Buzzed-about Dublin rockers Fontaines D.C. have their work cut out for them. Comparisons to explosive Bristol punks Idles and also-from-Dublin noise-makers Girl Band have caught the attention of many a post-punk fan, but can Fontaines D.C. live up that level of hype? Well, Girl Band they are not (stylistically, it’s a little Dublin apples to Dublin oranges), but Fontaines D.C.’s live show is a sight to behold in its own right.

Like the aforementioned acts, their music has an immediacy and energy that is best experienced in person — something just seems lost in the recording. Fortunately, fest-attendees will have plenty of chances to see them. If you’re at SXSW 2019, you will almost certainly know Fontaines D.C. by this time next week. The band is making the most of their time in Austin, playing an exhausting nine shows between Monday and Saturday.

For their second show of the week, the band played to a packed house at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 on Tuesday night in a stacked set sandwiched between futuristic Afrobeat jazz act Ezra Collective and noisy art-rockers Black Midi.

Frontman Grian Chatten, statue-faced serious, paced across the stage on his toes, brooding energy boiling under the surface and escaping in a sing-speak of controlled, brawny monotone with an Irish brogue. The rest of the band remained mostly still, while the core of the crowd erupted into fits of moshing as best they could in the tight crowd. The band's stillness was broken when guitarist Carlos O'Connell traded the stage for some bar-top-guitar-solo time. (The bartenders weren’t thrilled, but I’m always pro-on-the-bar guitar solos, especially when they are inches from my face.)

On “Big” — a punchy, to-the-point single with a mean and lean 1:46 runtime — Chatten repeats “My childhood was small, but I'm gonna be big.” Given the strength of their live show at SXSW, it’s hard to deny it.

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Fontaines D.C.’s set gripped the crowd by the collar with bleak, buzzing guitars, droning bass and Chatten’s massive presence, something their current recorded work just can't communicate as well. But with a full-length debut due out this year, that’s hopefully something the band and producer Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Kate Tempest) can rectify. In the meantime, Fontaines D.C. play six more shows this week, including one at 11 p.m. Wednesday at Swan Dive.

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