SXSW 2010: Roky Erickson, Wye Oak @ Galaxy Room–3-20-10
Saturday’s nasty weather left many fest goers scratching their heads, but it didn’t deter them from making the rounds. Wye Oak kicked off the day at Galaxy Room with an electric set of dark rock. Lead singer Jenn Wasner might have looked like a druid bundled up in her hoodie, but she roared through the performance with her soaring croon. Drummer Andy Stack handled just about everything else, using one hand to play keyboard, his mouth for a melodica, and his other hand to pound out the beat. The duo repeatedly had to breathe on their hands to warm themselves in the wintry temperatures, yet Wasner’s guitar pyrotechnics and Stack’s one-man-band precision managed to heat up (and wake up) the crowd.
Later in the day, psychedelic godfather Roky Erickson received a massive reception befitting of the local legend. Backed by Austin’s Okkervil River, Erickson performed a set of old, hard-charging classics like “Two-Headed Dog” mixed in with new songs from his upcoming release True Love Cast Out All Evil. Erickson’s grizzled voice sounded especially great on the album’s countrified title track, and Okkervil’s Will Sheff provided reassuring smiles to the nervous singer. It’s great to see Erickson back onstage, and even greater to see him get the national and international attention he deserves.