SXSW 2010 Quick Hits, Day 4: Dengue Fever

Los Angeles’ Dengue Fever hit the stage at Emo’s main outdoor stage at 11:00 PM, with charismatic Cambodian singer Chhom Nimol battling the chilly conditions in a hoodie and skullcap. The first song seemed like kind of a warm-up, but song number two turned up the groovy funk factor to get the party started and the crowd dancing. The horns from David Ralicke provided an extra festive flavor which fit the mood perfectly with SXSW in the homestretch.

“Sober Driver” featured a duet between Nimol and guitarist/bandleader Zac Holtzman, who looks like a rabbi but rocks out with great skill. The song has a smooth groove with a mystical flavor enhanced by the saxophone and trippy keyboards from Holztman’s brother Ethan. Another funky jam had the crowd grooving again as the band was definitely heating things up – Nimol soon removed her hoodie and skullcap to appear in just a pretty blue dress.

Bassist Senon Williams toasted the crowd “to a great SXSW” and “to all the fallen soldiers that can’t be here tonight.” The band started into a slow bluesy intro, with Nimol emoting almost like a shaman before some funky riffs and psychedelic keys kicked in to get the dance party going again. With at least seven showcases, Dengue Fever may well have been the hardest working band at SXSW and this final performance definitely capped off their week in winning style.

dengue fever