SXSW: Gold Fields, the Lone Bellow rock the EW Music Lounge

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Warm weather and cool music mingled like old buddies at EW’s Music Lounge yesterday in Austin. Hosted at 219 West, the party starred more than piles of sliders, tater tots by the bucket, and pop-culture-pegged cocktails (“Pretty in Pink” margaritas, “Tainted Love” vodka tonics); there were some musical delicacies as well — specifically Gold Fields (above) and the Lone Bellow, which each put on a set for the bustling room.

The Lone Bellow kicked things off with their stripped-down folk-country, powered through tracks from their recently released self-titled album and commandeered the attention of even the most appetizer-obsessed partygoers (when you hear them sing a number like “You Never Need Nobody” and mean it, you’ll put down your slider and shut your greasy mouth).

Rising Australian indie act Gold Fields, who’ve been on the road since February to promote their debut, Black Sun, all over North America, took things from there. The band consider themselves more of a dance band than a rock one, and it showed during their energetic, blue-tinted set. The boys were jumping and jamming their little Aussie bodies all over their place to moody, ’80s-inflected pop gems like “Dark Again” and “Happy Boy,” and it didn’t take long for the alcohol-plied crowd to follow suit.

“We always want it to be like a rave,” guitarist Vinci Andanar later told me, about his band’s approach to playing live. “People should have fun, kind of lose their inhibitions for a bit.” Mission accomplished, gentlemen! (And the trays of Tainted Loves didn’t hurt).

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