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Upcoming: Bright Light Social Hour hits Fulton 55
To get a feel for what the guys in Bright Light Social Hour are trying to do musically, here's a sample of the playlist they've been running while on tour:
"The different facets fit together. We take the best parts of whatever music we like and put it together in a way that's forward looking," says Jack O'Brien, who sings and plays bass in the Austin, Texas-based band, which plays Fulton 55 Thursday night.
What comes out is disco-dance southern rock with tinges of soul and psychedelic blues. "The songs are their own thing," O'Brien says. "We're just uncovering things as the process goes along."
That sound (and the band's engaging live shows) has gained national exposure for the band and helped them win six awards at the Austin Music Awards in 2011, including Band of the Year. So, while they may get the occasional 15-people-standing-at-the-bar gig, they're also playing shows to 1,000 people or more. During this year's SXSW Festival, they band played at Auditorium Shores for a crowd of more than 10,000. For this tour the group will be out for two months, playing a slate of shows including the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, a huge Cinco De Mayo street party in Miami and the Warkarusa Music Festival alongside bands like the Avette Brothers.
None of this has change how the band goes about what it does.
Sure, the whole thing is a little more "business" than it was. They have to take things a bit more seriously. But the end result doesn't change.
"We want to deliver something that is muscular and tight, musically interesting and still fun," O'Brien says. "At the good shows, the crowd is getting down."