SXSW 2010 Quick Hits, Day 4: Antennas Up

Kansas City funksters Antennas Up kicked off the evening showcase at Spill on 6th Street with an energetic 8:00 set that mixed homage to George Clinton’s Mothership with modern electro-synth pop. Bassist/vocalist Kyle Akers is a boisterous frontman, with a thick mustache and ’70s vibe that recall Ron Burgundy jamming in a San Diego jazz club. Drummer The Ryantist drives the band’s sound by triggering a variety of synth samples to go along with his drumming. With Space Invaders stickers on the drum kit and astronaut helmets on the speakers, it was clear that the band is into a spacey vibe, while their funky pop rock recalled artists such as Jamiroquai and Maroon 5.

“Don’t Wait” was a high-energy tune with guitarists Bo McCall and Wayne Hutcherson throwing down some funky comping, while Akers got funky. “5P4C35H1P” was another highlight with a synth-heavy and trippy dance sound that recalled the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” Most of the band members donned the astronaut helmets during the tune about a spaceship and a girl who wants to ride it. One could wonder if the band might be able push their sound in a more dynamic direction by adding a human keyboardist to the mix instead of having all the synths triggered by the Ryantist, but there’s an intriguingly funky formula going on here.

antennas up
Photo by Alistair Tutton


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