Liars looked a bit worn out (who isn’t at SXSW?) and sun burnt when they took to the temporarily very crowded outdoor stage at Club De Ville. I was stuck well outside of the tent in the full brunt of the sun. I’m not sure if it was the general malaise of the afternoon knowing I had a long evening in front of me or what but this is easily one of the most subdued shows I have ever bared witness to.
I first became aware of Liars with their 2006 release Drums Not Dead. The album didn’t really grab me the way their follow up 2007’s self-titled release did. That’s part of the reason I was at Club De Ville taking in the show. This was one of those shows where various elements just conspired to prevent a pleasing experience. Between the all you could drink beer, the sun and lack of shade and the band seeming to appear tired, things just weren’t going well.
Liars’ sound also doesn’t lend them to being the type of band you would see perform at 3 in the afternoon on a clear sunny day, having in some songs a dancer element more for a darkly-lit music hall than an outdoor tent. That isn’t to say the band was phoning it in. They were mustering ever bit of energy they could to give a good show.
I ended up leaving the show before it even ended as I had other business to attend to and left feeling a strong case of indifference. My opinion of the band hadn’t really changed and I felt as if I really hadn’t seen them in the best situation possible. Thus, future consideration is warranted as I have heard good things about their live shows in the past, but this was a series of conspiring events that lead to less than favorable results.
I give Liars at Club De Ville 2.5 “Sun and beer don’t always mix” out of 5
By John Coovert