Austin City Limits Festival
September 17, 2004
My friend promised me I would like Gomez. I was skeptical because I remembered Gomez as a one-hit wonder from 1998. Still, my friend assured me I would appreciate the rock/blues incarnation. Since I didnít know what taste of the day Franz Ferdinand would bring at the same time on an opposite stage, I went with Gomez(a friend later said FF rocked and werenít as dancey as believed).
Iím sure Franz Ferdinand was awesome, but Iím so glad I saw Gomez at the Austin City Limits Music Festival Friday night. The English quintet managed to fit everything thatís great about rock ní roll into one set: attitude, volume, harmonies, hooks, crunchy guitars, and forceful drumming. Just like Drive-By Truckers, they had three guitars blasting at once. The songs were complex, but they were catchy enough to swallow with ease. Vocalists/guitarists Ben Ottewell and Ian Ball sang, contorted their bodies, and screamed with supreme passion, but the bandís main cheerleader was vocalist/pianist Tom Gray. Gray repeatedly motioned for the audience to clap from behind his piano, and one time he stalked the stage doing the same. I felt bad the audience wasnít giving the band love from the beginningóit had been a long day out in the sunóbut eventually the crowd came around and saw the band for what they were: a great rock ní roll band.
The songs were positive at their base, but the band added just enough blues to give the music an occasional dark and angry feeling. My M.V.P. of the night was drummer Olly Peacock, who managed to be a minimalist and be progressive. He knew when to hold back and when to employ thunderous rolls on his massive drum kit. He gave the music a lot of texture and personality.
Itís always nice to find another band like Gomez thatís upholding the fine name of rock ní roll. You were right, Austin.