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Miniature Tigers beat heat with sexy, swaggering cool

Eric Webb
ewebb@statesman.com

The heat came out for Miniature Tigers’ set. The serious stuff, hair-singeing heat. But genre-melting rock cool cats Miniature Tigers laughed in the face of heatstroke Sunday afternoon and pulled a very young crowd right back into festival action through sheer, nonchalant willpower.

Shiny, groovy, funky, and raucous, the Brooklyn band dove right in, cracked droll jokes and strutted through ’80s-style tracks like “Oblivious” and “Swimming Pool Blues.” Lead singer Charlie Brand, protected from glares and squares by sunglasses, crooned and yelped and led a chant of “(Expletive) school.” (After the chanting had escalated, deadpan: “”No guys, chill. Stay in school.”)

The class clown vibes kept coming. There was a passionate makeout session between bandmates at one point, and Brand early on jumped off the stage and gave the front row some love. Special mention goes to mohawked bassist Brandon Lee, who not only laced up songs that ranged in style from twisted doo-wop to Lorde-style trap minimalism, but also tromped around the Austin Ventures stage like a T-Rex in love. The way he cradled and hoisted his instrument aloft, you would have thought he was taking it to cotillion.

Striped with sweat, the band closed things out with “Sex On the Regular,” a gloriously, defiantly goofy anthem that brought brand out into the audience once more. He cradled fans’ faces in his hands, doffed his shades and worked the mic like he was born with it in his hand. Pity those who wimped out and fled the sweltering sun after a couple songs.