The final day of SXSW saw the Texas heat come out in full force as the Pabst Blue Ribbon flowed like vino. Luckily, I was able to find a tent to rest under on Guadalupe street (Writer’s Note: In Austin, it’s pronounced Guad-a-LOOP…sigh, gringos), and who happened to be there was none other than everyone’s favorite Mexican indie rock band Hello Seahorse!
As I arrived to the Waterloo Cycle shop day party, there were literally about 10 people hanging around what was essentially a tiny parking lot with a makeshift tent over it. But the small size of the initial crowd didn’t deter the band, as they delivered a pretty solid set in the least favorable conditions. Playing a career-spanning setlist that touched on every one of their releases, Lo Blondo and the boys started out a bit slow, jarred perhaps by the heat and the crowd’s initial lack of energy. Things changed as Lo Blondo informed the crowd that they would now be performing a song in English, which led to, what else, “Won’t Say Anything.” The band played the first half of the song as a slow-jam, which piqued the interest of the faithful but few others; then, as the song reached the bridge, it began to speed up gradually and gradually before it developed one hell of a dance rhythm that began to attract quite a crowd (all this without a bassline, too!).
As more and more people began to assemble, the band delivered their best numbers. “Cassette” was transformed from a twee number with a synth arrangement to a biting little slice of power-pop, with the band busting out a little bit of “Rapper’s Delight” during the bridge! (Writer’s Note: How is Lo Blondo’s rapping by the way? Remember Julieta Venegas’ rap in her live versions of “Eres Para Mí”? Yeah, it was kinda like that. But Lo Blondo looked much cuter in trying) This was followed up by the most epic version of “Bestia” that you could imagine Hello Seahorse! playing in a parking lot. By the end of the set, the band had found their touch, and had also found quite a crowd, which had quadrupled in size in the span of a half-hour. I’d say, along with all the free PBR, it was one hell of an afternoon.