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Live music review: White Denim are ready to be Austin's next big thing

White Denim at Stubb's BBQ


Austin writers have a penchant for prematurely announcing the "next big thing" in regards to local bands, however, there is nothing premature in claiming White Denim is an act that is going places. We knew it from the first time we saw the band several years ago at the old Emo's downtown. Last Thursday the band displayed a maturity in their live performance at Stubb's BBQ that indicated the James Petralli-led group has already jumped from buzz act to national recognition. The jammy, psych-rock infused set the foursome played featured almost no breaks in the music as one song eventually bled into the next (in jam band style) in front of a nearly sold-out venue.

White Denim at Stubb's BBQ
White Denim at Stubb's BBQ
Greg Ackerman
James Petralli of White Denim
Do512 via Instagram

The past year has been a revelation for White Denim who recorded with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and was invited to be the musical guest the first night of the Jimmy Kimmel Live SXSW tapings last month. The news keeps getting better too. The band has also been invited to record their first Austin City Limits TV taping in August while the buzz around their 2013 release "Corsicana Lemonade" continues in national (and international) music publications.

The new album broke into the Billboard Heatseekers chart eight weeks ago and is still climbing. Currently the record is number four on that chart. Last week the record broke into the more prestigious Billboard 200 at 147. Billboard chart results are based on record sales and online buzz like their newly implemented real-time Twitter charts which legitimizes the band's current popularity.

The set featured several songs from the new album including the title track, "At Night in Dreams" and the Tweedy-produced "Pretty Green." The crowd reacted with a surge of energy when the band segued into "I Start to Run" towards the end of the show. There is something special about that song that embodies everything we love about White Denim; a catchy chorus, mind-bending guitar solos and a frenetic pace that makes you want to book it around the crowd as Petralli often does while playing the song live.

White Denim continue to tour in support of Corsicana Lemonade with a date at Florida's Tortuga Music Festival before heading to Europe where the band has already sold-out a couple UK gigs. They return stateside for Bonnaroo Music Festival in June that will mark the beginning of their North American major festival run before returning to Europe in late August after a month-long hiatus. White Denim is going to be extremely busy this year. We recommend you get busy and buy their album if you have not already.

Check out the video from the band's Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance posted on the left sidebar to see White Denim performing live. Ten bucks says you like it.

Special thanks to Steve Terebecki.

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