SXSW 2010: Califone, Real Estate @ French Legation Museum-3-18-10
“We just woke up,” Califone’s Tim Rutili quipped midway through their 1 PM set Thursday. Perched under a cloudless sky at the French Legation Museum, Califone’s noisy folk rock opened more than a few eyes. The crowd lounged in the grass for the set while the band swerved from knotty experimentalism to blues-tinged sing-alongs, sometimes within the same song. Two percussionists pounded out the beats simultaneously, resulting in music that was equally cerebral and emotional.
The crowd got its feet for Real Estate, one of the most buzzed-about bands at the fest. Their jangly surf-rock was a perfect soundtrack to the springtime afternoon; the twin guitarists traded beach-inspired melodies while hundreds of heads bobbed along. They even earned new fans from the toughest demographic: countless kids, stretched out on the lawn with their families, nodded to the beat and added to the sublime atmosphere.