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Scene report: Black Angels

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 11, 2013

At 5:30 p.m. an impressive crowd of at least a few thousand gathered at the Bud Light stage where local rockers the Black Angels were serving up sludgey swirls of psychedelia. A welcome cloud cover had crept over the sun and for the first time all day it felt like Austin was getting a taste of the cooler weather October owes us. Which worked well with the music which, while propelled vigorously by the hard-hitting drums of Stephanie Bailey, operates largely on trance-inducing loops. The crowd took it in with low-key enthusiasm. Many closed their eyes and grooved slowly, lost within themselves.

The audience represented a good mix of ages and while it was surely well-stocked with locals the Black Angels have a wide reach. Chatting with fest-goers earlier in the day Alex Vietti, a young woman in town from Phoenix pegged the Black Angels as her biggest draw. She said she loves the band’s retro-’70s vibe. A good portion of the audience peeled off close to 6 p.m. as Vampire Weekend geared up on the other end of the park but neither the band nor the fans that remained seemed at all phased. The audience gaps filled as fans pressed forward for some of the band’s more melodic numbers like “Don’t Play With Guns.”

It was solid dusk set and a good reminder of the breadth of sounds that fall within Austin’s City Limits.