SXSW 2010 Quick Hits, Day 3: The Watson Twins

The Los Angeles-by-way-of Louisville twins’ Friday day party set at The Belmont focused almost entirely on their new album Talking To You, Talking To Me, which is a bit of a departure from their debut album Fire Songs. There’s less rock and a jazzier, torchier flavor. The dark-haired twins still sound fantastic together, although they harmonize less. This was apparently a conscious decision, as they note on their MySpace page how they chose to back each other instead of harmonize as much as they have in the past.

The new tunes weren’t really grabbing me for the most part in this sunny, mid-day setting, although I suspected this might be the case since I’ve had a hard time getting into the new album. Tunes like “Modern Man,” “Savin’ You” and “Devil in You” sounded pleasant enough, but didn’t really resonate on a particularly memorable level. “Midnight” opened up into a big jam led by the keyboardist however, where the Twins briefly left the stage while the band rocked out. Still, the performance felt nothing like the September 2008 set at The Fillmore in San Francisco that had blown me away. I felt that an evening headliner slot might fit the Twins better, so I still had them on my schedule for their 9:00 showcase on Saturday night.

The Watson Twins, SXSW 2010
Photo by Steve Hopson