Live Review

SXSW 2010: She & Him, Auditorium Stage, Ladybird Lake, Austin

You can’t blame She & Him for the weather, but you can be a bit irked at their drowsy response to it.

She & Him

, the cute and couply combination of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, whose light and breezy sound feels best suited for a summer car ride, took to the stage in near freezing winds to wrap up their appearance at SXSW. The crowd, a melancholic huddling of those whose minds were ironbound to brave the cold and distance, waited through endless sound checks and frigid temperatures for the duo (and band) to appear. Hunched up with one hand in her pocket and the other beating a brittle rhythm in tambourine, Zooey Deschanel looked the way everyone felt: eager for this thing to be over and back inside. But whereas she had a plush trailer just barely visible to us behind the stage, her fans had to make do with hyperventilated hand warming techniques and the guy hocking scarves and gloves for five bucks a pop.

Perplexingly, the band stuck to a set list that must have been devised to compliment the laziness of a day at the races, or perhaps a canoe trip. The lack of energy, the lack of bounce, something that might have remedied the malaise of a crowd in need of some warmth, seemed conspicuous, and nearly as soon as the group began, a trickle of spectators started to flow out past the port-a-potties and back toward downtown Austin.

You can’t blame She & Him for the weather, but you can be a bit irked at their drowsy response to it, as hypothermia set in and everyone’s eyes closed to what could have been, on another day, a great show.

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