gremlins were playing with the wires, and Billy apologized profusely to the crowd before the band mysteriously vanished from view whilst the techs cleared out the little monsters.
This was AIR’s first time reviewing Augustines. In a past incarnation, they were known as We Are Augustines, and had opened for bands such as Counting Crows, Band of Skulls, and Kaiser Chiefs (great bands) in addition to performances at the Coachella and Sasquatch festivals. On album, their music has a richness to it, textures and subtleties which reward the listener on repeated playing.
As a band, Augustines seem to be a bit of a blend between contemporary indie rock peers and older, more mainstream, rock artists such as Bruce Springsteen. In fact, if one closed their eyes and imagined a cut red-head on tambourine and Clarence Clemons on Sax, Augustines COULD be Bruce Springsteen and at least part of the E-Street band. Now, I can already hear readers thinking ‘did And it Rocks just claim that Billy McCarthy is the new Springsteen?’ to which I can only say ‘haha, no’ but then I write ‘no’ mostly because it is not fair…
…but then again Billy does have that intonation/inflection and the drive to put on a great performance and his band-mates (Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen) perform brilliantly as a team and all three possess the workman-like qualities critics come to love in the finest live bands. Whether Augustines performances become the stuff of legend should be left to historians. But, the similarities are what they are and it is an intriguing dichotomy perhaps made possible by the more stripped down arrangements, eschewing much of the keyboards and strings recorded in studio, to be workable (and more earthy and rocking sound) for a touring group of only three.
Here is the Set List from the evening’s Augustines Show:
Headlong into the Abyss*
Ballad of a Patient Man***
Nothing To Lose But Your Head**
Now You Are Free**
East Los Angeles*
Hold On To Anything**
New Drink for the Old Drunk*
*Rise Ye Sunken Ships (2011)
** Augustines* (2014)
*** Cruel City B-Side (2013)
All of this writing is intended to leave you, the reader, with the impression that I think highly of Augustines, and given the direction I witnessed on the stage or their live show, I see a very bright future for this band.
To find out more about Augustines, you should visit their official website: www.weareaugustines.com. Click the banner below to buy their latest:
Photographs and words © Gerry Toews / anditrocks.com All Rights Reserved