Wednesday night's grand finale was a private performance by Editors. This marked their first ever Austin show, kicking off their North American run in support of The Back Room, which finally hits stores in North America next Tuesday on the FADER label. For many at the party last night, it was their first opportunity to see what Editors are really all about.
Doors opened promptly at 9pm, with eager music heads quickly filling up the space well before the band took the stage. Although having free BBQ was an extra incentive to catch this performance, it was just an added bonus as the crowd was really there for one reason only - to catch a set by this brilliant UK band.
At 10pm frontman Tom Smith removed his trademark black hoodie and took the stage, along with fellow bandmates Chris Urbanowicz (guitar), Russell Leetch (bass) and Ed Lay (drums). This marked my second time to catch Editors live and once again they absolutely blew me away. Smith's powerful vocals combined with Urbanowicz's shimmering guitars gives them a huge sound that very few bands are talented enough to possess. You've read the U2 comparisons before, which I must completely agree with.
Smith gave his all during the performance, hurling his body around the stage in what can only be described as rock & roll spasms. His piercing vocals on "Bullets" soared over the crowd, sending those infamous goose bumps down the spines of those in the crowd, including yours truly. "Lights" and "Camera" were also highlights from their setlist.
Performing in front of a largely industry-filled crowd has to be an intimidating thing to do, especially as the first show of your first true US tour. This seemed to have taken its toll out on Smith, who unfortunately lost his voice towards the tail end of their set. Once he felt his voice go, the set came to an abrupt end. With the crowd leaving hungry for more, I've got a feeling that their new batch of Austin buddies will be catching their various other shows throughout their time down here for SXSW.