SXSW 2010: Mayer Hawthorne, Dengue Fever, First Aid Kit @ French Legation Museum-3-19-10
Another eclectic collection of talent camped out at the French Legation Museum on Friday afternoon, providing something for everyone. First Aid Kit, a female folk duo from Sweden, supplied ethereal harmonies and circuitous songs that the sun-soaked crowd instantly lapped up. Their simplicity was refreshing, and they included a stellar cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.”
Dengue Fever pushed the eclecticism even further, and that’s just with a glance at their lineup. Their singer is a petite Cambodian woman with a rich voice, while the backing band is a collection of L.A. hipsters and a guitarist with a ZZ Top-type beard. They combined Cambodian pop melodies with psychedelic rock, even venturing into surf-rock and a bit of funk. Saxophones, flutes, and organs added to the swirling mix, and despite a language barrier, the crowd managed to sing along to the infectious music.
Mayer Hawthorne quipped that it was time for some “baby-makin’ music” to an uproarious audience. His Detroit neo-soul was a nice deviation from a lot of the standard guitar-based rock that’s everywhere in the fest. With a well-oiled backing band behind, Hawthorne’s funky performance made quite a few converts, yet Hawthorne and his professional band (in matching black-and-white suits) hardly broke a sweat.