April 02, 2006

SXSW Report #32: Dungen @ Buffalo Billiards

After Pattern is Movement’s Friday evening set at the Lava Lounge, I walked to Buffalo Billiards to see Swedish psych-rock sensations Dungen. I missed them the last time they played in Austin (on the final night of the Austin City Limits music festival), and I was determined not to let history repeat itself. It didn’t look good at first: there was a queue in front of the venue that stretched halfway down the block, full of people with badges around their necks. Dungen was scheduled to play at 11 p.m. At 11:20, I was still waiting in the queue, and considered going back to the Lava Lounge to see instrumental math-rock trio Ahleuchatistas play instead. Fortunately, I got into Buffalo Billiards a few minutes later and discovered that Dungen hadn’t even started setting up their equipment yet!

Once they did, lead guitarist Reine Fiske told the audience, “We just got off the plane 30 minutes ago, and we haven’t slept in 48 hours…so here goes!” He and the other three members then played four songs from their breakthrough album Ta Det Lungt. Singer Gustav Ejstes played most of the instruments on the studio recordings, and did a smashing job. Nonetheless, songs like “Panda” and especially “Bortglömd” gained a new lease on life when his backing band played them. Fiske stole the show with lyrical fuzz-drenched solos that made me think he was possessed by the spirit of Chicago’s Terry Kath. When the visibly fatigued band walked off stage, the audience demanded an encore. After about 10 minutes, they returned to play a sluggish version of “Sluta Följa Efter,” and that was it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought they were brilliant