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SXSW review: Desert Noises bring stadium-ready rock to the small stage

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Eric Pulsifer

Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 15, 2014

Desert Noises kicked off the beginning of the end of SXSW 2014 at the Holy Mountain patio at 8 p.m. Under the canopy of a big white tent, the crowd formed a perimeter around the patio’s back and sides, leaving room front and center for several dancing couples trading spins and steps stage-side.

The young Utah quartet has grown increasingly psychedelic since its set at Austin City Limits last year, but its southern guitar rock sound still falls in line with the likes of Tom Petty, Yukon Blonde, and, occasionally, early Black Keys. With dusty harmonies, stomping and clapping, a squealing guitar solo a song, and even a drum solo the first and only percussion solo I witnessed this week Desert Noises’ live show feels stadium ready, even if the band has yet to attract audiences of that size.