If It Doesn't Sparkle It's Not For Me

If It Doesn't Sparkle It's Not For Me

February 16, 2024 in Concert Reviews

by DJ Rachie

The Austin music scene is undoubtedly saturated with talent; on any given day, you can find a slew of shows to crash with killer bands of any genre. However, the Pelvis Wrestley album release this past Wednesday beats out every other weeknight shindig in recent memory.

The evening, which fell on both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, was a celebration of love, tender emotions, and pseudo-religious overtones to compliment the themes of Pelvis Wrestley’s new album ANDY, or: The Four Horsegirls of the Apocalypse. Within the venue, there were a handful of art and clothing vendors, a rainbow of cocktails, and a secular confession booth.

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Photo by DJ Rachie (@rgreendesign)

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Con Davison — or just Con, “like concrete, or chili con queso,” as he put it — opened with a strong return from a three-year performance hiatus. He graced the stage with only his red guitar and a drum pad as accompaniment. He danced around the stage with such ease that it was clear it seemed like he was returning home. One of his standout tracks was the recently released “Yuh,” which was a danceable, uptempo indie track complete with an electronic beat and an autotune filter applied to his mic.

Como Las Movies, an Austin staple led by Nelson Valente Aguilar, followed up Con’s pop set with their distinctly indie-cumbia sound. Aguilar’s strong stage presence and talent on the synth combined with the groups tightly-rehearsed musicianship complimented one another to create a fun, upbeat, danceable set. In honor of the occasion, Aguilar, donning a pair of white overalls and a sweater with red tasseled hearts, confessed that they “don’t write too many love songs.”

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Nonetheless, the band pulled their one and only love song out of their back pocket. The audience loved it; one woman held up signs shaped like candy hearts painted with “te amo” and “kiss me” to the band.

The audience grew and hummed with excitement as Pelvis Wrestley took the stage for their sound check. Band leader Benjamin Violet, along with a slew of friends, slowly changed the stage into a pastel wonderland complete with pillars of balloons and banners that spelled out “ANDY.”

After soundcheck, Violet emerged into an elegant black pantsuit with a pearl beaded collar, complete with a veiled headdress adorned with baby’s breath flowers and a vivid red heart. Each bandmate had an ash heart from the confessional drawn on their forehead. The crowd was immediately ecstatic.

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Their set started with ANDY’s opening track titled “Found A Friend.” The song is a slow, tender ballad with sweeping instrumentals that set the tone for the night. Mid-song, Violet took the time to introduce “the four horsegirls of the apocalypse,” who had been playing recorders in the background.

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As their first track grew to a close, Violet greeted the crowd with warmth and quickly emphasized the message of the evening — “from love we are born and from love we will return.” Throughout the set, this mantra was turned into a call and response between the artists and the audience.

The group performed hits both old and new, including “Susannah,” “Keep On Running,” and “Holy Host,” the latter being the first single off of ANDY. While each had a different sound, the entire set showcased Pelvis Wrestley’s confidence in their own sound. They have found their home in the niche of experimental synth-heavy country.

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The album had a strong concept that shone through in Wednesday’s show. Violet often paused in order to explain the titular Andy, albeit in vague terms. Andy, Pelvis Wrestley’s original creation, embodies a sort of warm spiritual guide in the narrator’s life, providing both hope and comfort in a way an icy world is not able to.

The show ended with the song “The World is A Bucking Horse,” a song about barely managing to hold on as life tries to knock you down. After demand for an encore, Pelvis Wrestley ended their set with “Try Your Hardest” off of their previous LP.

Both the evening and the album seemed meticulously planned. The album’s release landing on both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s day was surely no coincidence, and proves that Pelvis Wrestley is evolving artistically more and more each year. Despite the discussion of emotional turmoil and listlessness prominent in each of the three sets, the uplifting message of continuing to do your best and hold on to what is dear left the night on an uplifting and empowering note.

It’s very rare you get to witness star power so early on in a band’s career. However, during their album release show, Pelvis Wrestley proved they have the chops to create iconic art while still remaining tender, vulnerable, and emotionally honest.

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Follow Pelvis Wrestley: https://www.instagram.com/pelvis_wrestley/

Follow Como Las Movies: https://www.instagram.com/comolasmovies/

Follow Con Davison: https://www.instagram.com/condavisonmusic/

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