Delightful Bastards: Heartless Bastards shine at Headliners

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Photos by C. Michael Stewart

By BRADEN LAMMERS

Living in Austin, Texas has paid off for Heartless Bastards in the best possible way.

The alternative rock four-piece showed off their Southern soul and the polish of a band that has a decade of shows under its belt.

The Austin group –by way of Cincinnati– opened the show with “The Mountain” the title track of the group’s 2009 release. Drummer Dave Colvin and bassist Jesse Ebaugh rejoined the band and played in support of the album on their previous tour and were part of the studio work for their 2012 release “Arrow.” The comfort and ease with which the band, including guitarist Mark Nathan, played together showed no ill-effects of time apart. They played wonderfully in support of the real showcase of the band, Erika Wennerstrom’s voice.

After opening with “The Mountain” Heartless Bastards quickly transitioned into tracks off of “Arrow.”

The petite blonde’s soulful growl was pitch-perfect throughout and highlighted early in the show when the rest of the group halted to allow Wennerstrom to sing a cappella to close out “Done Got Old.”

The only fumble she had during the night’s performance was when she wrestled with her guitar strap for about a minute before launching into the next song.

Wennerstrom also showcased her vocals during “Only for You” and “Arrow Killed the Beast” and was joined on-stage with a friend of the band –unfortunately I was unable to catch her name– which rounded out the harmonies beautifully.

And if the tempo slowed slightly for one song, it was quickly picked up in the next selection.

One of the more rocking songs the group played during Saturday’s performance was “Late in the Night.”

Louisville audiences were treated to Heartless Bastards’ shows twice twice this year. It is a disappointment if you failed to make it to one of them. They group is one of the best live acts I’ve seen this year. While the Heartless Bastards may be lacking one vital organ, they certainly make up for it in soul.

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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