QMU – 30/11
American indie-rock band Augustines have become known for their intense and interactive live shows, and it’s easy to understand why. With their contagious enthusiasm and energy, they made an early Sunday evening feel like a late Saturday night.
The band formed in Brooklyn in 2010, after the break-up of guitarist/singer Billy McCarthy’s and multi-instrumentalist Eric Sanderson’s first band, Pela. They were then joined by drummer Rob Allen before the release of their first album, Rise Ye Sunken Ships. This is their second European tour, which follows the release of their self-titled second album.
The gig attracted people from all age groups, which made for a very laid-back atmosphere. The relaxed feeling was reinforced by the band’s intimate interaction with the crowd. Not only did the charismatic McCarthy chat and crack jokes in-between the songs, but the members also took full advantage of the venue when performing, removing the invisible barrier between the crowd and the stage.
Halfway through the gig they disappeared, only to reappear up in the gallery, where McCarthy (after cracking up at Sanderson tripping and falling) belted out a song accompanied by the others’ acoustic melodies, whilst also making the crowd sing along. After returning to the stage for a few more tunes, they finished the gig in the middle of the crowd, singing together with the audience.
The members have an incredible stage presence and perform each song as if it were their last. McCarthy especially seems to have an unlimited source of energy. They performed a mix of songs from their two albums, often with spontaneous elaborations. Their passion for music and performing is so evident it’s almost tangible, and McCarthy’s powerful, heartfelt vocals leaves no one untouched.
All in all, it was a mental, fun and truly heart-warming concert. Augustines are definitely a band that are worth seeing live.