If you agree with us that the most significant contributions to a memorable concert are (a) good music (b) performed with a passion (c) while being engaged with the audience, then you would have enjoyed the visit of the Augustines to The Independent in San Francisco.
We had seen Augustines only a few months ago, but they were the opening band (for Frightened Rabbits), so they only played seven songs. Moreover, the usually strong sound system at the Warfield was not up to the task during the Augustines’ performance that night. So, it was easy to justify seeing Augustines at The Independent last night (February 10).
Although there are only three members, Augustines is the closest the U.S. has to a Scottish wall-of-sound band. The members are Billy McCarthy (vocals, guitar), Eric Sanderson (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Rob Allen (drums, vocals). Technically, Augustines is a Brooklyn band, but McCarthy is from nearby Santa Cruz, Allen is from England, and only Sanderson is from New York (although he didn’t appear to mind as McCarthy went into a litany regarding the attitude of New Yorkers). And there’s “Wilson,” who doesn’t play on instrument on the stage, but he seems to be everywhere in making sure that equipment is in place, guitars are tuned, and whiskey is available.
A picture of the setlist is included below. However, they sometimes strayed from the setlist in order to lengthen the experience. For example, the encore included three songs, rather than one. There were a number of songs that stood out during the performance, but personal highlights were:
1. A much increased appreciation for the song “Nothing to Lose but Your Head;” and
2. The encore song in which McCarthy sang with whiskey bottle in hand and with Sanderson on the acoustic guitar. Embedded below is a video of a portion of the song. We don’t know the person who posted the video, but we agree with his description, “Sometimes you are at a show and magic happens. This is one of those times.”
|The Setlist (click to expand)|