It had already been a memorable evening. After expressing genuine happy surprise to see the Parish mostly packed on a Monday night for their first headlining show in Austin, Dublin band Little Green Cars had played an hour’s worth of radiant and engaging atmospheric indie-pop songs drawn from their Glassnote albums “Ephemera” and “Absolute Zero.”
Co-leaders Stevie Appleby and Faye O’Rourke traded lead vocals out front, but most everyone in the six-piece outfit contributed vocals, underscoring the significant musical talent that accompanied their contagious youthful enthusiasm. Simply put, this is a band that loves playing music together, and they share that joy with the audience.
Between songs, the band proved as personally charming as their music was magical. Early on, Appleby read a stream-of-consciousness poem that felt like a spiritual kin to Bob Dylan’s landmark “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie.” O’Rourke asked if there were any teenagers in the audience and spoke of trying, at 24, to stay in touch with the spark of those years, as she launched into a song she wrote when she was 16.
Perhaps most poignant was when Appleby introduced the crowd favorite “The John Wayne” with a story about a fan in Portland, Ore., they’d met on this tour who’d told them of a good friend and fellow fan of the group who’d recently been lost to suicide. Appleby’s honest reflection on the meaning of music in such moments resonated, especially in a town where the music community was still grieving a similar recent loss.
And then, in the encore, this happened:
It’s a night few who attended will soon forget. Little Green Cars may have been elated to have a good-sized crowd at the Parish on a Monday night, but the next time they come through town, the growth might be exponential from word-of-mouth alone.